Some management areas and natural spaces allow hunting.

To read the DEM’s Hunting Regulations for 2016-2017 season, including dates, click here.

In areas that allow hunting, all users – including hikers – are required to wear 200 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange (either a hat or a vest) during the hunting season. This is usually – but not always – from the second Saturday in September to the last day of February and the third Saturday in April to the last day in May, annually.

Hikers are required to wear 500 square inches (a hat AND a vest) during shotgun season. This is usually in early December through early January.

Bow hunting is allowed in the Francis Carter Preserve and Tillinghast Pond Management Area. The season runs from September 15 to January 31. There is no legal requirement to wear orange, but hikers are encouraged to stay on the trail and wear bright colors.

By the way, ever wonder just what is the difference between management areas, parks, preserves, and wildlife refuges?

Management areas are promoted as, and actively managed for hunting, as well as fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, to name a few activities. “Multiple use” management principles apply, assuring a safe and satisfying experience for hunters and non-hunters alike.

Parks are protected areas, set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats.

Preserves are protected areas of importance for wildlife, plants, or features of geological or other special interest, which are reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research.

Wildlife Refuges are usually naturally occurring sanctuaries, that provide protection for species from hunting, predation or competition.

Parks, preserves, refuges, and management areas – oh my! At least now you know the difference.