Deer Hunting in Alabama

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  • C
  • 1,250,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 195,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $27.75 (plus $18.40 WMA permit)

    Resident hunters can hunt deer with only an All-Game Hunting license for $27.75, and a WMA license costs an additional $18.40.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $139.60-320.30 (plus $18.40 for WMA permit)

    All-game hunting license includes deer hunting, and a WMA license is an additional $18.40.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 186 3/8"

    Picked up by George P. Mann in Lee County in 1986.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 20

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 259 7/8"

    Killed by Jon G. Moss in Perry County in 1989 and ranks No. 51 overall.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 13

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Andy Cobb poses with a giant Alabama buck. (Photo courtesy of Andy Cobb)

Season Dates (2021):

Alabama deer hunting is managed by numerous hunting zones. Deer season dates vary in each one. That said, for most hunters, archery season opens October 15. Other archery, rifle and muzzleloader seasons vary by location and hunting tactics, such as stalking and the use of dogs. Please check the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) website to confirm season dates.

The Grade: C

There’s been plenty of change in Alabama over the past five years. In 2016, mandatory harvest reporting and season date extensions were added. In 2017, restrictions were placed on the importation of deer carcasses and certain high-risk parts. In 2019, baiting became legal with the purchase of a baiting privilege license. This year, Zones D and E were created, where the season opens and closes two weeks earlier than in the rest of the state.

Overall, the statewide deer population remains about the same. There are plenty of animals to hunt, and the herd, for now, is CWD-free. Alabama has never been known as a trophy destination, and not many hunt here expecting to see a top-end buck. 

Antler Nation Knowledge:

The Black Belt Region stretches across the central part of the state, from border to border, and is perhaps the best known hunting area in Alabama. It spans about 40 miles north and 40 miles south of Interstate 80. Historically, this region is the best trophy area in the state. 

There is plenty of public around, too, including wildlife management areas (WMAs), special opportunity areas (SOAs), physically disabled hunting areas (PDHAs), Forever Wild Land Trust, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, wildlife refuges, and more. According to ADCNR’s Chris Cook, Alabama has approximately 775,000 acres in its WMA system, nearly all of which is open to deer hunting. He says that, despite some misconceptions about the lack of quality deer produced on Alabama’s public lands, nearly 48% of the antlered bucks killed on WMAs during the 2019-20 hunting season were 3½ years old and older. That’s exciting news for hunters willing to put in the time and effort to scout and hunt. Find the right place for you.

Finally, for those who love to chase the rut, Cook also says peak rut dates in Alabama range from late November (Deer Zones D and E) until the end of January and early February (most of Deer Zone B).

Alabama Harvests

  • Gabe Lewis

    Chambers County, Alabama

  • Jerry Huffstutler

    Cherokee County, Alabama

From the Realtree Trophy Den