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Black Bears Protected in Alabama
Black bear sightings in Alabama outside of their primary range of Mobile and Washington counties have increased in 2011. While hunted in other parts of the country, black bears are a protected species in Alabama and no hunting season is established for them. During the spring and summer of 2011, bears were reported in several locations throughout Alabama. A male bear was tranquilized in Jefferson County and relocated to suitable bear habitat in another part of the state. Another bear was seen on multiple occasions as it traveled across north Alabama toward Mississippi. Several other bear sightings occurred in Macon and Chambers counties. Recently an adult bear has been the subject in several game camera images taken in Barbour County. Two bear cubs have also been seen in Barbour County. More

SOOS Bucks Requested
Hunters are encouraged to participate in a research project being conducted by the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University. The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries is cooperating with Gabe Karns, a graduate student at Auburn University, to encourage hunters to harvest and provide antlers and skull plates from bucks with a spike on one side (SOOS) for inclusion in the study. SOOS bucks have one normally formed antler on one side, and a spike, or a forked prong, on the other side. Harvesting a SOOS buck will count toward the three buck limit. Click here for a complete list of hunting regulations. More

Public Asked to Help Name Parks Golf Trail
The recently renamed Alabama State Parks golf courses, along with the newly designed course logos, are part of a rebranding plan to promote the individual courses and to combine all six courses as part of a statewide golf trail. The public is invited to visit the Alabama State Parks website or email to offer suggestions as to what the trail should be called. When making a suggestion, consider the individual course names and provide ideas that incorporate all the names into a cohesive title. The trail name will be chosen in early 2012. More

Practice What You Preach
Here is the latest hunter safety video from The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Hunt smart, hunt safe.

Warm Up With a Winter Hike
Alabama’s mild climate makes it a perfect choice for winter hiking. As always, be careful, plan ahead and let someone know where you are and when you expect to be home.
The DeSoto Scout Trail - This historic trail starts at Comer Scout Reservation, continues through DeSoto State Park, and into Little River Canyon National Preserve.
Oak Mountain Red, White, and Green Loop - 4 miles, beginning at Peavine Falls parking lot, take the White trail to the Red road. Follow Red road to the left to Green trail.
Lake Guntersville Tom Bevill Trail - A moderate 3 miles across from the park office on Highway 227. This trail circles Ellenburg Mountain and features old home sites.
Wind Creek Alabama Reunion Trail - This moderate to difficult trail is approximately 3.8 miles through hardwood bottoms and pine forest.
Buck’s Pocket Point Rock Trail – This trail leads from the park office on the canyon floor to the overlook. The last 100 feet of the trail becomes a steep climb.

Must Enter to Win!
A four-wheeler, jon boat package, 12 gauge and a $500 Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card are a few of the prizes to be awarded in the Outdoor Alabama Sweepstakes, which runs through January 31, 2012. Only one entry per person is allowed, and it must be completed online. If you purchase a license online you are automatically entered unless you opt not to participate. If you purchase a license at a vendor, if you have a lifetime license or if you don’t want to purchase a license, you may enter by following the instructions here.
Purchase Your Licenses Online

NSSF Shooting Sportscast: Sight Alignment and
Sight Picture
Champion Shooter Doug Koenig explains this key fundamental to shooting. Get your sights aligned properly; line them up with the target and pull the trigger without disturbing them and you'll hit the target.

OA Calendar, a
Perfect Holiday Gift
The 2012 Outdoor Alabama calendar brings you the best of Alabama’s wildlife, natural diversity, outdoor recreation and scenic beauty all year, and makes a great anytime gift. Subscribe to Outdoor Alabama magazine and receive this beautiful calendar as part of the subscription. 

Piedmont Birding
Trail Now Open
The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail is one of eight organized trails that will ultimately cover the entire state. Other trails in operation are the North Alabama Birding Trail, the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, the Pineywoods Birding Trail and the Alabama Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail. More

2012 Waterfowl
Stamp Art Contest
Alabama artists are invited to enter the 2012 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp art contest, which opens January 1, 2012. The winning artwork will be used as the design of the 2013-2014 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required to be purchased when hunting migratory waterfowl in Alabama. Entries will be accepted from Jan. 1 - Feb. 15, 2012. The competition is open to resident Alabama artists only. More

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Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
64 North Union Street, Suite 468
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

 Outdoor Alabama December 2011 E-Newsletter