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Youth Hunt Dates Announced for Forever Wild Field Trial Area

12-year-old Cade Smith from Jemison, Alabama, harvested an 8-point buck during a FWFTA Youth Hunt in January 2020.

Registration Opens September 14

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) State Lands Division announces the youth deer and duck hunt schedules for the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) in Hale County. The hunts will take place late November 2020 through January 2021. Registration will open September 14 through November 1, 2020. Hunters will be selected via a computerized, random drawing after registration closes.

“I am thrilled that we will have an opportunity again this year to introduce youth to the great deer and duck hunting on this Forever Wild property,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR Commissioner and Chairman of the Forever Wild Board of Trustees.

Brandon Smith from Jemison, Alabama, took his 12-year-old son, Cade, on a FWFTA youth deer hunt in January 2020. The time spent in the outdoors with family was a highlight of their experience.

“Cade loves the outdoors, hunting and fishing,” Smith said. “He was chosen for a youth deer hunt at the Field Trial Area and was able to take an 8-point buck. Spending time outdoors with my kids is all about making memories. This hunt was definitely a memory maker.”

Smith said they plan on hitting the woods again this fall.

Youth Deer Hunt Dates
• November 25, 28
• December 23, 30
• January 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30

Youth Duck Hunt Dates
• November 28
• December 23, 30
• January 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 27, 30

To register for a hunt, visit during the registration period listed above.

Registration for the FWFTA youth hunts is only available to parents or adults who are at least 21 years old and have a Conservation ID number. A hunting license is not required at the time of registration. However, if selected during the random draw, you must have a valid hunting license to accept the hunt permit. If selected for a hunt, you will receive an email requesting that you validate/accept the permit. Once the permit is accepted, you will receive an email with the hunt details.

To participate in the youth hunts, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old (or a parent). Adults must have a valid state hunting license and applicable duck stamp, if duck hunting. Hunters must obtain their license and duck stamp (if duck hunting) before the hunt since they will not be available on-site. Licenses are available for purchase at various retailers throughout the state or online at

All deer harvested during the FWFTA youth hunts must be reported via Alabama’s Game Check system. Hunters have 48 hours to Game Check their harvest through the Outdoor AL mobile app or online at

In addition to being required when registering for the FWFTA youth hunts, a Conservation ID number is the fastest and easiest way to report a deer or turkey harvest. This number is unique to each hunter and can also be used to purchase future licenses, obtain Harvest Information Program (HIP) permits, register for Special Opportunity Area hunts and more. For information about how to obtain a Conservation ID number, visit

For more information about the hunt details or registration process, call Evan Lawrence with the ADCNR State Lands Division at (334) 353-7909, or email

The M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area consists of 4,300 acres in Hale County and is managed as a nature preserve and recreation area. In addition to developing a sporting dog test ground and a youth hunting program, the ADCNR State Lands Division is currently restoring the tract’s native prairie grasslands and managing its numerous ponds for public fishing events.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit


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