Alabama Deer News

... Between 9,500 years BP and around 3,500 years BP humans and deer played on an essentially even playing field ... At 1,000 AD Native Americans ... were killing more deer than what could sustain them... the Whitetail had it pretty good from 1550 to about 1680 with fewer Native Americans alive who could hunt them ... during 1700's the cycle of trading deer skins for guns .. populations were being decimated ...

State deer herd appears in decline May 7, 2016 Alabama, Anniston Star
...  there are around 1.5 to 1.7 million deer in the state. This number is down from the first part of the 21st century where at time there was an estimated 2 million deer....In the 2007-2008 deer season, the WFF implemented a three buck per season rule ... put more pressure on taking does... Hunting license sales are also in decline. Fewer hunters mean less operating revenue ...

Extending deer season not the way to go April 23, 2016 Alabama, Tuscaloosa News
... The landscape in Alabama is perfectly suited for growing large numbers of deer ... the vast amount of overgrown cutover and commercial pine thickets in Alabama offer ideal cover ... Throughout the majority of the season, squirrel and rabbit hunters are pushed on to Alabama’s limited public hunting areas because of conflicts with deer hunters on private land...

Board Recommends Changes to Alabama's Hunting and Fishing Regulations April 5, 2016 Alabama, The Quad-Cities Daily
 ... Recommended extending deer season to end Feb. 10 statewide, with no closed period in December. Archery season in the South Zone would be bucks only from Oct. 15 to Oct. 24. This season is dependent upon Game Check becoming mandatory.  Reduced doe season in portions or all of select north Alabama counties ...

Changes Proposed To Alabama's Hunting Regulations April 2, 2016 WKRG
... Reduced doe season in portions or all of select north Alabama counties ... Revised the dog deer hunting permit system to require a 500-acre minimum acreage for any new dog deer hunting permits ... Strengthened existing regulations aimed at preventing the unintentional import of disease pathogens such as Chronic Wasting Disease ...

Advisory Board Votes For Statewide Deer Season Extension Apri 2, 2016 Alabama, Courier Journal
... Alabama hunters could be in store for the longest white-tailed deer season in history ... Board member Raymond Jones Jr. of Huntsville expressed opposition to the February extension, citing Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division research that only about 14 percent of the does in north Alabama are bred in February...

Arrests being made for unlisenced hunters March 31, 2016 Alabama, St. Clair News-Aegis
... arrested a non-resident hunter from Florida on the property for failure to wear hunter orange and hunting over bait... The remaining eight hunters were tracked to their stands and subsequently arrested for multiple hunting violations....

Deer Season Now Closes Feb. 10 Statewide March 27, 2016 Alabama, Alabama Outdoor News
... The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board (CAB) on Saturday approved extending the Alabama deer season through Feb. 10 in the North Zone ... Alabama’s Game Check system mandatory beginning with the 2016-17 deer season ...

Effort to reintroduce elk to Alabama in 1916 March 13, 2016 Tuscaloosa News
... elk were captured in Yellowstone by experts for $5.00 a head and transported in wagons and trains to Alabama... The first night the herd made a rush on the fence and ten of them broke out. This herd has been loose in our woods ever since. Three of the elk have died  ... I believe they died from eating mountain laurel or poison ivy ...

Statewide Deer Season Until Feb. 10? February 23, 2016 Alabama, Alabama Outdoor News
... The Conservation Advisory Board (CAB) will meet next month to possibly implement significant changes ... could include a deer season that would now extend into February in the North Zone ... about 15 percent of the North Zone has a rut that extends into February...

...  In good habitat and with reasonable harvest limits, baiting does no harm to the deer population on private lands--limited access is of course a big part of the key. If baiting were allowed on public lands ... the usual "tragedy of the commons" would no doubt quickly take effect, reducing the herds below safe levels as thousands of hunters swarmed the woods with truckloads of shelled corn...
... Jackson County Representative Tommy Hanes voted against it. He feels it doesn't teach children anything about the sport of hunting...
... State Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy, filed the perennial bill, which has failed to pass during numerous legislative sessions... would allow landowners to bait without restrictions on private land...
     Alabama Committee Approves Hunting Over Bait February 17, 2016 Outdoors 360
... Representative Artis J. “A.J.” McCampbell (D-Livingston) ... he believes in giving the deer a fair chance and has issue if this applies to deer season...

State hunting by the numbers February 14, 2016 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser
... survey also shows that, out of the 12,801 participants, 1,665 participants primarily hunted on public property, while 11,664 primarily hunted on private property... Out of the 12,801 folks surveyed, 6,584 hunters said they would support mandatory harvesting reports, while 2,754 opposed. 2,819 said they had no strong feelings either way...

White-tailed deer still reigns supreme February 12, 2016 Alabama, Andalusia Star-News
... Estimates of the Alabama deer herd range from 1.5 million to 2 million animals, but Sykes says those are only rough estimates, stemming from anecdotal information gathered from a small sample of hunter surveys, landowner visits and reports from hunting clubs... “All but three states have some type of data gathering ... I don’t want Alabama to be the last.” ...

Legislature should take SB 62 and toss it in File 13 February 7, 2016 Alabama, Montgomery Advertise
...This bill would allow the taking of whitetail deer or feral swine by means of baiting at any distance... Under the existing law ... 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 ...

The life of a deer-tracking canine January 10, 2016 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser
...  eventually the time will come when you need a tracking dog. Unfortunately not all shot placements are perfect and mortally wounded deer do escape from being recovered by the hunter ... This year, Lucy has recovered 42 deer that were still alive ...

Alabama Data:  An estimated 2016 population of 1.5 to 1.7 million, trending down in recent years because of pressure from predators, habitat change, and hunting.  A 2014 estimate put the population at 1.4 million. The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board voted to reduce the statewide limit on antlerless deer to one per day in 2014 to increase the population.  The population increased in 2013 after better rainfall than in the previous years of drought conditions except in northern Alabama.  
     About 2 million deer in the state in 2000, 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
    History, 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. Restocking from other states continued through the 1940's and 1960's -- 1941 distribution.  Deer in the north mostly came from midwestern and Texas states, the peak of their rut is about December 15 to January 15.  Deer in the south are mostly from the native herd.  Their rut is mostly from January 15 to February 15.  
     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.  The three buck limit instituted around 2007 appears to have increased the number of mature bucks in the population.  

Other useful links: 
Alabama Newsroom, news from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- Outdoor Alabama Maps and information

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