What is a Special Opportunity Area?
Special Opportunity Areas (SOAs) are properties where the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries is offering a new public hunting format. SOAs are typically smaller than Wildlife Management Areas in acreage and are more suitable to a limited quota (random draw permit) hunting format to reduce pressure and increase the quality of the hunt. This year, eleven SOAs offer a limited number of slots for a successful permit holder and guest(s) to hunt a dedicated 300-400 acre unit for a 2-4 day hunt.
When will registration open?
For the 2023-2024 hunting season registration:
Deer, Turkey, Waterfowl, and Small Game Hunts
The deer hunts at Cedar Creek, Prairie Glades, Little River State Forest, Portland Landing, Uchee Creek, Thigpen Hill, Blackwater, Fred T. Stimpson, Upper State, Crow Creek, and Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge will open September 1st at 8:00 AM and close September 11th at 1:00 PM.
The Oak Mountain State Park and Frank Jackson State Park Special Opportunity Area deer hunts will open September 1st at 8:00 AM and close September 11th at 1:00 PM. To register, click the link below or visit the State Parks link to learn hunt details and register from that page. State Parks Special Opportunity Area Hunts
The youth squirrel hunts at Fred T. Stimpson SOA and adult waterfowl hunts at Crow Creek SOA, Uchee Creek, and Portland Landing will open October 17th at 8:00 AM and close October 30th at 1:00 PM.
The small game hunts and/or turkey hunts offered at Cedar Creek, Portland Landing, Uchee Creek, Fred T. Stimpson, Upper State, Thigpen Hill, and Blackwater River SOAs will open December 1st at 8:00 AM and close December 11th at 1:00 PM.
The feral swine hunts offered at Portland Landing and Thigpen Hill SOAs will open December 1st at 8:00 AM and close December 11th at 1:00 PM.
Both the youth dog deer hunt and adult dog deer hunt offered at Geneva State Forest and Blue Spring WMAs will open September 1st at 8:00 AM and close September 11th at 1:00 PM. For more information about this hunt Click Here.
Adult Dove Hunts Prairie Glades, Blackwater, Little River State Forest, and Portland Landing
Adult dove hunts offered at Prairie Glades, Blackwater, Little River State Forest, and Portland Landing will open September 1st at 8:00 AM and close September 4th at 5:00 PM and September 11th at 1:00 PM. Click Here for more information regarding adult dove hunt opportunities.
Blind Drawing for Swan Creek
The Blind Drawing for the Swan Creek Dewatering Unit begins September 6th at 8:00 AM and closes September 20th at 1:00 PM. Click Here for more information regarding the requirements for registration.
How Do I Apply for an SOA Hunt?
Limited quota permits to hunt the SOAs are obtained through an online registration and selection process. Applicants apply online for a preferred SOA property hunt date.
What is the Cost to Hunt an SOA?
The cost to hunt an SOA is the purchase of an Alabama Hunting License and a Wildlife Management Area License, prior to registration. If selected for a migratory bird hunt, in addition to a state hunting license, you will need to obtain your Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program Certification (free) and applicable State and Federal Waterfowl stamps if hunting waterfowl. You will also need a Conservation ID Number, which is free.