Hunting and fishing in Alabama is a $1.7 billion industry, with more than 700,000 hunters and anglers spending on average a combined $5 million a day. Most of those dollars are spent in Alabama’s Black Belt, where 456,000 sportsmen and sportswomen spend $3.22 million a day, according to a recent economic impact study.
From white-tailed deer to wild hog to quail and turkey – even alligator – the Black Belt region offers the best hunting in the Southeast. And fishing is great, too, with world-class lunker bass, slab crappie, and a few fly-fishing streams.
Information on hunting and fishing in Alabama – including hunting seasons, licensing requirements, and where to hunt and fish – can be found on the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, outdooralabama.com.
All public streams, lakes and ponds are open to fishing throughout the year, except for some state-owned and state-managed public fishing lakes. It is illegal to fish in private waters without permission. Read the regulations by clicking the button below.
The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources sets the hunting season in the state. Generally, state-wide, the deer season runs from mid-October through January. In most counties throughout the Black Belt region the season extends two weeks into February. There are also specific bag limits, set by the WFF.
Alabama has the largest population of the Eastern Wild Turkey per square mile of any state in the union. The state has the most generous bag limit in the country – one per day, five per season – and the spring hunting season is one of the longest in the nation beginning mid March and concluding the end of April. Clarke and Monroe counties have a fall season.
Much of the bobwhite quail hunting in Alabama now takes place on commercial hunting preserves. Lodges in the Black Belt region provide bird hunts in various styles, including the traditional mule drawn wagon, horseback, quail buggies, and walk hunts. The season generally runs mid-October through March 30. There are still some public lands where quail are still a prized quarry.
Dove hunting season in Alabama is split into two zones. All Black Belt counties – except Barbour – are in the North Zone.
There are several duck species in Alabama’s Black Belt region and almost as many hunting bag limits. The winter season brings in Mallards, Wood ducks, Pintail, Merganser, and many more. Pay close attention to the regulations –read the digital edition of the Alabama Hunting & Fishing Digest here – before you head out for your duck blind.
Alabama has a great bounty of other wild game such as rabbits, opossums, raccoons, squirrels and even alligators that can be found in the Black Belt. Each game species has a hunting season and specific regulations. Gator season is open the month of August and is permissible by permit only.
Wild hogs are becoming more prevalent in Alabama, including in the Black Belt, and are destructive to the state’s wild habitat. Wild hog hunting is open season in the state. There is a large population of these feral pests in the Black Belt’s Wildlife Management Areas and many of the lodges offer hog hunting packages.