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Alabama Destination Guide - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Alabama Hunting & Fishing Guide - OutdoorPlaces.Com

 
This summary of hunting and fishing regulations is provided as a courtesy.  This should not be used as a substitute for being familiar with all related regulations in the state.  Federal, county, municipal, and local laws may prevail over the regulations listed below.  Alabama offers their entire hunting and fishing regulations on-line, you can get them by visiting the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Hunting and Fishing website.
 

Alabama Hunting Guide Summary - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Download the entire regulations, requires Adobe Acrobat. 

HUNTING FROM A PUBLIC ROAD
Beginning with the 1999-2000 season, you may not hunt or discharge a firearm within 50 yards of the right­of-way of any public road, highway or railroad with a centerfire rifle, a shotgun using slugs or shot larger than number four (4) shot or a muzzle loading rifle .40 or larger. This new law will significantly impact deer hunters. Now it is illegal to take any action to harvest a deer within the 50 yard restricted area with a weapon or shot listed above. The law was passed by the legislature to address safety issues that have been raised over the past years.

DEFINITION OF HUNTING
Hunting includes pursuing, shooting, killing, capturing and trapping wild animals, wild fowl, wild birds, and all lesser acts, such as disturbing, harrying or worrying, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any device used to take wild animals, wild fowl, wild birds, whether they result in taking or not, and includes every act of assistance to any person in taking or attempting to take wild animals, wild fowl, or wild birds.

HUNTING LANDS
It is illegal to hunt, trap, capture, injure, kill or destroy any wild game on another person's land without the written permission of, or unless accompanied by or a guest of the landowner or person in control of such land.
Land is divided into two categories. Private Owned and Leased Land is defined as that which is not open to the general public. Open Permit-Public Land is defined as governmentally owned land open for public hunting and/or lands made available to the public on an individual basis whether for a fee or not. Examples of such lands are national forest lands and lands owned by lumber or utility companies available for use by hunters either through free permits, fee permits, or no permit requirements. 

PROHIBITED METHODS / DEVICES FOR HUNTING
It shall be unlawful to concentrate, drive, rally, molest or to hunt, take, capture or kill or attempt to hunt, take, capture or kill any bird or animal from or by the aid of:
(1) Any automobile, motorcar, airplane, train, motorboat, sailboat or any type mechanically propelled device, or any other device being operated in conjunction with any of the above mentioned devices of transportation. Provided, however, that nothing in this regulation shall prevent the hunting of migratory waterfowl from floating craft (except a sinkbox), including those propelled by motor, sail and wind, or both, when the motor of such craft has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, as the case may be, its progress there from has ceased, and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or it is being propelled by paddle, oars or pole, and provided further that nothing in this regulation shall prevent paraplegics and single or double leg amputees from taking game birds and game animals from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor driven land conveyance; and provided further nothing shall prohibit the hunting of quail with the aid of a motor driven vehicle provided that it will be unlawful for anyone to shoot from said motor vehicle except as provided for above.
(2) Any electrically amplified bird calls or sound whether real or imitation. Nothing in this regulation shall prevent the use of electrically amplified crow calls. The possession of any electrical device and/or records capable of producing real or imitation bird calls of any type except crow calls in the woods, field, or on the waters of this State shall be a violation of this regulation; and provided further nothing shall prohibit the use of an electronic quail call to recall captive bred quail, provided the person using an electronic quail call has acquired and has in possession a permit issued by an authorized representative of the Game and Fish Division, and provided that only banded pen raised quail shall be used and any unbanded birds taken in the recovery pen shall be immediately released.
(3) Any crossbow unless otherwise provided by law or regulation. Nothing in this regulation shall prevent the use of long bows or compound bows for the taking of game birds or animals during the open season and during daylight hours only.
(4) Fire or smoke whether man-made or natural.
(5) Any live decoys, except when hunting unprotected birds or animals, provided that banded live pen raised quail may be used in a recovery pen as a call bird when such recovery pen is used to recover pen raised quail as provided for in Regulation 220-2-.16.
(6) It shall be unlawful for any person while engaged in hunting turkey in this State to use or have in his possession any type decoy or object designed to attract or resemble any part of a turkey or that can be manipulated to attract a turkey. Nothing in this regulation shall be construed as prohibiting the use of manually operated calling equipment.
(7) From floodwater. It shall be a violation of this regulation to hunt or attempt to hunt or take any species of resident bird or animal taking refuge in, swimming through, flying over, or resting in a tree, bush, or log standing or floating in any floodwaters or backwaters or taking refuge on any island less than forty acres in size created by any such flood or backwaters. Provided, however, that nothing in this regulation shall prevent the taking of migratory waterfowl from such areas.
(8) Any area where feeding has taken place, until all the feed has been removed or consumed for at least 10 days prior to such hunting.
(9) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt with a bow or gun that has a light source attached that is capable of casting a beam of light (including a laser sight) forward of said bow or gun or to possess such a light source adapted for attachment to said bow or gun while hunting.

