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Online Deer Harvest Form
A Hunter's Journal
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Online Deer Harvest Form allows hunters to provide important information about their harvest to help better manage the deer population as well as keep track of their own harvests over time. Hunters are encouraged to report their harvest as soon as possible after the hunt. In addition to providing scientific data about the state’s deer herd, the Online Deer Harvest Form is a convenient way for hunters to keep track of their harvest history by serving as the hunter’s harvest journal; once the information is added to the online database, it is permanently accessible by the hunter anytime, anywhere. More 

New Birding Trail in North Alabama
Alabama has a new birding trail as of December 1-- the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail. The nine counties that make up the trail are Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby and Talladega. Three years in development, the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail features 38 approved sites covering an area of over 4 million acres. The trail will be marked with directional signs and there will be interpretative signs at many sites featuring an overall trail map and information on the types of birds most commonly spotted at that site. Visit  the trail website for more detailed information about all of Alabama’s eight birding trails. 

Public Lands to Host
Open-Gate Hunting Weekends
The Alabama State Lands Division announces a series of “open-gate weekends” for hunting on four Forever Wild Land Trust properties. During these weekends, the internal woods-roads gates will be opened to allow for easier access to hunting on the properties. The Forever Wild properties listed below are open-permit public lands. Unlike hunting on private land or Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), the hunter only needs a hunting license to hunt the properties. All other hunting rules and regulations apply and the tracts will be patrolled and monitored by conservation enforcement officers.
 
Open-gate properties and dates during the 2012-13 hunting seasons:
  • Lillian Swamp Tract in Baldwin Co. will be open December 8-9, 2012, January 12-13, 2013, and February 9-10, 2013
  • Splinter Hill Bog Tract in Baldwin Co. will be open December 8-9, 2012, January 12-13, 2013, and February 9-10, 2013
  • Red Hills Tract in Monroe Co. will be open December 1-2, 2011, January 12-13, 2013, and February 9-10, 2013
  • Old Cahaba Tract in Dallas Co. will be open December 8-9, 2012, January 12-13, 2013, and February 9-10, 2013
During the open-gate weekends the entire tract will be open to hunting. Hunters are encouraged to practice hunter safety. All published rules and regulations for these specific tracts remain the same during the open-gate weekends. More

Black Bear on the Rise in Alabama?
Several organizations are studying Alabama’s black bears to better understand their population dynamics. According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), black bears were once prevalent across Alabama, but, until recently, bears had been relegated to a small and isolated area north of Mobile, mainly due to habitat loss. Officials estimate that approximately 50 bears remain in that population. Although still rare, black bears are being increasingly seen in northeast Alabama. Recently, bears have begun migrating into the northeast corner of Alabama from Georgia and Tennessee. Bears have established new territories in less populated areas by moving into suitable habitat, particularly in DeKalb and Cherokee counties. There appears to be a gradual increase of bear numbers in these counties. More

Photo of the Month: A Prehistoric Surprise 
Recently, Woody Bozeman was fishing the Tallapoosa River for catfish just off the boat ramp at Ft. Toulouse National Historic Park in Wetumpka, Ala. At 11:30 p.m., he noticed the tip of his rod begin to bend slightly. In the 40 minutes that followed as he brought his catch to the surface, Bozeman would be surprised by the creature he’d hooked -- an 83-pound alligator snapping turtle. More
    
 
Purchase Your Licenses Online

Forever Wild Land Trust Program Renewed
On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Alabamians cast an overwhelming vote of confidence in the State’s Forever Wild Program by approving the continuation of its funding. Three out of four individuals who cast votes expressed their desire to see the program move forward by securing more public land for public use.*
 
*The Forever Wild Board of Trustees will hold its fourth quarterly meeting in Leeds, Ala. on December 13 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, 6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds, Ala., 35094. 

Hunters Encouraged to 
Enroll in DMP
The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) has made two significant changes to its Deer Management Assistance Program (DMP). Starting with the 2012-13 hunting season, the enrollment fees will be dropped, and a series of regional meetings will be conducted by WFF biologists to collect the data gathered by participating hunting clubs. The WFF’s goal is to enroll 400 to 500 hunting clubs scattered evenly across the state in order to collect enough data to help it better understand and manage the state’s deer population. Hunting clubs in all parts of the state with 500 acres or more are especially encouraged to enroll in the program. More

Note It Before You Tote It! 
Hunters are required to possess an accurate, up-to-date harvest record with them at all times while hunting deer and turkey. More

How to Choose a Deer Rifle
When choosing a deer rifle, one of the things to consider is the size and age of the hunter. Younger hunters or those of small physical stature may need a rifle that is lighter and chambered in a smaller caliber. These would range from a .22 caliber through a .25 caliber. The more popular calibers include the .223, .22-250, .243, 6 mm, .257 Roberts and the .25-06. More

Outdoor Alabama — Something for Everyone
Whether you enjoy birdwatching, bass fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, or just reading about our state’s natural resources, you’ll find it in Outdoor Alabama magazine. Each subscription also includes the beautiful calendar issue in December and the photo contest issue in February.
 
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Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
64 North Union Street, Suite 468
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

www.outdooralabama.com
1-800-262-3151
 
 Outdoor Alabama December 2012 E-Newsletter