How Do You Feel About This Recent Change?
Like most deer hunters, I'm a big proponent of active wildlife agencies. The more involved our wildlife biologists and officials want to be, the better. That leads to a regulated herd, more responsible deer management, and better opportunities for all hunters — a win-win for deer and deer hunters.
There was once a time where deer hunters had very little access to good deer hunting. Population densities were low. Sightings were virtually nonexistent. It was a serious feat just to see a deer. And today, we're not just seeing deer, but killing big ones nationwide. How have we come so far you might ask? Simple. Common sense regulations put into effect — and responsibly practiced by hunters I might add — that were designed to conserve and enhance whitetail populations.
Like most states, Alabama has a rich hunting tradition. Tens of thousands of hunters take to the woods every year in pursuit of whitetails. And many of them fill their tags. But that's no secret and most Alabama deer hunters are aware of what they have going in their home state. But what some people may not be aware of is a new law that's went into effect beginning this season. The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) now requires deer and turkey hunters to check in harvested game. The relatively new game check program has been in place for several years but will become mandatory and required by law beginning this season.
According to David Rainer and Outdoor Alabama, The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes said that the voluntary program did not work because hunters would not participate. Mail surveys have been used prior to this program to determine annual harvest totals and the DNR has not been pleased with that method either. This game check system is the new norm for Alabama deer hunters.
Similar programs have been used for years in other states with great compliance and results. Better data collected by our state wildlife agencies results in better management of the resource. So, as deer hunters and stewards, it's our duty to help the DNRs accomplish their management goals. And the new game check system is one big step in the right direction.
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