HUNTER ORANGE REQUIREMENT
All persons hunting any wildlife species (except waterfowl, turkey, and mourning dove and while hunting legally designated species during legal nighttime hours) during dates and in areas open by regulation to gun deer season are required to wear an outer garment above the waist with a minimum of 144 square inches of hunter orange or either a full size hunter orange hat or cap. 
Hunters are not required to wear hunter orange when hunting from a stand elevated twelve (12) feet or more from the ground, when hunting in an enclosed box stand, when traveling in an enclosed vehicle or when traveling, on foot no more than twenty feet directly between an operating enclosed vehicle and a stand where the hunter is exempt from the hunter orange requirement. The hunter orange must be worn when traveling on foot between an operating enclosed vehicle and exempt stand when the distance is more than a direct distance of twenty feet. 
A small logo and/or printing is permitted on the front of hunter orange caps; otherwise hunter orange must be of solid color and visible from any angle. Only hunter orange, commonly called blaze orange, ten mile cloth, etc. is legal. The various shades of red as well as camo orange are not legal.

GAME ANIMALS
The following animals are hereby designated as game animals: Bear, Beaver, Coyote, Deer, Opossum, Rabbit, Raccoon, Squirrel, Nutria, Fox, Mountain Lion (Cougar), Groundhog, Bobcat, Red Wolf, Feral Swine (Wild Hog), except those feral swine reduced to the personal possession of a landowner or his agent, provided, however, that notwithstanding such reduction to personal possession, in the event such feral swine are hunted, they shall at such time of hunting be designated as game animals. 

GAME BIRDS
Resident Game Birds:
Bobwhite Quail, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey;
Migratory Game Birds:
Wild Duck, Wild Goose, Brant, Rail, Sora, Coot, (Poule d'Eau or Mud Hen), Jacksnipe (Wilson Snipe), Woodcock, Dove, Gallinule, and Merganser. 

LEGAL HUNTING HOURS 
Game Birds:
Legal hunting hours for game birds during the open season shall be daylight hours only, except (1) Dove, as designated, and (2) Duck, Coot, Goose, Snipe, and Woodcock, 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset (except as otherwise designated). 
Game Animals:
Legal hunting hours for all game animals during the open season for same shall be daylight hours only, except fox may be hunted at night with light and dogs only, and raccoon and opossum may be hunted under the following conditions: with the use of a light and a shotgun using No. 6 shot or smaller or a .22 caliber rimfire firearms when hunter or hunters are accompanied by dog or dogs free of leash, and if hunting on the lands of another, they must have the written permission of the landowner. 

