Alabama Hunting Seasons

A Comprehensive Guide to Alabama Hunting Seasons 2023-2024

Every state boasts a unique combination of hunting opportunities. Even though some species can be met in every state, there are those scattered in a seemingly random pattern across the country. Alabama abounds in game species, so hunting is a year-round activity. But even though the hunt seems to never stop, each species has a dedicated season. Outdoor Alabama has a comprehensive list of all Seasons and Bag Limits for the game species, so we’ve just made a compendium for the most popular game species. 

Seasons by Game Species

Fur-bearing AnimalsAlligatorSandhill Crane
Coyote, Bobcat, Feral Swine, and FoxMourning and White-Winged DoveBear, Mountain Lion and Ruffed Grouse

Alabama Deer Hunting

Deer Hunting Season

Deer is hands down the nation’s most beloved game species. You can hunt bucks in every single state and there is a plethora of ways for you to do so. Regular firearms, muzzleloaders, bows and arrows – deer hunting can take on many forms. Alabama has an ample deer population and now is just the time for deer hunters to unholster their weaponry and get down to stalking.

2023-2024 Deer Zone Map

As you can see from the map, Alabama is split into five hunting zones – A, B, C, D, and E. There is also the Chronic Wasting Disease Management zone that was established after the first positive Chronic Wasting Disease test. You can still hunt in the area, it’s just that there are some extra precautions and rules you should follow. In all other respects, the rules are as usual. In each zone, there are different hunting periods for different types of hunting. 

Bow and Arrow Stalking

For bow and arrow stalk hunting, you can start as early as September 30, 2023, if you’re in Zone D or E, and finish on January 15, 2024. The rest of the zones kick off from October 14 and last till February 10, 2024. Just remember, in Zones D and E, only antlered bucks are allowed for the last part of the season, from January 16-27, 2024.

Special Youth Gun

If you’re a youngster (kudos to you for looking out) or have a young one eager to join the hunt, there’s a special youth gun period. This year’s Special Youth Gun period is already behind us, but the dates remain more or less the same year to year. In 2023, it started earlier in Zones D and E on October 27 and finished on October 30. In the other zones, it lasted from November 10-13.

Special Muzzleloader and Air Rifle

The muzzleloader and air rifle season also concluded some two weeks ago. If you want to make it next year, look forward to the following dates. October 30 through November 3 for Zones D and E, and November 13 through November 17 for Zones A, B, and C.

Gun Deer-Stalk Hunting 

If you are a fan of traditional gun deer stalking, you might as well read this on your way to buck because the season started 11 days ago, on November 18. It will continue until February 10, 2024. There are some variations regarding the sex of deer that can be harvested within specific periods. Antlered bucks are always safe to hunt, while does are given periods to recuperate. For more detailed information on specific dates, please go to the Deer Season 2023-2024 page of Outdoor Alabama. And make sure to double-check the periods for gun dog deer hunting, they are listed there together with the rest of the dates.

Bag Limits

Now, let’s talk bag limits. You can take three antlered bucks during all combined seasons, one per day. And here’s the kicker – one of the three must have at least 4 antler points 1 inch or longer on one antler (except for Barbour County). For unantlered deer, you can take one per day in addition to one antlered buck per day during the Unantlered Deer Gun, Special Muzzleloader, Bow and Arrow, and Special Youth Seasons. Those have already passed, but the same stays true for the next year as well.

License Requirements

When it comes to license requirements, anyone hunting white-tailed deer in Alabama needs an All Game Hunting License (unless exempt), a Harvest Record (either paper form or on an app), and a Wildlife Management License and map permit if you’re hunting in a Wildlife Management Area.

CMZ Hunting Recommendations

If you happen to live in a CMZ and don’t want to go anywhere else to hunt, there are some tips you will benefit from.

  • If you spot a deer that’s acting odd or looking under the weather, it’s best to leave it be. Don’t try to handle it.
  • When you get down to field dressing, make sure you’re using latex or rubber gloves.
  • Keep your kitchen utensils in the kitchen. Use a dedicated knife.
  • It’s crucial to debone your meat if you want to process or consume it later.
  • When handling the organs, keep it to a minimum. Don’t saw through bone or cut through the brain, backbone or spinal cord.
  • If you’re getting your deer commercially processed, ask them to process your deer separately, without mixing in meat from other deer.

