Public Land Hunting Opportunities in Alabama

By  | November 9, 2013 | Filed under: News

hunt alabamamMONTGOMERY-Hunting is a cherished tradition for many Alabama residents. For some, it is a way of life. Those people don’t list the seasons as spring, summer, fall and winter, but as turkey, dove, duck and deer seasons. For others, it is just a way to get out and enjoy nature. No matter what category you are in, public land hunting opportunities in Alabama are likely nearby.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) manages more than 756,000 acres of landturkey available for public hunting. These are either in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), Physically Disabled Hunting Areas, or Community Hunting Areas. The ADCNR owns approximately 81,000 of the acres and the Forever Wild Land Trust owns approximately 220,000 acres. Other government agencies, corporations and private landowners provide the remainder of the land, approximately 455,000 acres. The generosity of these landowners is to the public benefit.

ala wmaAlabama’s WMA system was established to provide all types of hunting opportunities at a reasonable cost to the hunter. Prices continually increase on privately leased lands. With the purchase of a WMA license at $17, an individual has access to thousands of acres across the state. There are currently 37 WMAs statewide and most provide the opportunity to hunt small and large game. For most citizens of Alabama, it is less than 75 miles to the nearest WMA. Hunt dates, maps and regulations for each WMA can be found at under the public land hunting section. Different rules and restrictions apply for some WMAs, so be sure to do your homework before going hunting. Also available on the website are harvest records for each WMA so that hunters can make informed decisions about which WMA provides the best hunting opportunities. Many of these properties have annual youth-only hunts for ages 15 and younger. These are excellent opportunities to teach today’s youth about the outdoors and introduce them to public land hunting.

gatorAlabama also has a trail of physically disabled hunting areas, which is composed of 17 sites. Hunt dates, requirements wheel chairfor hunting, and other information can be obtained at These areas have shooting houses designed to accommodate physical disabilities. The areas provide a quality hunting experience for hunters with a physical disability.

In addition to Alabama’s WMA system and physically disabled hunting areas, the U.S. Forest Service has thousands of acres open to public hunting. These tracts include the Bankhead National Forest, Conecuh National Forest, Talladega National Forest and the Tuskegee National Forest. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also owns property that is available for public hunting. Most of this property is located along the major rivers and waterways of the state. Free permits are required to hunt these properties. The Tennessee Valley Authority also has land available along the Tennessee River.

white tail deerAlso available to the public are Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Eufaula NWR, Key Cave NWR and Wheeler NWR, all managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These properties are usually more restrictive on methods of hunting, hunting availability and access. Participants for the waterfowl hunts on some of these refuges are selected randomly from a pool of applicants so be aware of entry dates and methods to take part in those hunts. Also, check out other rules and regulations that may apply while on national wildlife refuge property.

Many opportunities exist for hunting public land in Alabama. For those who haven’t tried public hunting land, there’s no time like the present. Hunting public land can offer challenging opportunities and provide extremely rewarding experiences.


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