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 2022-2023 hunting season registration:
Deer, Turkey, Waterfowl, and Small Game Hunts
The deer hunts at Cedar Creek, 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 12th at 1:00 pm.
The Oak Mountain State Park Special Opportunity Area deer hunts will open September 1st at 8:00 am and close September 12th 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 31st at 1:00 pm (Crow Creek SOA youth waterfowl hunt registration will open January 1, 2023 at 8:00 am and close January 10, 2023 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 13th 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 13th at 1:00 pm.
Both the youth dog deer hunt and adult dog deer hunt offered at Geneva State Forest will open September 1st at 8:00 am and close September 12th at 1:00 pm. For more information about this hunt Click Here.
Click Here to Register for Deer, Turkey, Waterfowl, Feral Swine, and Small Game Hunts
Adult Dove Hunts Prairie Glades and Portland Landing
Adult dove hunts offered at Prairie Glades and Portland Landing will open September 1st at 8:00 am and close September 4th at 5:00 pm and September 14th at 1:00 pm. Click Here for more information regarding adult dove hunt opportunities. (Note: There is a $10 administrative fee associated with registering for each adult dove hunt date.)
Click Here to Register for Adult Dove Hunt
Blind Drawing for Swan Creek
The Blind Drawing for the Swan Creek Dewatering Unit begins September 1st at 8:00 am and closes September 14th at 1:00 pm. Click Here for more information regarding the requirements for registration. (Note: There is a $20 administrative fee associated with registering.)
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 a Wildlife Management Area License, prior to registration. If selected for a hunt as a hunter, you will need to also purchase the appropriate state hunting license. 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.
If you have additional questions regarding the SOA program, see the SOA Frequently Asked Questions. If you still need information, please email DCNR.Wildlife@dcnr.alabama.gov