PLANTING GUIDELINES FOR DOVE
The Alabama Game and Fish Division is again providing information pertaining to regulations regarding top-sown grain. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has jurisdiction over all migratory birds including doves, notified the southeastern states that methods identified by the agricultural extension services of the respective states as normal agricultural practices for planting wheat and other grains would be accepted as legal. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System then issued the following Small Grain Planting recommendations:
Top sowing of all small grain without covering seed is not a recommended agricultural practice. Most small grain is normally planted into prepared seed beds by broadcasting or drilling. To be consistent with normal agricultural practice, a bona fide attempt should be made to cover seed by cultipacking, disking, raking, etc. Some incidental seed may remain on the surface following a bona fide covering attempt. The only recommended methods of planting small grain without a prepared seed bed are (1) no-till drilling and (2) aerial seeding small grains into standing row crops, such as cotton or soybeans, just prior to defoliation. Recommended seeding rate for small grain is no more than 200 pounds per acre. Seeds should be uniformly distributed (approximately 50 seeds per square foot). 
Except as otherwise provided above for no-till drilling or aerial seeding, and except for small grain planted and immediately covered in accordance with normal agricultural planting practice, it shall be unlawful to hunt dove on, over, or near any planted area where a bona fide attempt attempt to cover small grain as described above has not been accomplished more than ten days prior to such hunting.
This recommendation remains in effect as the guideline for hunting dove over planted small grains. This definition in no way limits or prevents the manipulation of standing crops for dove hunting by bush hogging, mowing, burning, or partially harvesting a field, so long as the grain has been grown in place and no grain is removed and redistributed on the field.
Game and Fish Division Director Charles D. Kelley said, "Last year this action resulted in less confusion about legal practices and placed all hunters on more equal footing to enjoy their fair share of the dove shooting opportunity. We believe the absence of top-sown wheat resulted in more even distribution of doves and fewer instances of one particular field unfairly attracting birds from a wide area."
"It is relatively easy to prepare very attractive dove fields of corn, sunflowers, millet, or sorghum with just a little advance planning. Such fields provide considerable benefit to many wildlife species, both game and non-game, over an extended period of time. Standing crops of grain can be manipulated by disking, bush hogging, etc., for dove hunting with no need to be concerned about violating current regulations," Kelley said. "Hunters are, however, cautioned that grain cannot be removed from the field and then later redistributed on the field. Hunting dove over normally harvested crops is also legal."

Alabama Fresh Water Fishing Guide Summary - OutdoorPlaces.Com

SEASON
There is no closed season in Alabama on any freshwater game fish.

LICENSE & PERMITS

State Resident:
Annual Freshwater:  $8.50
7 Day Trip Freshwater:  $5.00
Annual Combination Saltwater and Freshwater:  $23.50
Issuance Fee:  $1.00
Lifetime Fishing:  $150.00
Lifetime Hunting & Fishing:  $450.00

Non-Resident:
Annual Freshwater:  $30.00
7 Day Trip Freshwater:  $10.00
Annual Combination Fresh & Salt Water:  $60.00
Issuance Fee:  $1.00

Annual and seven day permits can be obtained through the mail.  Simply send a copy of your state issued drivers license, a check or money order for the appropriate license fee plus $1.00 for handling to:  License Section, Suite 567, 64 North Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36130.  Fishing and hunting licenses with exception to lifetime resident permits can be purchased at area merchants and through probate offices.

DAILY CREEL, POSSESSION, AND SIZE LIMITS ON GAME FISH
220-2-.35 The creel and possession limits for game fish in all public waters of Alabama, except as otherwise provided for certain State and Federally owned and/or managed fishing lake and ponds, shall be as follows:

Black Bass, All Species or Combination, 10
A black bass is a largemouth bass, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, redeye bass or shoal bass

Walleye, 5

Sauger, 10
There is a 14 inch minimum length limit on sauger with an exception of allowing
three fish less than 14 inches in total length.

Yellow Bass, White Bass, Saltwater Striped Bass, Hybrids or Combinations, 30
No more than six of the 30 can exceed 16 inches in total length and no more than two of the six may be saltwater striped bass. See exceptions below.

Crappie, 30
It is illegal to possess any crappie less than nine inches in total length taken from Alabama public waters, including Aliceville Reservoir. Waters exempt from the nine-inch crappie limit include state owned public fishing lakes, all of Pickwick Reservoir and the reciprocal waters of the Chattahoochee River and Impoundments and their tributaries, Bear Creek Reservoir (Big Bear Lake of the B.C.D.A. Lakes), Lake Jackson at Florala and Weiss Reservoir.

Bream, 50

Rainbow Trout, 5

Alligator Gar, 2

Note: Total length of fish measured from the front of the mouth to the tip of the tail with both mouth and tail closed.
Note: It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to transport more than one day's creel limit of game fish beyond the boundaries of this state. 
Note: It is a violation of Alabama law for any person to fillet a fish while fishing, or to possess fillets of fish while on public waters except when fish are being prepared for immediate cooking and consumption; provided however, that fish may be drawn or gutted with heads left attached. 220-2-44 (9)
NOTE: IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY ANGLER TO FISH WITH MORE THAN THREE RODS AND REELS, OR POLES, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF ON WEISS LAKE AT ANY TIME.

