Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Resident hunting license and deer permit
$125.40 - $287.45
$125.40 (nonresident, three-day); $177.65 (nonresident, 10-day); $287.45 (nonresident annual); WMA license is $16.70.
Non-resident hunting license and deer permit
Picked up by George P. Mann in Lee County in 1986; record hunter-killed typical was 182 7/8, killed by James C. Bailey in Hale County in 1974.
Record B&C Typical Stat
Total B&C Typical Entries
Killed by Jon G. Moss in Perry County in 1989.
Record B&C Non-Typical Stat
Record B&C Non-Typical Entries
Season Dates (2013): Seasons are set by county, and only draft dates were available at the time of this writing. In general, look for bow season to open Oct. 15 and run through Jan. 31. There's a short muzzleloader season in mid-November (18-22). Regular firearms seasons, including dog hunting seasons, have opening dates Nov. 23 to Jan. 15. Some counties allow dog hunting; some don't. It's highly important to check the Alabama DNR website.
The Grade: D
Oh man, things are bound to get interesting here. You gave 'Bama a D and Georgia a B? Them's fighting words!
Yeah, we did. And here's why. It is true that Alabama has one of the largest whitetail populations in the country, and deer hunting is an age-old tradition in this state. If simply killing a deer is the goal, Alabama is a good bet—and that fact alone has us feeling guilty about not giving it a higher grade. But compare the trophy potential, license fees and public land availability to its surrounding states.
For trophy buck potential, Alabama simply pales in comparison to either Georgia or Mississippi. It's not far behind Tennessee in total entries—but the Volunteer State got a B! How is that? When you study those entries, only seven of Alabama's 30 bucks have made the book within the past 10 years. By contrast, 21 of Tennessee's 55 book bucks have been killed in the past 10 years. Tennessee has made some big changes to its deer management program in the past decade, and it's working.
Alabama has a comparable amount of public land and comparable license fees to both Tennessee and Georgia—but statistically, the hunting is more on par with Florida. Florida has nearly five times as much public land, and much cheaper licenses. But more on that another day.
Antler Nation Knowledge: Despite the overall state showing, Alabama is home to one of the most famous deer hunting areas in the country—the Black Belt. This belt of counties in the south-central part of the state is known, at least to deer hunters, for its incredibly rich soil and agriculture and unusually late-season rut timing. Nice bucks (maybe not book bucks) are killed here every season, and quality outfitters abound.
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