We set out to create the most simplified guide to Alabama's hunting seasons for 2023.
Want to find out season dates, learn about regulations and bag limits, understand license requirements, and get access helpful links?
Then you’ll love the info outlined in today’s guide. Let’s dive right in.
Ready to hunt 'the heart of Dixie'? Alabama is rich in natural diversity with more than 1.3 million acres of public hunting land and some of the most liberal seasons and bag limits in the nation. The Division of wildlife and freshwater fisheries of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manages over 721,574 acres of land for Alabama hunting. There are a lot of options to hunt publicly but you can also hunt privately using natural amenities such as swamps, ponds or creeks.
There are many good opportunities to get out and about and enjoy all that the state of Alabama has to offer. The resources for more information are listed below.
Big Game: Deer, Bobcat, Bear
Small Game: Squirrel, Coyote, Feral Swine, Rabbit, Raccoon, Opossum, Otter, Muskrat, Mink, Striped Skunk, Beaver, Nutria, Groundhog, Bullfrog, Pig Frog
Birds: Turkey, Mourning and white-winged dove, Waterfowl, Sandhill Crane, Bobwhite Quail, Ruffed Grouse, Woodcock, Snipe, Starlings, Crows and English Sparrows, Clapper Rail, Virginia Rail, Gallinule, Sora
Bag Limits: Three antlered bucks can be taken per hunting license year. One unantlered deer can be taken each day in addition to 1 antlered buck each day. These are the general bag limits but you're going to want to reference the official regulations for more detailed information.
Here is a high level overview of Alabama's Deer Season opening and closing dates (but details will vary by the zone you're hunting in):
Archery (Bow and Arrow Stalk Hunting): Oct. 1 - Feb. 10, 2023*
Special Youth Gun: Nov. 11 - 14*
Muzzleloader and Air Rifle: October 31 - November 19*
Firearms: Nov. 19 - Feb. 10, 2023*
Dog Deer Hunting (Where allowed): Nov. 5 - Jan. 1, 2023**
*Season dates vary by zone and antler/unantlered deer.
**Depending on the weapon and zone you can hunt on privately owned/leased land OR on open permit-public land.
Visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website for more details.
Alabama Archery Deer Season 2022-23:
Alabama Firearm Deer Hunting Seasons 2022-23:
Alabama Deer Hunting Season 2022-23 with dogs:
Spring Turkey Season (no decoys first 10 days): March 25 - May 8 (Zone 1, 3), April 1 - May 8 (Zone 2)
Fall Turkey Season (no decoys): Nov. 19 - 27, Dec 10 - Jan 1, 2023 (Zone 3)
Visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website for more details on limits and the mandatory game check and harvest record.
Alligator: Sunset Aug. 11-Sunrise Oct. 3**
**Season dates vary by zone
Alligator hunts are special permit only. Registration for an alligator permit can be completed online, and only Alabama residents are able to receive a permit. Dates vary greatly by region. All hunting is nighttime (sunset to sunrise) online except for Lake Eufaula. All dates are from sunset of opening day until sunrise of closing day.
Bobwhite Quail: Nov. 5 - Feb. 28
Rabbit, Squirrel: Sept. 10 - March 5
Raccoon: Open season
Opossum: Open season
Feral Swine: Special nighttime season, May 16 - Aug. 31; Open season, daylight hours only
Starlings, Crows, English Sparrows: Open season
Bobcat, Coyote, Fox: Open season, daylight hours only
Bullfrog and Pig Frog: Open season
Beaver, Nutria, Groundhog: Open season
**Season dates vary by zone
Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for Alabama hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons.
See the map below for a breakdown of Alabama's hunting zones:
Like most states, you will need a license if you want to hunt in Alabama. Hunters need a license from age 16 until 64. Residents don't need to buy a license from age 65 on.
Licenses are valid September 1 through August 31 and expire on August 31 unless noted.
Not from Alabama? Don't worry, the state offers hunting options for both in-state and out of state residents. The license cost varies from $18.90 all the way up to $329.90 depending on the type of game you're hunting and whether or not you live in the state. You can buy licenses here.
For more detailed information we put together a comprehensive page all about the Alabama hunting license to discuss the different types of permits and licenses.
To hunt white-tailed deer in Alabama, residents, and non-residents must have the following:
All Game Hunting License (unless exempt)
Harvest Record (paper form or on the app)
Wildlife Management License and map permit IF hunting on a WMA
If you harvest a deer, you have 48 hours to report it through Game Check
For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website for precise information.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: https://www.outdooralabama.com/
Report a harvest: https://game.dcnr.alabama.gov/
Phone Number for Alabama Game Check: 1-800-888-7690
Alabama's hunting season starts as early as October 1 for Archery and November 19 for firearms in some zones.
Alabama's deer hunting season starts as early as October 1st and goes as late as February 10th. Check the official website for dates based on what and where you're planning to hunt.
Alabama's fall turkey season starts November 19th and spring turkey season starts March 25th.