220-2-.02 Legal Arms, Ammunition, and Equipment for Hunting

(1) GENERAL PROHIBITIONS:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to use any method or have in their possession any weapon or ammunition contrary to this regulation while hunting or attempting to hunt game birds and animals or other species provided for herein unless expressly provided for by duly enacted laws of the State of Alabama.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to submit firearms and ammunition or any device, instrument or accessory used in hunting to Conservation Officers for inspection.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by Rule 220-2-.03 for laser type range finders with computational capabilities on bows and by (d) listed below, 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. 

(d) Legally blind hunters may use laser sighting devices to take game, subject to all other regulations if the following conditions are met:

  • The person is accompanied by a sighted person who is a member of the immediate family or at least 16 years of age;
  • The sighted person possesses proof of a current hunting license, or legal exemption (under no circumstances shall the sighted person be a holder of a "supervision required" license)
  • The sighted person shall not discharge any gun or bow with laser sighting device.
  • The legally blind person possesses the appropriate hunting license and proof of impairment (a physician's signed statement or equal). 

"Legally blind", as used in this regulation, shall mean central vision that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses or a visual field that subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

(e) It shall be unlawful to possess any equipment that uses electronics to increase the ability to see in the dark (night vision equipment) while hunting any species of wildlife, both protected or unprotected species.

(f) It shall be unlawful to possess fully automatic firearms while hunting any species of wildlife. 

(2) DEER:

  • Rifles using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.
  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using buckshot, slugs, or single round ball.
  • Air powered guns, .30 caliber or larger.
  • Muzzle-loaders and Black Powder Handguns-- .40 caliber or larger.
  • Long bows, compound bows, or crossbows in conformance with 220-2-.03. 
  • Handguns or pistols using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.
  • Hand thrown spear with sharpened blade in conformance with 220-2-.03.

(3) TURKEY: 

(a)  

  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using standard No. 2 shot or smaller. 
  • Long bows or compound bows in conformance with 220-2-.03 (no crossbows).
  • Handguns or pistols using centerfire mushrooming ammunition, black powder handguns or pistols .40 caliber or larger.
  • Handguns or pistols can only have open metallic sights (no scopes).

(b) Nothing in this section is intended to prohibit the possession of rifles, shotgun/rifle combinations (drilling) or buckshot and slugs when the hunter is stalk hunting both deer and turkey provided no person shoots or attempts to shoot turkey with the rifle or shotgun using buckshot or slugs.

(4) MIGRATORY BIRDS:

  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, plugged with a one piece filler incapable of removal without disassembling the gun or otherwise incapable of holding more than 3 shells using standard No. 2 shot or smaller, except waterfowl must be hunted with steel shot or other shot compositions and shot sizes that are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  •  Waterfowl hunters shall not possess any other size shot or any size lead shot. 
  • Long bows, compound bows, or crossbows.
  • Raptors by properly permitted falconers.

(5) RACCOON & OPOSSUM:

  • Nighttime hunting-- Shotguns using No. 6 shot or smaller; .22 caliber rimfire firearms.
  • Daytime hunting - See "(7) OTHER GAME BIRDS AND ANIMALS"

(6) BOBCAT, GROUNDHOG, UNPROTECTED WILDLIFE, FOX, COYOTE, & FERAL SWINE:

  • Rifles of any caliber.
  • Handguns or pistols.
  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller. 
  • Long bows, compound bows, or crossbows.
  • Muzzleloaders and black powder handguns of any caliber.
  • Spear or sharpened blade.
  • Raptors by properly permitted falconers.

(7) OTHER GAME BIRDS OR ANIMALS:

  • Rifles using rimfire ammunition or those operated by air.
  • Muzzleloaders and black powder handguns of any caliber.
  • Long bows, compound bows, or crossbows.
  • Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, using standard No. 4 shot or smaller.
  • Handguns or pistols.
  • Blowguns using darts propelled by the hunter's breath only.
  • Sling shots.
  • Raptors by properly permitted falconers.

(8) [NOTE: Special rules and regulations apply to the use of Raptors for hunting. For a complete copy of the Falconry regulation, visit: www.outdooralabama.com]


220-2-.03 Legal Specifications for Bow and Arrow

(1) A legal bow for hunting is defined as either a long bow, a recurve bow, or a compound bow designed to be held, drawn, and fired in the upright (vertical) position, or a crossbow. Except for crossbows or as provided in paragraph (3) for disabled persons, there shall be no attachment or extensions on the bow upon which the shooter may rest the string, drawing hand, fingers, release aid or arm to assist in holding or to hold the bow at full draw. Except for crossbows or as provided in paragraph (3) for disabled persons, the bow must be supported only by the shooter's hand, and the string and arrow must be drawn and held using only the shooter's strength while the bow is being shot. This does not prohibit the use of cable guards on compound bows or the use of string releases or mechanical releases which are hand-held and hand-drawn with no other attachments, connection or contact with the bow other than the bow string. It shall be unlawful to hunt with any bow which does not conform to the requirements of this regulation.

(2) There shall be no electronic or electrically assisted devices attached to the bow, except (a) illuminated sight pins/beads/markings, (b) sights with magnification on crossbows, or (c) laser type range finders with computational capabilities. 

(3) 

(a) Except for crossbows, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt wildlife with any mechanical device that holds a bow at full or partial draw, except a person holding a valid disabled permit issued by the Department is allowed to use a device that holds a bow at full draw provided the device has a full working safety to prevent accidental firings. 

(b) Permits for permanently disabled persons shall be issued to persons meeting at least one of the following qualifications:

(1) Any person previously licensed under Section 9-11-45.1, Code of Alabama, to use a crossbow.

(2) Any person unable to ambulate without the aid of a wheelchair, two crutches, two leg braces, or two leg prostheses at all times.

(3) Any person who, by reason of permanent physical impairment, is incapable of holding, drawing, or releasing a compound bow, recurve bow, or long bow, with a minimun peak tension (within the user's normal draw length) of 35 pounds.

Persons applying for a permit pursuant to (b)(2) or (b)(3) above shall present to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources a letter from a licensed physician stating the applicant's name, address, description of the permanent physical impairment, the medical reason for such impairment, and a specific statement certifying how the applicant meets the criteria of (b)(2) or (b)(3). Upon review and approval of such letter by an authorized employee of the Department, the letter shall be returned to the applicant and said letter shall be in the applicant's possession and serve as a permit at any time he/she is utilizing the permit for hunting. 

(4) It shall be unlawful, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, for any person to hunt deer and turkey with bow and arrows that are not in conformance with the following specifications:

(a) Bows must have a minimum peak tension (within the user's normal draw length) of 35 pounds. Compound bows shall not have draw reduction (let-off) greater than 90 percent at full draw. Crossbows must have a minimum peak tension of 100 pounds at normal draw length.

(b) Arrows shall be a minimum of 20 inches in length (nock slot to end of shaft) and equipped with a broadhead which has a minimum of 2 sharpened edges. Crossbow bolts or arrows shall be a minimum of 14 inches in length from nock slot to end of shaft. 

(c) Broadheads shall have a minimum weight of 100 grains. The minimum cutting diameter for any broadhead shall be 7/8 inch. The minimum thickness for fixed blade broadheads shall be .015 inch, and the minimum thickness for expanded broadheads shall be .025 inch.

(5) Crossbows must be equipped with a working safety.