Predators & Small Game
If Alabama doesn't deserve an A on the turkey hunting grading scale, then it's hard to imagine what state would. This place leads the nation in turkey numbers, with 500,000 birds estimated to roam the Yellowhammer State. Spring hunters take up to 60,000 or more birds some years. As if that's not enough, about 76 percent of the state (22.7 million acres in all) is timbered, providing endless habitat for the wild turkey. If there's drawback to turkey hunting in Alabama, it's that the birds are as hard-hunted and cagey as you will find anywhere. You probably won't just step out and shoot a bird here. These are eastern turkeys at their orneriest and least cooperative, and the hunting is never easy. But hey, it's turkey hunting. What else is new?
Turkey Hunting Nation Knowledge
2013 Season Dates:
Spring: March 15 – April 30 (varies by zone – check regulations)
(Fall (tentative): Mid-November – January 1)
Alabama is friendly to nonresidents, with a three-day or 10-day license serving the hunter coming in for a hunt; the full-price license will only be good through August 31. There's another reason Alabama is a fun place to hunt and gets an A grade: You can shoot one bird a day, and up to five in a season. Mind you, few hunters have the skill or time to shoot that many Alabama birds – they're just too tough – but it does let you keep hunting if you fill a tag. Public land opportunities are fair in Alabama, with more 760,000 acres spread across 37 Wildlife Management Areas; extensive National Forests in the Bankhead, Conecah, Talladega and Tuskegee; and timber company lands. Alabama is home to many very fine hunting lodges as well, and that's a big plus if you're willing to pay.
Alabama Turkey Hunting Fact: The turkey hunting world's most famous and beloved writer, Colonel Tom Kelly, hails from Alabama.
Wild Turkey Population and Subspecies
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Turkey to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
$125.40 - $287.45
$125.40 (3 day); $177.65 (10-Day); $287.45 (annual)