Deer Season Clash With Valentine’s Day?

Alabama Legislature looks at changing the state’s deer season, adding February dates

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

Alabama’s hunting season dates have ended on Jan. 31 for years and scores of hunters in the southern part of the state have clamored for an extension into February in order to enjoy the peak of the rut.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials have continually rebuffed any efforts to have the season dates modified or extended. Even when legislative rumblings have mounted – and those have intensified in the last 10 years – the DCNR brass has been able to keep them at bay, to the dismay of hunters.

A legislative committee held a hearing about the issue and could vote on it this week. The Eufaula Tribune had a report on the situation this week. Click here to read Eufaula is located in southeast Alabama about 90 minutes east of Montgomery.

Many hunters from Montgomery south, and especially along the southernmost counties, want the season extended into Feburary. A lot of them have said they’d trade two weeks off the front end in sweltering October for two weeks in February during the peak rut. Alabama’s bow season opens Oct. 15 and the gun season opens, usually, about Nov. 20. All deer seasons end Jan. 31, and have for years.

Two of Alabama’s border states have February seasons. Florida’s Zone D, in the Panhandle directly south of Alabama, runs through the final week of February. A southeastern zone in Mississippi runs for two weeks into February.

Some proponents some say it would be an economic boon for Alabama counties to have February dates. Although economics and money shouldn’t take precedent over biology, the reality is that it does, has and will in wildlife situations throughout the nation. The biology and what’s best for the whitetails – not someone’s wallet – should take precedence in this case, too.

(Alan Clemons is a native and lifelong resident of Alabama.)

What do you think about hunting in February or shifting longtime, traditional hunting dates? Good for the resource and hunters? Financial motives at stake? Both, possibly? Let us know with your comments.