Alabama Turkey Hunting

Turkey Hunting Season

Just like with deer, Alabama is divided into zones for turkey hunting, only this time it’s three. Each zone has its own schedule and rules, so it’s important to keep in mind where exactly you plan to hunt.

Alabama Turkey Hunting

Locations and Dates

In Zone 1, the one that occupies the majority of the state, your season starts on March 25 and runs until May 8. However, you only have a bit more than a week to bring out the decoys – on April 4th a decoy-free period begins.

For Zone 2, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to start. The season begins on April 1 and ends on May 8. But, just like Zone 1, you can only use decoys from April 11.

Now, Zone 3 is where things get a little more interesting. Whereas the two previous zones only allowed for spring hunting, this zone provides opportunities for hunting during fall and winter. There are three separate periods: November 18-26, December 9-31, and March 25-May 8. No decoys are allowed during the November and December periods, and similarly to Zone 1, March 25 to April 3 is the only time you can use them.

If you’re planning to hunt in WMA and U.S. Forest Service Ranger Districts (like Bankhead Ranger District or WMAs such as Lauderdale or Freedom Hills,), you’ve got a season running from April 8 to May 8. Just remember, you are only allowed to hunt from the moment the daylight breaks in till 1 p.m. 

The rest of the National Forest Districts and WMAs that allow turkey hunting also have their season from April 1 to May 8, following the same daylight to 1 p.m. rule.

Bag Limits

So, how many of those will you be able to bring home? You can bag one gobbler per day, and the total limit for the combined fall, winter and spring seasons is four gobblers. Remember, you can’t take more than two gobblers from any one WMA, CHA, or National Forest Ranger District. Also, during the first 10 days of each season, you can only bag one gobbler from each WMA, CHA, and National Forest Ranger District.

License Requirements

When it comes to licenses, you’ll need a Small Game or All Game Hunting License. If you’re hunting on a licensed preserve, a 7-day Commercial Fowl Hunting Preserve License will do. Hunting on a WMA? Residents can use a Wildlife Heritage License instead of a Small Game or All Game License, but they’ll also need a WMA map permit. Non-residents need a state license, a WMA license, and a WMA map permit.

Alabama Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Season

There is no strict zone designation for waterfowl hunting, mainly because such birds all gather in particular places. Season dates are tied to migration patterns, and they are different for different species. 

Teal Season

Mark your calendar for September 9 through September 24 if teal is what you’re after. You can bag up to 6 teal per day. As for when you can start, shooting hours are from half an hour before sunrise until sunset. Make sure you start early, or the early bird will fly away.

Duck, Coot, and Merganser Season

Next, we’ve got the duck, coot and merganser, which all share the same season. This one is split into two parts: November 24-25 and December 2-January 28. The bag limit here is 6 ducks a day, but there are some specific limits depending on the species (here’s the complete list), 15 coots and 5 mergansers. Like the teal season, shooting hours are from half an hour before sunrise until sunset.

Geese Season

Now, onto geese. There are several periods you can hunt: September 2-October 1, October 14-28, November 24-25, and December 2-January 28. The aggregate bag limit for dark geese (that’s your Canada, white-fronted and brant) is 5 per day. For light geese (like snow, blue and Ross’s), you can also bag up to 5 per day. The shooting hours are the same, no need to repeat them trice.

License Requirements

Hunting waterfowl in Alabama calls for more than getting a Hunting License. You would also need a Federal Duck Stamp and an Alabama Duck Stamp (unless exempt). It’s also mandatory to have Harvest Information Program Certification (you don’t need to pay to get one). If you plan to hunt in a wildlife management area, you need to possess a Wildlife Management License.

A Comprehensive Guide to Alabama Hunting Seasons 2023-2024

Mourning and White-Winged Dove

Both doves are some of the most sought-after bird species in Alabama. The hunting season lasts for more than 4 months, so hunters are granted plenty of opportunities to get their hands on some quality trophies. 

