Alabama Deer News

Deer breeding: Big game is big business March 30, 2014 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser
... “It doesn’t sound much like hunting to me,” said Richard Smith, a Prattville deer hunter. “You go to a lodge, look at pictures of deer and pick out which one you want and then plunk down your money. Then you go to where that deer is and shoot it... There are 204 licensed game farms in Alabama ...

... The expansion of the February deer season to cover most of Alabama south of Montgomery and a reduction in the daily bag limit for antlerless deer statewide were among the recommendations presented ... the 10 days of dog deer hunting that were not in the 2013-2014 season have been restored ... 

... Deer hunters in the southern half of the state could hunt into February next season if a proposal from the state conservation department passes muster... The department has conducted contraception studies and has concluded that the average date of does conceiving is Dec. 30 along the Chattahoochee, Jan. 11 in north Alabama and Jan. 28 in south Alabama...

Deer season features cold weather, few changes February 23, 2014 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser 
... The Game Check program, which was voluntary this past season, resulted in a little more than 20,000 reports of deer harvested.... “According to the estimate from our mail surveys, and again this is just an estimate, we got 3- to 4-percent compliance ... 

February deer season was positive February 21, 2014 Alabama, Brewton Standard 
...   People in southwest Alabama were allowed to hunt into February, when the majority of the rut occurs.... The new regulation states: “as it applies to the hunting of deer and feral swine, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that any bait or feed. . . located beyond 100 yards from the hunter and not within the line of sight of the hunter is not a lure, attraction or enticement to, on or over the area which the hunter is attempting to kill or take the deer or feral swine.” ... WFF recently posted the results of its deer reproductive study online  ...

Hunters Have Until February 20 to Report Deer Online or by Telephone February 14, 2014 Alabama, outdooralabama.com
... Checking a deer can be completed via the Internet at www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck, using the Outdoor Alabama smartphone app, or by calling 1-800-888-7690 and following the voice prompts. 
... Game Check provides the most accurate information about hunting success across the state. "The only way hunters and our biologists will know if changes to the deer season are working is if Alabama hunters participate in the voluntary system," ...

February deer hunting appears to have achieved its goal February 13, 2014 Alabama, Birmingham News 
... In my opinion, the February season did what it was supposed to do: It allowed hunters in the southwest part of Alabama to hunt more of the rut and see more rutting activity while increasing the chance that they'd encounter a mature buck during daylight hours... 

Mandatory reporting needed to get accurate deer count February 12, 2014 Alabama, Gadsden Times 
... The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last year attempted to make its “Game Check” reporting system mandatory... About 18,500 kills were reported during the 2013-14 season ... state officials say that’s only about 3 to 4 percent of the actual kills, which still leaves them without a true picture of the state of Alabama’s deer population...

February deer season in Alabama likely to be expanded next year February 11, 2014 Montgomery Advertiser 
... “This is our first year of the extended season, and we still have data to study ...But we have received nothing but positive feedback from hunters and outfitters in that area. It looks like the February season will stay in place, and you may see the area expanded for the upcoming season.” ... Ray Metzler, acting director of the wildlife division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources...

Wildlife Officials: Game Reporting Low February 10, 2014 Alabama, DothanFirst.com
... Some hunters were concerned about the amount of game left in the state... Without county specific data, there's no way for officials to keep track of the animals ... "I think that eventually game check will probably be a mandatory program like 30 plus other states do in the United States ...

Ala hunters failed to report deer kills February 9, 2014 Alabama, Lexington Herald Leader
...  hunters reported their kills far more often this season  ... surveys and statistical analysis show the number still is only a small fraction of the deer that were actually killed in Alabama ...

Published on Feb 2, 2014 Join graduate students Tim Neuman, Carolyn Moore and senior Clayton Glassey of the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences "Deer Lab" as they explain and perform the process of darting, tagging and branding deer for research experiments. - February, 2014



ADCNR will not extend deer season January 31, 2014 Alabama, Greenville Advocate 
...  After a winter storm covered most of the state’s roadways with ice Tuesday, transportation officials across the state advised that motorists avoid all but essential traffic, which prevented some hunters from reaching their hunting land...

AL deer hunters reminded to register kills January 31, 2014 Alabama, Chattanooga Times Free Press
... Game check is available on the Internet, through a smartphone using the Outdoor Alabama app, or by calling 1-800-888-7690... 

...Deer hunters in the new southwest zone saw their season close for 10 days in the first of December so they could hunt the first 10 days of next month. The idea is to allow deer hunters to hunt more of the breeding season, which biological data collected by state biologists indicates happens later in many locations within the southwest zone...

