The White-tailed deer is the number one game animal hunted in Alabama. Approximately 180,000 deer hunters account for more than 4 million man-days of hunting activity annually and have a significant impact on the local economy of rural Alabama. The harvest varies from year to year but hunters typically harvest in excess of 300,000 deer annually.
Visit the Seasons and Bag Limits page for dates, bag limits, and zones.
To hunt white-tailed deer in Alabama, residents, and non-residents must have the following:
- All Game Hunting License (unless exempt)
- Harvest Record (paper form or on the app)
- Wildlife Management License and map permit IF hunting on a WMA
- If you harvest a deer, you have 48 hours to report it through Game Check
Definitions and Bag Limits
ANTLERED BUCKS are defined as those male deer with one or more antlers visible above natural hairline.
UNANTLERED DEER are defined as all deer without one or more antlers visible above the natural hairline
White-Tailed Antlered Buck Limit
- Three per hunter during all combined seasons, one per day. One of the three must have at least 4 antler points 1” or longer on one antler (except for Barbour County). A point is defined as an antler projection of at least one inch in length from base to tip. The main beam tip shall be counted as a point regardless of length.
EXCEPTIONS: 1.) BARBOUR COUNTY ANTLER RESTRICTION – white-tailed deer antlered bucks must have a minimum of three points on one side, (except on the statewide special youth deer hunting dates during which any antlered buck may be taken). 2.) WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (WMA) BONUS BUCK – One per hunter during all combined bonus buck hunt dates will be allowed to be harvested from a selected collection of WMA’s on specific hunt dates depicted on the WMA map permits that will not count towards the hunter's State three buck limit. Must be validated at the WMA check station by WFF personnel.
White-Tailed Unantlered Deer Limit
- During the Unantlered Deer Gun, Special Muzzleloader, Bow and Arrow and Special Youth (under 16) Seasons, one unantlered deer may be taken per day in addition to one antlered buck per day. See Special Exception #3 for selected areas with one deer per day limit on U.S. Forest Service Lands.
Hunt the Rut in Alabama
The “rut” is a term most often associated with the time of year when breeding occurs within deer populations. In most well-managed white-tailed deer populations, nearly all breeding will take place during a relatively narrow 14-20 day window. Just prior to and during this time of active breeding, buck movements typically increase in frequency and duration while they search for receptive does. These increased movements make bucks more vulnerable and often provide hunters their best opportunity to see and harvest adult bucks during Alabama’s long deer season. If you would like to know more about when rut activity usually occurs on Alabama’s WMAs, SOAs, or statewide, download the Alabama Rut Map to plan your hunt this year.