Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust purchased 227,000 acres of land in the state for public use and added land to 10 Alabama state parks and 17 Wildlife Management Areas, including six in the Black Belt. These areas are summarized below.
The Forever Wild Mulberry Fork WMA Tract stretches from Walker County into the northeastern portion of the Black Belt’s Tuscaloosa County. The 33,280 acres offer mountainous and wooded terrain along with springs and rocky bluffs. Besides hunting, there are opportunities for wildlife observation, boating, and fishing.
The Forever Wild Old Cahawba Prairie Tract in Dallas County near Orrville adjoins the historic grounds of Alabama’s first permanent state capital at the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama rivers. Black Belt public hunting is available, and a trail system for hiking, biking, and horseback riding is coming soon.
Forever Wild Pike County Pocosin near Troy supports two unique plant communities: “pocosin,” an unusual evergreen, and an upland scrub-hardwood longleaf pine/reindeer moss. This 333-acre tract offers Black Belt public hunting opportunities, birdwatching, and the chance to view the rare plants.
The Forever Wild Red Hills Tracts in Monroe County near Franklin total 4,376 acres that provide crucial habitat for the federally listed Red Hills Salamander and many other rare plants and animals. Hunting, birdwatching, and other wildlife viewing are among the activities available in the wet ravine and upland pine forest lands.
The Forever Wild Sipsey Tract in Tuscaloosa County near Buhl offers 3,431 acres of hardwood forest in the bottomlands and swamplands along the flood plain of the Sipsey River. Besides hunting, these tracts offer camping, fishing, canoeing, wildlife observation and biking.
The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is responsible for about 150,000 acres of Wildlife Management Areas in the Black Belt. These Black Belt public hunting lands are perfect for your outdoor adventure.
The Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area is located in Hale, Perry, and Tuscaloosa counties, with part of the 44,500-acre area in Bibb County. Big and small game are plentiful.
Alabama also has a Hunting, Fishing, and Shooting Trail for People with physical disabilities, with several sites in the Black Belt region. Those sites include the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area, the Marengo Physically Disabled Hunting Area, the Prairie Creek Physically Disabled Hunting Area, the Macon State Forest Physically Disabled Hunting Area, and the Turnipseed-Ikenberry Place Physically Disabled Hunting Area.
Learn to hunt and build skills for a lifetime! Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunt (AMH) Program is designed to provide participants with little or limited experience an opportunity to learn basic hunting skills and receive one-on-one guidance from veteran mentors. The AMH Program is for individuals interested in learning how to hunt, be it to revive a family tradition, to learn more about consumptive outdoor recreation, or simply wanting to put wild game on the dinner table.
Special Opportunity Areas (SOAs) are properties where the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries is offering a new Black Belt public hunting format. SOAs are typically smaller than Wildlife Management Areas in acreage and are more suitable to a limited quota (random draw permit) hunting format to reduce pressure and increase the quality of the hunt. This year, 11 SOAs offer a limited number of slots for a successful permit holder and guest(s) to hunt a dedicated 300- to 400-acre unit for a two- to four-day hunt.