Alabama Map (Dove Season Zones) 2024

Locations and Dates

Alabama is split into two zones for dove hunting: North and South. The North Zone covers all counties except Baldwin, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Mobile (all the lowest ones) – those belong to the South Zone.

Now, let’s talk dates. In the North Zone, the season kicks off on September 2 at noon. From September 3 through October 22, you can hunt from half an hour before sunrise until sunset. There are also two additional periods: November 18-26 and December 16-January 14, with the same all-daylight hours.

Down in the South Zone, the season starts a week later on September 9, from noon until sunset. From September 10 to October 29, hunting hours extend from half an hour before sunrise until sunset. Just like the North Zone, they’ve got two more periods, the dates and hunting hours are all the same.

As for bag limits, both zones have the same rules: you can bag up to 15 doves per day, for a total of 90 days over the season.

License Requirements

Now, onto licenses. To hunt doves in Alabama, you’ll need a Small Game or All Game Hunting License. You’re required to participate in the Harvest Information Program (HIP). It’s basically the same for the majority of game bird species, including ducks, coots, geese, brant, swans, woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, band-tailed pigeons, or gallinules. It’s a bit of extra paperwork, but it’s essential for managing and conserving migratory bird populations.

Alabama Alligator Hunting

Alligator Hunting Season

Ever thought about hunting alligators? It’s quite the rush, and Alabama is a great place to do it. However, in addition to meeting regular requirements, you’ll need Fortune’s favor. And I’m not talking about coming across an alligator but rather getting a chance to legally harvest one.

Alligator Management Area Map 2023

Locations and Dates

Alabama has several Alligator Management Areas (AMAs), each with its own hunting times. Here’s what we’ve got:

Southwest and Coastal Management Areas: Your hunting time starts from sunset on the second Thursday in August until sunrise on the following Sunday. You get another shot from sunset on the third Thursday in August until sunrise on the following Sunday.

Southeast Management Area: Here, you have a longer stretch – from sunset on the second Saturday in August until sunrise on the first Monday in September.

West Central Management Area: Same deal as the Southwest and Coastal areas. You’ve got from sunset on the second Thursday in August until sunrise on the following Sunday, and again from sunset on the third Thursday in August until sunrise on the following Sunday.

Lake Eufaula Management Area: This one’s a marathon – from sunset of the third Friday before the third Saturday in August (yeah, they have to make it that complicated for some reason) all the way until sunrise on the Monday after the first Sunday in October.

Bag Limits

Now, onto bag limits: Each hunter with an Alligator Harvest Permit can take one alligator. But if you’re hunting in Lake Eufaula AMA, your catch needs to be at least 8 feet long.

License Requirements

As for licenses, you’ll need an Alligator Harvest Permit and either a Small Game or All Game Alabama Hunting License. But here’s the catch: Alligator Harvest Permits are limited. They’re given out through a random draw, and for 2024, there will be 100 for the Southwest AMA, 50 each for the Coastal and West Central AMAs, 40 for the Southeast AMA, and 20 for the Lake Eufaula AMA. The registration for Season 2024 opens at 8 am on June 4, 2024. Remember, these permits are non-transferable, so if you’re drawn, the opportunity is all yours.

Sandhill Crane Alabama

Sandhill Crane Season

Let’s talk about something equally exciting as alligator hunting – the Sandhill Crane Season of 2024. It’s a special event with an element of exclusivity to it. If you want to give it a try, make sure to prepare beforehand. 

Sandhill Crane Zone Map

Locations and Dates

First off, save these dates: December 2, 2023, to January 7, 2024, and then again from January 15 to January 30, 2024. That’s when you get your chance to hunt these majestic birds.

Next, let’s talk about where you can hunt. The zone is pretty specific. It’s the area north of Interstate 20 from the Georgia state line to the interchange with Interstate 65, then east of Interstate 65 to the interchange with Interstate 22, then north of Interstate 22 to the Mississippi state line (hope the image is legible enough) Basically, if you’re outside this zone, you can no longer hunt, so know where to draw the line.

Bag Limits

Now, onto bag limits. You can take home three (3) sandhill cranes per person. Not much to add here. 