SIZE LIMITS:
1. Demopolis Reservoir - It is illegal to possess any black bass less than 14 inches in total length.
2. Guntersville Reservoir - It is illegal to possess any black bass less than 15 inches in total length.
3. Harris Reservoir (Lake Wedowee) - It is illegal to possess any black bass between 13 inches and 16 inches in total length.
4. Lake Jackson at Florala - Creel limit of five black bass greater than 12 inches in length. Only one of the five can be over 22 inches in total length.
5. Lake Martin - It is illegal to possess more than two white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass and hybrids or combinations over 16 inches in total length in the daily creel limit.
6. Lewis Smith Reservoir (Smith Lake) - It is illegal to possess any black bass between 13 inches and 16 inches in total length.
7. Neely Henry Lake - It is legal to possess a maximum of six white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass and hybrids or combinations over 16 inches in total length in the daily creel limit.
8. Pickwick Reservoir - It is illegal to possess any smallmouth bass less than 14 inches in total length.
9. Saltwater Striped Bass - It is illegal to possess more than two saltwater striped bass over 16 inches in total length from any of the State's public fresh waters. (See exception for Neely Henry and Weiss Reservoirs.)
10. Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula) - It is illegal to possess any largemouth bass less than 16 inches in total length.
11. Weiss Reservoir - It is illegal to possess crappie less than 10 inches in total length. It is legal to possess 30 white bass, yellow bass, saltwater striped bass and hybrids or combinations of any size.
12. West Point Reservoir - It is illegal to possess any largemouth bass less than 16 inches in total length.
13. Wilson Reservoir - It is illegal to possess any black bass less than 15 inches in total length.
SPECIAL CREEL LIMITS APPLY ON THE RECIPROCAL WATERS OF THE IMPOUNDMENTS CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER AND IMPOUNDMENTS AND THEIR TRIBUTARIES

Alabama Salt Water Fishing Guide Summary - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Download the entire regulations, requires Adobe Acrobat. 

SEASON
There is no closed season in Alabama on any saltwater game fish.

LICENSE & PERMITS

State Resident:
Annual Saltwater:  $8.50
7 Day Trip Saltwater:  $5.00
Annual Combination Saltwater and Freshwater:  $23.50
Annual Saltwater Pier Fishing Only:  $5.00
Issuance Fee:  $1.00

Non-Resident:
Annual Saltwater:  $30.00
7 Day Trip Saltwater:  $10.00
Annual Combination Fresh & Salt Water:  $60.00
Issuance Fee:  $1.00

Annual and seven day permits can be obtained through the mail.  Simply send a copy of your state issued drivers license, a check or money order for the appropriate license fee plus $1.00 for handling to:  License Section, Suite 567, 64 North Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36130.  Fishing and hunting licenses with exception to lifetime resident permits can be purchased at area merchants and through probate offices.

DAILY CREEL, POSSESSION, AND SIZE LIMITS ON GAME FISH

Spotted Sea Trout, 14" minimum total length, 10

Red Drum, 16" minimum to 26" maximum, 3

King Mackerel, 33" minimum, 2

Spanish Mackerel, 20" minimum, 2

Florida Pompano, no size limit, 10

Grouper, 20" minimum, no limit

Amberjack, 28" minimum, 5

Striped Bass, 16" minimum, 6

Gray Triggerfish, 12" minimum, reef fish - see note below

Red Snapper, 18" minimum, 4, reef fish - see note below

Vermillon Snapper, 10" minimum, reef fish - see note below

Snapper, Lane, 8" minimum, 10

Snapper, Lane Gray, 12" minimum, 10

Snapper, Mutton, 12" minimum, 10

Snapper, Yellowtail, 12"minimum, 10

Up to two (2) undersized sea trout (speckled trout) are allowed.

Up to one (1) Red Drum that exceeds the maximum regulated size is allowed.

Reef fish total creel limit is 20.

Mississippi and Florida also require saltwater fishing licenses. Florida's state waters extend 9 miles from the coastline. You can be fined for straying into another state's waters with fish caught in Alabama or federal waters

State waters extend into the Gulf of Mexico 3 miles south of Alabama's coastline from Florida almost due west along the Fort Morgan peninsula and Dauphin Island to Mississippi; however, the line bulges southward 3 miles from Sand Island. A rule of thumb leaving Mobile Bay: if you are south of the Farewell Buoy, you are in federal waters.