Hunters urged to practice safety for remainder of deer season January 17, 2014 Alabama, Brewton Standard 
...Two fatal hunting accidents during the past week have Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) officials reminding hunters to practice safety at all times. The two incidents involved hunters who were not wearing the required hunter orange  ...


Keith goes to the great state of Alabama this week and introduces you to some great deer farmers. - January 2, 2014


This is a story of two doe fawns that were rescued and cared for by the community of Dauphin Island, AL. The Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries removed the harmless babies a couple of weeks ago. Please help us get them back home where they belong. Link for petition below. Thanking you in advance for your support in getting DAISY and DARBY HOME where they belong! - Alabama, December 28, 2013


... Tera Tubbs, director of the Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation, recommended, and the council’s Public Projects Committee agreed, to hire a Westervelt Co. biologist to conduct the $4,500 study before deciding a course of action...

Dauphin Island deer tales bring about relocation, comment (Press-Register Sound Off) December 18, 2013 Alabama, Birmingham News 
...  The conservation officers and the law on this subject in Alabama, in this case, is wrong. It would be different if they found the deer in the woods and just took it home. But on this occasion the mother was dead and they knew it... These laws need to be changed... 

Dauphin Island Deer Moved for Safety Reasons December 17, 2013 Alabama, WKRG-TV
... The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources removed the Dauphin Island deer—commonly known as Daisy and Darby—for safety reasons.... [comments from readers on this article express disbelief at this explanation]

Dauphin Island Deer Moved in Retaliation December 17, 2013 Alabama
     According to information from people at the scene in Dauphin Island, on Thursday, December 4th, the car of the deer’s care takers was stolen by an individual who is related to a city employee. During the process of filing the police report and recovering
the vehicle, the victims complained about the city employee and how the police handled the situation. That same day, a formal complaint about the deer was placed. With no communication with the care takers, no authority and without following the proper process the deer where removed from the island. [Photo from 
Staci Curtiss]

 ... Curtiss said she obtained the two female deer from people who found them on separate occasions after the mother had been killed on the highway... "I guess I should have just let the deer stay on the side of the road and let the buzzards eat them. But I had a bigger heart than that..."   The deer were allowed to roam free ... charges possibly to be filed against Staci Curtiss, the woman who raised the deer.  ... Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Dodd said ...  

... "What law were they breaking that they had to be removed because most of the citizens loved those babies and are heartbroken because they're gone," said a neighbor ...  Daisy and Darby have never been kept in a cage. They roam around the street, inside homes and in the woods... The Game Warden's office tells News 5 it is against state law for anyone to own a wild animal...

... why this buck apparently did not shed its antlers from year to year like the other males...  it had a penis, but its testicles were abnormally small... According to noted deer biologists, the testicular deformity probably affected the buck's ability to produce testosterone in normal levels... Buck fawns that are castrated will either never develop antlers or grow antlers that remain in velvet, depending upon the fawn's stage of development...

Rejoice in the rarity of seeing albino deer December 8, 2013 Alabama, al.com
... An albino deer is void of all pigment in its body. Its fur is white, but its eyes, nose and other soft parts are pink. Its hooves lack pigment, too.  A piebald is not completely void of dark pigment. It has varying amounts of patchy brown fur, and its hooves, eyes and nose are dark.... In Tennessee [and Alabama], it is legal to harvest a piebald deer but not an albino deer. A couple of years ago Oklahoma changed its law to allow the taking of albino deer...

Hunters Should Avoid Harvesting 'Collared Deer' in Research Locations December 4, 2013 Alabama, AmmoLand.com (press release)
... Locations include the Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area (WMA); Barbour WMA; Pioneer Deer Management Cooperative, a collective of hunting clubs in Pickens County; and Rembert Hill Road, southwest of Linden, Ala., in Marengo County... a radio collar will be placed around the neck of the deer... 

... has been charged with illegally possessing seven deer, one of which attacked and severely injured him last week... When enforcement officers from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) learned of the incident, Dunsmore was charged with illegal possession of the deer, which were removed from his property and euthanized...

... new law allows for supplemental deer feeding areas on private lands during season, “located beyond 100 yards from the hunter and not within the line of sight of the hunter.”  
The state previously allowed supplemental feeding areas on private lands during deer season, but did not allow these areas to be hunted ... 

