Hunting seasons unchanged

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2005

It is probably one of the most anticipated days in Alabama.

Some list it up there with birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas.

People spend thousands of dollars, and work countless hours in the hot sun just to go sit in a tree-stand and wait on a deer opening day of Alabama's deer hunting season.

This year that day is November 19.

The 2005-06 hunting seasons have been set by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. There have been a few major changes such as the extension of doe days in a few counties, antler restrictions on some management areas, and deer dog hunting regulations in various counties, but for the majority of the state, hunters should carry on as usual.

For central and south Alabama, bow season will open Oct. 15 and run through Jan. 31 while rifle hunters have to wait until Nov. 19 to pull out there weapons.

Those who hunt with muzzleloaders have a special 5 day season that runs from Nov. 14-18.

Muzzleloaders can be used during the normal rifle season.

Doe days in most of the state will stay the same with a few minor exceptions in north and northeast Alabama.

As it was last year, an archery hunter is allowed one antlered deer and/or doe or two does per day for the entire season on private or leased lands.

Rifle and muzzleloader hunters have the same bag limits.

There will be a special youth hunting day the Saturday before opening of gun season.

A youth, defined as those who have not reached their 16th birthday, must be accompanied by a non-hunting, properly-licensed adult 25 years of age or older, or the parent of the youth, and wear hunting orange (adult must also).

Those interested in this special youth day should contact the ADCNR - Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Section at (334) 242-3469 for more details.

To the dismay of some, but appreciation of others, the use of bait to attract deer is prohibited.

If feed is put out, it has to be completely removed 10 days prior to hunting.

Dove season dates vary per county with all having a split season.

In the south zone (Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Mobile) dove season runs from Oct. 8 to Nov. 6, Nov. 24 to Nov. 27, and Dec. 10 to Jan. 14.

The north zone, which includes all but those listed, dove season goes from Sept. 10 to Oct. 1, Oct.29 to Nov. 19, and Dec. 17 to Jan. 1.

Check the regulations book for official shooting hours.

Quail season runs from Nov. 15 to Feb. 28 while rabbit and squirrel season run contiguously from Oct. 1 to Feb. 28.

Feral swine (wild pigs) have no closed season and bag limits for private or leased lands.

This does not apply to public lands.