Alabama Deer Population: An estimate from the state of about 1.4 million in 2020 and an estimate of about 1.6 million deer in 2019. Estimated at 1.5 million in 2017. About the same in 2016 with 1.6 million, up from about 1.4 million in 2014 and 2015. Predators, habitat change, and hunting pressure have reduced the Alabama deer population since the peak of about 1.75 to 2 million deer in the year 2000.
Alabama Deer News
Deer Activity in Most of Alabama Approaching Peak January 13, 2023 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
... Alabama deer hunters are in the midst of the peak hunting period when deer start moving with increased rutting activity... Alabama had its first cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) last season with two deer in Lauderdale County confirmed with the disease. To date, no deer harvested during the 2022-2023 season has tested positive for CWD...
Whitetail deer a nuisance for row crop farmers January 10, 2023, Alabama, St. Clair News-Aegis
... Eddie McGriff has had success planting sunn hemp as a buffer or border trap crop for deer ... In order for sunn hemp to work as a trap crop, it must be planted before the cash crop. This is done so that it is growing and attractive to deer while the cotton crop is being established... this year they plan to use electric fence in conjunction with sunn hemp on the side of the field where deer enter from the woods ...
Teen kills ‘monster’ deer in Alabama. Mystery remains how this rare species got there November 26, 2022 Ledger-Enquirer
... a red stag deer, not native to North America, was roaming around Randolph County, Alabama ... that deer ate more and more of the apples and pears off Taylor’s trees. He doesn’t hunt, so he asked Coye, a licensed hunter, to come by and solve the problem...
Adult white‐tailed deer survival in hunted populations on public and private lands 2022, Alabama, Wildlife Society Bulletin
... From 2014 to 2016, we radio collared and monitored survival of 79 adult white‐tailed deer (141 deer‐years; 62 male, 79 female) on 2 public and
2 private properties in Alabama ... Hunter harvest accounted for 77% of observed mortalities (n = 23/30), but harvest and survival rates varied by sex and age. Harvest and survival were similar between public and private property ...
Alabama officials remind hunters of Chronic Wasting Disease sampling weekends November 17, 2022 WKRG
... all deer killed in Lauderdale and Colbert County on Nov. 19-20 must be subm itted for testing for the disease. The two counties lie in the state’s CWD Management Zone ...
'Hang on, buddy!' Swimming deer receives words of encouragement from fisherman November 3, 2022 Alabama, Fox Weather
... video of the animal in Smith Lake on Wednesday as it swam its way to Goat Island. The animal was not in distress ...
... The firefighters responded to the call and found a male deer peeking out of a storm drain ... The clip ends with the deer standing up and sprinting off into the woods [below]
Translocating Captive Female White-tailed Deer 2022, Alabama, Wildlife Research
... Many of these deer get marketed to private landowners with the expectation that introduced deer will enhance genetics in the population, resulting in larger-antlered male deer... We found a 12-month survival rate of 0.54 for translocated deer... Given our results, we believe it is infeasible to expect increased average antler size within this study site by translocating adult female white-tailed deer...
State holds public meeting on Chronic Wasting Disease September 23, 2022 Alabama, CBS 42
... the first positive test of CWD in Alabama was found in December 2021. After issuing some emergency regulations, the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) tested nearly 1,000 deer before the end of the season. Only one other deer tested positive..,
Video below: Animal lovers ask Alabama to make it easier for them to rehabilitate native wildlife. May 18, 2022
Alabama aims to stop spread of fatal deer disease after second confirmed case March 23, 2022 Courthouse News Service
... we can try and maintain optimism that maybe something comes around that we’re able to reverse this. The technology doesn’t exist today, but we can slow the spread and we can cross our fingers and hope.” ...
Advisory Board Apprised of Second CWD Case in North Alabama March 11, 2022 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
... confirmed that a second white-tailed deer in Lauderdale County in northwest Alabama has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) ... A total of 966 CWD samples were tested from deer harvested within the CMZ during the 2021-22 Season. Of the 966 total samples within the CMZ, 847 samples were collected and tested after the initial confirmed positive CWD detection...
Second case of deadly deer disease found in NW Alabama March 7, 2022 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
... A second case of CWD in a hunter harvested, white-tailed deer has been confirmed in Lauderdale County. The first case of CWD in Alabama’s deer herd was detected in Lauderdale County in January 2022...
HB427 - Alabama 2022 Session March, 2022 Bama Politics
... would establish a commercial deer hunting preserve licensing program for artificially propagated deer on area bound by enclosures which effectively restrict the ingress and egress of deer, and impose a licensing fee ...
Alabama Analysis: A state estimate of 1.25 to 1.5 million deer in 2020 (about 1.4 million). An estimate from the state of 1.5 to 1.75 (about 1.63) million deer in 2019. An estimated 1.5 million deer in 2017, about the same as the estimated 2016 population of 1.5 to 1.7 million, trending down since 2000 because of pressure from predators, habitat change, and hunting. The significant increase in the deer kill in 2020, 145,000 up from 90,000 in 2019, was largely attributed to the increase in hunters as a result of COVID-19. Two years of good rainfall contributed to a population increase. A 2022 study found that 77 percent of deer that died were killed by hunters.
Fewer either-sex hunting days in parts of the north in 2016 to increase the herd, drought stress throughout the state. A 2014 estimate put the population at 1.4 million. About the same in 2015. 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. Most hunting on private property. A 2018 estimated annual economic impact of $1 billion from deer hunting in the state. A 2009 population estimate of 1,500,000.
Estimates of 1.75 to 2 million deer in the state in 2000, peak population, up from 400,000 in 1970. A 1990 population estimate of 1,300,000. 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. Graph below from Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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 during the 1700's the herd was decimated as deer skins were traded for guns. In the early 1900's the deer population was at an historic low, an estimated 1,000 in 1915 and 2,000 in 1920.
A restocking effort began in 1925 when 105 deer were purchased from Michigan. Limited hunting of does helped to increase the population. Restocking continued from 1934 to 1944, an estimated population of 16,000 by 1940 -- distribution in 1941. In 1945 a larger restocking effort began. By the 1950's deer were still only present in a few of Alabama's 67 counties. Restocking from other states continued through the 1960's Deer in the north mostly came from midwestern and Texas states, the peak of their rut is about December 15 to January 15, but runs from mid-November through early February because many deer retained their native rutting activity. Deer in the south are mostly from the native herd. From 1925 to 1965, there were 3,331 deer restocked in the state, 2167 does, 796 bucks, 368 unknown sex.
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. 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.
Hunting license sales peaked in 1979 with 344,777 compared to 175,531 in 2018.
Population Estimate: 15,000 in 1940, 350,000 in 1968.
Chronic Wasting Disease Two deer tested positive from the 2021-22 hunting season. The first positives in Alabama, but recently found in Tennessee within 23 miles of the northwestern corner of Alabama.
Elk Once native but hunted to local extinction. In 1916 elk were captured in Yellowstone and transported by train to an Alabama holding pen. The first night the herd rushed the fence and 10 of them broke out, reintroducing elk to the state.