God willing and the creek don’t rise, you’ll be bird hunting in Alabama.
You can find plenty of good hunting on any number of Alabama’s hunting preserves, a staple in bobwhite quail hunting. The Alabama Black Belt Adventures, for example, is a whole series of hunting preserves ideal for the avid quail hunter.
But if preserve hunting is not your thing, Alabama has more than 700,000 acres of wildlife management areas, too. If you want to hunt those, you’ll need to possess a permit in addition to a license.
Residents of Alabama pay $17.70 for a small game license. Nonresidents pay $100.05. 3-day and 10-day licenses are $44.35 and $61.10, respectively. If you’re a nonresident and you want to hunt on any of the wildlife management areas, you will need both a WMA license and permit in addition to a small game license.
Once abundant, the bobwhite quail population has sharply declined in many Southern states over the past few decades. According to Alabama Black Belt Adventures, the 1961 harvest of quail in Georgia was more than 3.5 million birds. In 2009, that number had declined to over 800,000. With the aid of conservation programs and hunting preserves like the Alabama Quail Trail, many bobwhite quail hunted nowadays are raised and released.
The season opens November 4 and closes February 28 with a daily bag limit of 8.
Dove Hunting in Alabama
There are two kinds of dove in Alabama: mourning dove and white-winged dove. The white-winged dove is a newcomer in the state. In order to hunt dove, you will need to comply with the Harvest Information Program.
The season is divided into North and South Zones. The North Zone season is split, opening September 9 and closing October 29, then opening again December 8 and closing January 15.
Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile counties define the South Zone. The season dates are September 16 to 24, October 7 to 28, and November 18 to January 15. Further regulations apply on specific days within these dates. There is a daily bag limit of 15.
These elusive game birds are a favorite among many upland hunters. You can find them along streams and in the marshy areas of Alabama. Since the woodcock is a migratory bird, you will need to comply with HIP requirements while bird hunting in Alabama.
The season opens for December 15 and closes January 28 with a daily bag limit of 3.
Other Species for Bird Hunting in Alabama
There are plenty of other great species for bird hunting in Alabama. Snipe season opens November 11 and closes February 25 with a daily bag limit of 8. Rail have a season, too, though it’s shorter — September 9 to 24, with a daily bag limit of 15. There is no closed season for starlings, crows, and English sparrows. While there are isolated populations of ruffed grouse in Alabama, there is no open season for them.
Related Conservation and Non-Profit Organizations for Bird Hunting in Alabama
The Hunter Safety Course and Dog Training for Bird Hunting in Alabama
Anyone born after August 1, 1977, will need to complete a hunter education course. You will need an education certificate in order to purchase a license. The online course costs $28.95 and can be taken by anyone 10 years old or older. There is an option for an Adult Mentored Hunt, but you must be 19 years old and be new to hunting.
You may train your dog for bird hunting in Alabama during the closed hunting season. You may train your bird dog with the aid of a recovery pen to recover the quail used in training. All pen-raised quail used must be banded. You may only use a pistol with blank ammunition, unless your training is restricted to a predesignated area approved by a conservation officer. In that case, you may use a shotgun and live ammunition.
The bird hunting season dates, game bird species available, and other information is subject to change. The article may not reflect this. Please visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the most up-to-date information on bird hunting in Alabama.