In addition, all deer hunters must check their deer at a check station during the first four days of the muzzleloader season (Nov. 7-10). Another regulation change is that crossbows are now approved for use by all hunters during archery season (Sept. 15 - Jan. 31). Finally, bag limits for antlered deer is three statewide, except on Prudence Island (Zone 3), where only one antlered deer may be harvested.
Although small in size, Rhode Island has nearly 50,000 acres open to public deer hunting. The largest tracts are in the Arcadia, Big River and Great Swamp Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). The George Washington WMA in the North regularly grows bucks pushing 200+ lbs. Look for one of them wherever the state has cut back the forest, providing whitetails with early successional browse.