For deer hunters in Alabama, the opening day of firearms deer season is one the most anticipated times of year.
And the wait is almost over as the season in zones D and E opens Nov. 4. Firearms deer season for zones A, B and C opens two weeks later – Nov. 18.
“We are blessed with a wide variety of diverse landscapes and an abundant deer herd,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “Our state’s natural diversity combined with some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits of any state in the nation makes Alabama’s deer season unique.
\”We hope all of our resident and out of state hunters have a safe and successful season this year.”
Alabama offers more than 1.3 million acres of public hunting land that includes wildlife management areas, special opportunity areas, physically disabled hunting areas, Forever Wild Land Trust tracts, U.S. Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineer lands and the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. There are also commercial hunting lodges, guides and outfitters to choose from. With this abundant access to hunting land, hunters can pursue white-tailed deer from Alabama’s Gulf Coast to the Appalachian Foothills in the northeast corner of the state.
With the exception of specific landowner exemptions, everyone ages 16 to 64 is required to have a valid hunting license when hunting deer in Alabama. In the U.S., hunting licenses help fund wildlife conservation. ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division is primarily funded by money generated through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. That money is matched on a nearly three-to-one basis by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through funds allocated to Alabama from the Pittman-Robertson Act which levies an excise tax on firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment.
For more information about license requirements in Alabama, visit www.outdooralabama.com/
- Hunt the Rut Throughout the Season
Alabama underwent an extensive white-tailed deer restocking program during the middle of the 20th century. Deer stocked were from several states which not only brought great deer to Alabama but their genetics as well. The genetics determine the rut of those deer to this day. The restocking created a unique opportunity for hunters in Alabama to hunt the rut from mid-November until mid-February.
- License Packages and Collectible Hard Cards
Not sure which license or additional privileges you need for deer season? ADCNR offers a variety of license packages that take the guesswork out of your season preparation. For an additional $5 to your license purchase, you can select from six collectible hard card designs.
- Outdoor AL Mobile App
Everything you need to keep your season organized is in this convenient smartphone app. With the Outdoor AL app you can store your hunting license and additional season privileges; display your harvest record; Game Check your deer and turkey harvests; log WMA check-ins and check-outs, access WMA maps, rules and regulations; view moon phases and wildlife feeding times, view season dates and bag limits; and much more.
- CWD Zone
In 2022, ADCNR established a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Zone for all of Colbert and Lauderdale counties in northwest Alabama after the disease was confirmed in a hunter-harvested deer. It is important that hunters be familiar with Alabama’s CWD regulation and the CWD regulations in other states. Click the header above, for the latest information about CWD in Alabama.
- Game Check
All deer and turkey harvested in Alabama must be reported through the state’s Game Check system. Hunters have 48 hours to report their harvest through the Outdoor AL mobile app, online at www.outdooralabama.com, or by calling 800-888-7690.
- Transfer of Possession
If you transfer possession of your deer (whole or part) to any other person, taxidermist or deer processor, you must provide them with written documentation of the transfer when they take possession of the animal. The person receiving the animal is responsible for keeping the required written documentation while the animal is in their possession.
- Mentored Hunting
Avid deer hunters are encouraged to introduce someone to hunting who has little to no hunting experience. Passing on your passion for the sport ensures Alabama’s tradition of wildlife conservation continues for future generations. If you are interested in learning how to hunt and don’t know where to begin, check out ADCNR’s Adult Mentored Hunting Program.
- Wild Eats
Are you looking for new ways to prepare your deer harvest? ADCNR now offers recipes on the Wild Eats section of its website. From venison chili to burgers, Wild Eats recipes are easy to follow and specifically designed with home cooks in mind.
For more information about the upcoming white-tailed deer season in Alabama, visit the hunting section of www.outdooralabama.com.