... 535,000 or so licensed hunters in Alabama ... The Game Check program ...  became voluntary after public outcry... “It gives us much-needed first-hand data on where deer and turkey were killed, and it really helps in developing an accurate count of how many bucks and does have been harvested,” ...Hunting over bait is still against the law. But supplemental feeding of grain-based products and other feed is allowed in areas where deer and hog hunting takes place...

... a fenced pen on his property ... the deer lifted him up on its antlers and carried him 30 feet... Bucks can become combative during breeding season, normally fighting with each other or even people when the deer are kept in captivity ...

A Front-Row Seat to the Rut Show November 6, 2013 Alabama, Field and Stream 
... The rut is still many weeks away for Alabama bucks ... In Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina, the rut appears to have begun and you may see such activity if you're in the right place at the right time. The deer in the Low Country of South Carolina have been in rut now  ...

... the modification did not legalize baiting and a few surely don't understand that spreading any kind of grain is not legal on any of the state's wildlife management areas ... When you place your feeding station on your property, in order to be legal, you must do so in a manner that does not increase the odds of harvesting a deer ...

Biologists expect this year's deer herd to be healthy October 24, 2013 Alabama, The Alexander City Outlook
... “We’ve had some drought conditions over the past couple of seasons ... But this year, the deer should be in pretty good shape. Normally, when we have a spring and summer with abundant rainfall it improves the quality of the plants they eat in their natural diet ...

Alabama's game-check program voluntary this season October 13, 2013 The Birmingham News - al.com
... Smartphone apps and Internet will make reporting easy ... T effective Oct. 15, 2013, for the first day of archery season.  "We are confident that the hunters in Alabama will comply with the Game Check reporting system on a voluntary basis this first year because they know the importance of the information gained through this process," said CAB chairman Dan Moultrie...

... “Deer quality and deer numbers have been pretty consistent,” he said. “Some years we met get significant variation in what’s killed, but that’s not really a function of what the deer population is doing. That’s more a function of what the weather and the hunters do on our WMAs.”  Most of the WMAs have short hunts spaced some time apart, Cook said, and if the weather doesn’t cooperate, hunters don’t take a lot of deer...

Deer season extended to February October 11, 2013 Alabama, Andalusia Star-News
...  Two big changes is that the deer season has been extended for Covington County until into February ... and the second is that hunters can use corn.  Now that doesn’t mean you can hunt over bait – that’s still against the law ...What that means is the law says you can have it 100 yards or more from you and it can’t be within your line of sight..." ...

Alabama Game Check System now voluntary September 27, 2013 Greenville Advocate
... N. Gunter Guy, Jr., commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, announced Friday that a decision has been made to withdraw the mandatory Game Check regulation in favor of voluntary compliance... “We are confident that the hunters in Alabama will comply with the Game Check reporting system on a voluntary basis this first year because they know the importance of the information gained through this process,” said Conservation Advisory Board  Chairman Dan Moultrie...



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Alabama Data:  About 1.75 million deer in the state in 2000, about the peak population, up from 400,000 in 1970.  The deer harvest peaked in 2005 at about 499,000.  The 2012 reported harvest was 266,725, about 53 percent of the maximum harvest. Coyote predation has been a factor in reducing the deer population in recent years.  Harvest statistics.   
    An early decline in the deer population occurred about the year 1,000 when the native Indians were killing more deer then the herd could sustain.  By 1500, the herd had recovered, but with arrival of the Europeans the herd was decimated by the early 1800's.  In the early 1900's, when there were only a few thousand deer in the state, a restocking of Alabama deer and limited hunting of does helped to increase the population. Changes in land use, the switch from cotton to soy-beans, a high-protein food for deer, stimulated the deer population in the period leading up to the 1970's. See Deer in Alabama  As the deer population recovered, management reinstated doe harvest.  About 30 percent of the total harvest was does in the 1980's, up to about 50 percent in recent years - a balanced demographic.

Other useful links: 

Alabama Newsroom, news from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Quantitative Objective: Where the yearling males (deer) have an average body weight of 95 to 105 pounds on areas with good soils, there should be concern the deer population exceeds the capacity of the land to support the herd in good condition. From: Deer Hunt Reports on Alabama



Alabama Data
Graph from Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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Pet Deer Travels 50 Miles to Return Home - Alabama, January 27, 2013


This video is about the release of a White-tailed Deer fawn into the Russell Forest. Naturalist Marianne and others drove into the forest to complete the presentation on Saturday December 8, 2012. To keep up with Naturalist Marianne like Russell Crossroads and Naturalist Marianne on facebook or keep an eye on the interactive calendar at RussellLandsOnLakeMartin.com