Portland Landing Is Special
The newest Special Opportunity Area in Alabama is Portland Landing in Dallas County, about 5,000 acres – with 4,000 more to be added next year – called by Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes, “some of the best land in the state, some of the best dirt, some of the best genetics. It’s just one of those special places.”
The new SOA was recently purchased in a joint effort between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the Forever Wild program. The acreage is great for wildlife, according to a news release from WFF, because of the great diversity of land. The land includes creek bottoms to river frontage to upland hardwood stands to mixed pine to cedar glades. Continue reading
Calling All Rookie Hunters
If you are new to hunting, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries has a great program to teach you all you need to know as you head into the great outdoors in pursuit of that whitetail or feral hog or wild turkey. Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunting program teaches firearms safety, equipment overview and needs, scouting techniques, on-site hunts, game cleaning and preparation and wild-game cooking techniques.
Registration for the 2018 program must be completed online at outdooralabama.com/mentored-application. All AMH program correspondence is via email, so please be sure to include a valid email address with your application. You will be notified by email if you are selected for a mentored hunt event. Email Justin.Grider@dcnr.alabama.gov with any questions about the application/selection process.
Send Your Best Fish Photos for Our Contest
Our Best Black Best Fish Photo Contest is underway now until Aug. 31! Enter your photo of any fish caught in the Black Belt by emailing it to email@example.com and you may win $100 worth of fishing gear from the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association.
“The Black Belt has so many great fishing spots, both public and private, and we love seeing the smiling faces of the folks who enter our contest,” said ALBBAA Director Pam Swanner. “This contest is not about the biggest fish, it’s about recognizing the great times that can be enjoyed in our outdoors. Fishing together as a family creates fond memories that will last a lifetime and we want to share them on our Facebook page.”
Photos will be shared on Facebook.com/AlabamaBlackBeltAdventures and the winner will be selected based on the number of “likes” each photo gets.
Will You Be the Next World Record Gator Holder?
Do you remember the world record alligator bagged in the Black Belt on the Alabama River in August 2014? The Stokes gator – at 15 feet, 9 inches and 1,011.5 pounds – was hauled in as a part of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ regulated gator hunt.
The ADCNR opens online registration for the state’s 13th annual regulated alligator hunts on Tuesday, June 5, at 8 a.m. Registration must be completed by 8 a.m. on July 11.
The state will issue 260 Alligator Possession Tags, distributed among four hunting zones, and if you get one you may be the person to break that world record! There is a $22 administrative fee to apply for a tag and individuals may register one time per zone. Selected hunters and their assistants are required to have valid hunting licenses in their possession during the hunt. Only Alabama residents and Alabama lifetime license holders age 16 and older may apply for tags.
Apiary Opening Is Highlight of Festival
About 300 guests visited the Alabama Nature Center on April 14 for the Plants and Pollinators Arts Festival in Millbrook. The highlight of the event was the grand opening of the Alan Johns & Anne Gunderson Apiary with live demonstrations and honey tasting and extraction from the beehives on site. The ANC beekeeper, Kristen Irions (at left), led several fascinating demonstrations throughout the day. Kristen also collects the “Lanark Honey” sold at the Center.
Festival Day also included plant and gardening demonstrations, specialty vendors and the annual Lanark Plant Sale. Fred Bassett shared a hummingbird demonstration, Donny Tomlin presented a Japanese maple grafting demo and Maria Pacheco-West taught visitors about composting. Continue reading
Quail Forever Visits Black Belt
During the final week of February, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources brought together some of the top experts in quail habitat restoration to the region for a first of its kind discussion about the livelihood of the Northern Bobwhite Quail both regionally and nationally – and to discuss the importance of quail hunting as a viable economic development tool for the rural communities.
ALBBAA hosted the top leadership of Quail Forever, a national quail conservation organization, as well as their media team. Joining the group were other outdoor media from outlets such as Realtree, Land Leader TV and Covey Rise magazine. They experienced our quail hunting opportunities first-hand and enjoyed our Southern hospitality.
Big Buck Contest Prize Deadline Approaches
We have a spirited competition going on for a couple more weeks in our Big Buck Photo Contest on Facebook. More than 70 photos are in the running for a prize package worth more than $3,000! The deadline is Feb. 14 – the Wednesday following the end of the 2017-18 deer season on Feb. 10.
Thanks to some great Alabama Black Belt vendors – and some from outside the region – the prize is one of the most attractive we’ve had in our six years of spotlighting the great deer hunting we have in our 23 counties. The prizes awaiting the hunter whose photo gets the most “likes” on our Facebook page are an Alabama Hog Control Thermal Hog Hunt for three, a Winchester XPR 270-caliber rifle from Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Selma, a $300 cash donation from The Management Advantage in Helena, an American Hunter 200-pound Tri-Pod Feeder and a $50 gift card from Rountree Outdoors in Selma, a $250 cash donation from the Southeastern Land Group and a Lifetime Alabama Wildlife Heritage License. Continue reading
Big Buck Contest Prize Now Worth $3,000
Alabama Black Belt vendors have joined in our effort to bring attention to hunting in the region by contributing to our Big Buck Photo Contest prize package, which brings its total value to more than $3,000!
The new prize package for the contest, which started with the opening of bow season in October and runs until February 14, 2018, a week after this season’s close:
- An Alabama Hog Control Thermal Hog Hunt for three, valued at $1,800. alabamahogcontrol.com
- A Winchester XPR 270-caliber rifle from Central Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Selma, valued at $550. Facebook.com/centralfarmerscoop
- A $300 cash donation from The Management Advantage in Helena. themanagementadvantage.com
- An American Hunter 200-pound Tri-Pod Feeder, valued at $129, plus a $50 gift card from Rountree Outdoors in Selma. rountreeoutdoors.com
- A $250 cash donation from the Southeastern Land Group. selandgroup.com
More Bowhunting Acreage Available
The 1,500-acre East Zone addition to the Forever Wild Land Trust’s Old Cahawba Prairie Tract in Dallas County is now available for bowhunting each Thursday through Sunday until Feb. 10, 2018. No gun deer hunting will be allowed, but bow and arrow, crossbow and spear hunting is allowed.
Gun deer hunting is permitted on the tract’s West Zone, but it is limited to shotgun with slugs or muzzleloader. Bowhunting is also allowed within the West Zone.
When in season, other hunting opportunities on the Old Cahawba Prairie Tract include feral swine, waterfowl and Eastern wild turkey. Continue reading
Big Buck Facebook Photo Contest launches
With the opening of deer archery season on Oct. 14, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is launching its sixth annual Big Buck Photo Contest on Facebook. The contest runs through the entire 2017-18 deer season. This year’s winner will receive a lifetime Alabama Wildlife Heritage license, which offers great benefits to Alabama hunters and helps manage lands and sustain habitats for the many species in our state.
“We are incredibly honored to sponsor such a fun contest again this year,” said Pam Swanner, executive director of the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association. “We love seeing people who are encouraged to venture outdoors for hunting – especially those who may not have hunted in the Black Belt before. We usually get a lot of entries from young people on our Facebook page and it’s exciting to see our great hunting tradition being carried forward and passed down from generation to generation.” Continue reading