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~ 2020-2021 Deer Hunting Statement - November 3, 2020

Town Council Requests Firearms Season for Deer Start December 1, 2020

The New Shoreham Town Council met Monday, November 2, 2020 and discussed hunting season in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It has been brought to the Councils’ attention that there are more people living on Block Island this year than in recent years and many community members are spending more time recreating outdoors this fall.  Recently, the town made a formal request to US Fish and Wildlife asking to delay the start of firearms season at Sandy Point and Grove Point until December 1st, and US Fish and Wildlife agreed to honor our request in a recent release formally announcing the delay. The Town Council is requesting all private land owners to delay firearms deer hunting on their property until December 1st.

Procedure to follow to hunt deer on Block Island

  • All deer taken must be reported to DEM within 24 hours using the harvest reporting website:
  • Written permission from a landowner must be obtained before hunting on private land and presented to and countersigned by the Town of New Shoreham (Block Island) Chief of Police.
  • A valid Rhode Island hunting license is required.  Licenses and tags may be purchased online at  If you do not have internet access or a printer, you maygo to the Island Free Library or Town Hall.
  • Hunters must abide by Town Ordinance requirements (see below).
  • Deer tags can be purchased at Town Hall during regular business hours.
  • Entrails and deer carcasses can be disposed of free of charge at the transfer station any day of the week.
  • Additional information on deer hunting in Rhode Island may be found at

    Note:  Crossbow may be used during shotgun season with a valid shotgun deer permit.

New Shoreham General Ordinances and Regulations

New Shoreham General Ordinances
Chapter 10 Miscellaneous Offenses

Sec. 10-16. - Hunting, taking of game and discharge of firearms.

The hunting, possession or taking of deer within the boundaries of the town is prohibited except as otherwise authorized by the town council at its first meeting in March.  It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a firearm, hunt, take or kill any wild bird or animal on private property without permission from the owner and any tenant in possession.

Sec. 10-17 Harassment of hunters, trappers and fishers

It shall be unlawful for any person to obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person within the boundaries of the town at the location where the activity is taking place with intent to prevent the lawful taking.  A person violates this section when he or she intention ally or knowingly : (1) Drives or disturbs wildlife for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife where another person is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife; (2) Blocks, impedes or otherwise  harasses another person who is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife; (3) Uses natural or artificial visual, aural, olfactory, or physical stimuli to affect wildlife behavior in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of wildlife (4) Erects barriers with the intent to deny ingress or egress to areas where the lawful taking of wildlife may occur; (5) Interjects himself or herself into the line of fire; (6) Affects the condition or placement of personal or public property intended for use in the lawful taking of wildlife in order to impair its usefulness or prevent its use; or (7) Enters or remains upon private lands without the permission of the owner or the owner's agent, with intention to violate this section.

Sec. 10-18 Fluorescent orange requirements:

(a)        Fluorescent orange safety clothing is required during the hunting season statewide for all hunters. To meet this requirement, safety clothing must be solid daylight fluorescent orange. Fluorescent camouflage does not meet this requirement. The hunter orange must be worn above the waist and be visible in all directions. Examples that meet the orange requirements are a hat that covers 200 square inches or combination of hat and vest covering 500 square inches. The following orange requirements apply: 
   (1)        Two hundred (200) square inches by small game hunters during the small game season.
   (2)        Two hundred (200) square inches by fall turkey hunters while traveling.
   (3)        Two hundred (200) square inches by muzzleloaders during muzzleloading deer season.
   (4)        Two hundred (200) square inches by archers when traveling to/from stands during muzzleloading deer season.
   (5)        Five hundred (500) square inches by all hunters and other users (including archers) during shotgun deer seasons.
   (6)        Those hunters using Pop-up blinds during the firearms deer season must display 200 square inches of fluorescent orange visible on the outside of the blind from all directions. Hunters must also wear orange in accordance with the rules for the specific seasons while in the blind. 
(b)        Exempt from fluorescent orange requirements are: 
   (1)        Waterfowl hunters hunting from a boat or blind, over water or field, when done in conjunction with decoys.
   (2)        Archery deer hunters (except during muzzleloader and shotgun deer season).
   (3)        Hunters crow hunting over decoys.
   (4)        Spring turkey hunters and
   (5)        First segment dove hunters.
   (6)        Not required in areas limited to Archery only by regulation.


Hunter Contact Information for Landowners interested in contacting hunters

Hunters who want to be contacted by landowners are invited to send their names and contact information to for the 2018-2019 season.  This information is posted below.  Landowners are encouraged to contact hunters directly for more information.

Hunters are encouraged to provide a short bio describing amount of hunting experience, especially on Block Island and other facts landowners may find helpful. Bios will be available directly from the hunter, or at Town Hall.

              Hunters for 2018-2019:

Ali Makhzangi

Brett Morrone

Rick Proulx

Peter Lund

Dan Fuller

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - Are there other methods for controlling the deer other than hunting?
A - Other methods for reducing/controlling a deer herd are:

      1. 4-Poster system
      2. Contraception
      3. Relocation

Each has serious financial or efficacy issues that prevent them from being useful.

4- Poster system
This is a device constructed so that as deer feed at stations baited with corn, their heads, ears, necks, and shoulders are coated with pesticide by rollers. 

This method would be very expensive.  In addition to the cost of the device, there would be the outlay for corn, rollers, pesticide, warning signs, applicator gun and shipping.  The devices have to be continually baited.  The rollers would have to be treated by a licensed pesticide operator every 7-10 days, for 5-6 months every year.  

The method is most effective in a controlled (ie fenced-in) area because otherwise the treated deer pick up more ticks from the untreated deer.  So we would need to do the entire Island and this would require about 100 devices.  Shelter Island maintains 60 Four Poster units spending about $155,000 to $175,000 per year.

A 5-year study done in Rhode Island (reported in the August 2009 Vector Borne Zoonotic Disease Journal article "Evaluating a deer-targeted acaricide applicator for area-wide suppression of blacklegged ticks, Ixodes scapularis in Rhode Island" ) found that use of the 4-poster device resulted in 50% control of the ticks.  However, 2 years after the devices were removed the tick level was back to near the original levels so this means the devices would have to be used in perpetuity.  They also reported that success of baiting the deer depended on the availability of other food sourcesThe deer on BI seem to have an abundance of food sources. 

GonaCon is the only deer contraceptive approved by the EPA. Application is restricted to USDA APHIS Wildlife Services or state wildlife management agency personnel or persons working under their authority only.  The female deer are injected by hand at least 2 or 3 months prior to the onset of rut.  If multi-year contraceptive effects are desired, a second vaccination may be given 30 to 60 days after the first injection or during the following year.

      EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet

Deer suffer, and sometimes die, from the stress.  The cost can range from $400 to $3000 per deer.  Moving deer only spreads disease, and it would not be practical to find a suitable destination. Similarly, rounding up the deer and keeping them in a fenced area on the island would also be practically and financially impossible. It would be inhumane even if it were possible to confine the herd.     

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Town of New Shoreham | PO Box 220 | Block Island, RI 02807 | Telephone: (401)-466-3200 | Copyright © 2007