As for shooting hours, you can start from sunrise and keep going until sunset. Just imagine watching the sunrise with a thermos of coffee, waiting for that perfect shot!

License Requirements

To apply for a permit, you need to be at least sixteen (16) years old and either a resident or a lifetime hunting license holder in Alabama. The permits are limited in number and the chances are they are already given away, given how close the season is. 

Third time’s a charm, don’t forget about the Harvest Information Program (HIP). If you’re hunting sandhill cranes, you’re required to participate. It helps provide reliable estimates of the number of migratory birds harvested each season.

A Comprehensive Guide to Alabama Hunting Seasons 2023-2024

Coyote, Bobcat, Feral Swine and Fox Seasons

Now to more conventional game species. They do not necessarily belong to the same group, but they are regulated by the same principles. Quite liberal ones, frankly speaking.

The great thing about hunting bobcats, coyotes and feral swine is that there’s no closed season, so you can hunt them all year round. There’s also no bag limit, meaning you can hunt as many as you’d like. But remember, you can only hunt during daylight hours.

There’s a special nighttime season for coyotes on privately owned and leased lands only. This season starts at midnight on the day after the last day of gun deer season in that zone, and ends 30 minutes before sunrise on the opening day of archery deer season in that zone. Make sure you’ve got a valid annual resident or nonresident nighttime feral swine and coyote hunting license for this one.

Moving onto feral swine, there are two special nighttime seasons for them. One runs from May 11 to August 31 on privately owned and leased lands only, where you can use dogs but no firearms. The other is the same as the coyote nighttime season, starting after the last day of gun deer season and ending just before the archery deer season begins.

Lastly, Foxes. These creatures can be hunted all year round with no bag limit, and unlike the others, you can hunt them both during the day and at night. However, nighttime hunting is restricted to using dogs only.

License Requirements

For the most part, you only need the regular hunting license, unless you are hunting on your grounds. However, if you plan to hunt coyote or swine at night, you need a valid annual resident or nonresident nighttime feral swine and coyote hunting license. All harvested bobcats must be tagged by a representative of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division within 14 days of harvest.

Alabama Furbearer Hunting

Mink, Muskrat, Otter and Striped Skunk Season

Fur-bearing animals also rank among potential prey and can be harvested in large quantities. Given you are not killing them for commercial purposes.

Basically, the only two limits. First is the season: October 28 to February 29. You don’t need a license to hunt these critters, and there are no bag limits. But you can only take them by trapping, other methods won’t do. All otters should also be tagged by a representative of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division within 14 days.

Bear Alabama

Bear, Mountain Lion and Ruffed Grouse

For better or worse, there is no open hunting season for either of these animals. You can’t legally hunt bears and mountain lions in Alabama. The same goes for the innocent ruffed grouse. But there are plenty of other states that allow bear hunting. Here’s an article on the Top 10 Places For Hunting In the USA.


As you can see, some Alabama hunting seasons are in full swing, while others are yet to come. Make sure you are prepared for the season that is of most interest to you and put your licenses in order. With that out of the way, there will be nothing standing between you and your trophies.

Check out our other articles on hunting seasons:


What are the specific dates for the deer hunting season in Alabama?

The specific dates for the deer hunting season in Alabama vary by zone and also the hunting method. With all these periods combined, it lasts from September to February, but not with a lot of breaks and restrictions.

How many antlered bucks can I take in Alabama?

You can take three antlered bucks during all combined seasons in Alabama.

Can you explain the different turkey hunting zones in Alabama?

The state of Alabama is divided into three turkey hunting zones. Each zone has its own hunting season date: March 25 through May 8 for Zone 1, April 1 through May 8 for Zone 2, and a bunch of dates for Zone 3: November 18-26, December 9-31 and March 25 through May 8.

What are the bag limits for turkey hunting in Alabama?

You can bring as many as four gobblers throughout the whole year, no more than one per day.

Are there any restrictions on hunting bobcats?

No particular ones. Bobcat, coyote, feral swine and fox hunting in Alabama have no closed seasons and no bag limit. The only restriction is hunting hours: you can only hunt bobcats in daylight.

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