Deer Hunting Season in Alabama 2022-2024

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Alabama is a popular state for whitetail deer hunting. For example, in the 2020-2021 season, a whopping 228,000 hunters harvested 273,000 deer. Nearly half a million Alabamans have hunting licenses, almost 10 percent of the population.

If you’re looking to take part in one of Alabama’s most beloved pastimes, you probably have some questions about the hunting season. This guide provides you with all the info in one place so you can hit the tree stand as soon as possible.

Season Dates by Zone

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources divides the state into five zones labeled A-E, all of which have specific hunting regulations. Additionally, there is a “chronic wasting disease management zone” or CMZ.

These zones aren’t geographically or intuitively outlined. In fact, Zone E is even defined in two separate parts of the state. As a result, it’s important to consult the zone map.

These are the season dates based on zone, weapon and deer sex. Unless otherwise stated in the “other regulations” column, these seasons apply to open permit public land.

CMZ (Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone)

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

Zone A

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

Zone B

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

Zone C

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

Zone D

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

Zone E

WeaponDatesSexOther Regulations

*Youth seasons refer to minors under 16 years of age.

**Antlered bucks are any male whitetail deer with at least one visible antler above the hairline.

Bag Limits

Bag limits in Alabama depend on the presence of antlers.

Whitetail Antlered Buck Limit

Hunters can harvest a maximum of three antlered bucks over the entire 2022-2024 hunting season with a maximum of one per day. One of those three must have at least four points one inch or longer on at least one antler.

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Whitetail Unantlered Limit

During season dates that allow for all sexes, a hunter can take one unantlered deer per day in addition to one antlered buck.

Barbour County Exception

In Barbour County, any antlered buck taken must have at least three points on at least one antler. This doesn’t apply to the special youth dates.

License Cost

Residents

To hunt whitetail deer in Alabama, you need an all game license. This costs $30.25. To purchase this license, anyone born after August 1, 1977, must attend a hunter education course.

You can also obtain an annual license for the Alabama Wildlife Management Area that costs $20.05.

There are also discounts for the physically disabled and physically disabled military veterans.

Non-Residents

If you don’t live in Alabama, hunting there is a bit pricier. The all game annual license costs more than 10 times as much: $350.15.

What Weapons Can You Hunt With in Alabama?

Luckily, Alabama is one of the few states that expressly lists the weapons you can hunt with:

  • Rifles using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.
  • Pre-charged pneumatic air powered guns, .30 caliber or larger.
  • Pre-charged pneumatic arrow shooting rifles using an arrow equipped with a broadhead which has a minimum cutting diameter of 7/8 inch and 2 sharpened edges.
  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using buckshot, slugs, or single round ball.
  • Muzzleloaders and Black Powder Handguns: .40 caliber or larger.
  • Longbows, compound bows, or crossbows in conformance with regulation 220-2-.03.
  • Handguns or pistols using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.

Aside from this, the important thing to know is that automatic firearms are prohibited for hunting in Alabama. That’s if you were even able to legally obtain one in the first place.

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Can You Hunt With an AR-15 in Alabama?

Yes, you can absolutely hunt with an AR-15-style rifle in Alabama, assuming you haven’t altered it to be fully automatic. AR-15 clones generally take 5.56x45mm NATO or .223 Remington ammunition, which are centerfire and mushrooming. Therefore, the AR-15 fits the stipulations above. That said, since AR-15 merely applies to a style of rifle, it’s a good idea to double check your particular model.

Can You Hunt With a Pistol in Alabama

Yes, as you can see, hunting with a handgun is perfectly legal in Alabama if you’re truly interested in putting yourself through that kind of frustration. Just make sure your pistol is shooting centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.

What Types of Deer Are Popular in Alabama?

Whitetail deer are the prominent deer species in Alabama. In fact, the whitetail deer is the most hunted game animal in Alabama. An incredible four million man-days are spent each year hunting more than 300,000 of them.

Alabamans like to hunt trophy bucks in particular. A southern state, Alabama has a lot of green growth and mild winters. This allows for healthy whitetail growth and impressive trophy specimens. The current state record was taken by David Melton in 1956, an unbelievalbe 275-inch dominant buck.

What Else Is Popular to Hunt in Alabama?

There are a lot of animals to hunt in Alabama besides deer. Wild turkeys are one of the most popular, representing 500,000 man-days of hunting per year. Alabamans also hunt other birds like quail and doves in addition to waterfowl like wood ducks.

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There is also a range of small game in Alabama that is fun to hunt. These animals include:

  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Raccoons
  • Possums

These are especially popular with youth.

Finally, Alabama has some unique big game species that are hard to hunt anywhere else. In particular, the state has had an alligator hunting season since 2006. Hunters must participate in a lottery to get the tags, after which the season takes place in August.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>