By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Sunday, April 30 is the end of spring turkey season. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) would like to remind Alabama hunters that they are required to report their turkey harvest via Game Check.
DCNR would also like to remind Alabama turkey hunters that mechanically-manipulated decoys are illegal in Alabama under hunting regulation 220-2-.11, which prohibits the use of any turkey decoy that has mechanical or electronic moving parts or is capable of producing movement and/or sound. DCNR said that examples of these range from decoys mounted to radio-controlled cars to those which are mounted directly to the barrel of a shotgun and mechanically-manipulated by the hunter.
While turkey are no longer in season after Saturday and deer season doesn’t begin for months, DCNR would like to remind Alabama hunters that they can legally hunt feral pigs every day of the year on private land with no harvest restrictions. When hunting feral pigs on a Wildlife Management Area, a hunting license, management area permit, and management area license are required.
Hogs can be stalk hunted by moving slowly through areas with choice foods like acorns or agricultural crops or stand hunted along trails leading to food sources or bedding areas. A baby pig can be sexually mature in just 6 months of age and each sow can have as many as 3 litters every 14 months consisting of four to fourteen pigs.
Wild hogs are also opportunistic omnivores. As omnivores they can eat any available hard and soft mast, the eggs of ground-nesting birds, and even deer fawns and domestic calves. In addition, the US Department of Agriculture estimates wild hogs cause $800 million of damage to agriculture annually in the United States.
DCNR says that control methods can be effective in removing hogs if they are pursued aggressively and for the long haul. Active trapping is the most effective method and should be embraced by landowners who have hog problems.
In the coming months, online registration will open for Alabama’s annual regulated alligator hunts. The alligator was hunted almost to extinction by commercial hunting in Alabama. Alabama became the first state in the country to protect its alligators from hunting in 1938. Alligators were added to the endangered species list in 1967. Alligator populations bounced back while protected from hunting so in 1987 alligators were delisted. Alligators have become overpopulated in parts of Alabama. Local alligator seasons are generally in August and early September.
DCNR warns that black bear will be on the move as the weather warms up. Black bear sightings will most likely increase across the State.
DCNR would like to remind the public that black bear is a protected species in Alabama. Shooting at one is a Class A misdemeanor. Other penalties for firing at a black bear include the potential loss of hunting and fishing license privileges for three years with possible jail time.
The 2016 Full Fans and Sharp Spurs wild turkey report is now available for download.
Hard copies showing where the wild turkeys were harvested in Alabama will be available at DCNR’s district offices in May.
Hunting and hunters generate millions of dollars to the Alabama economy.