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It is spring turkey season

It is now spring and spring in Alabama means turkey hunting.

Turkey hunting is the most popular of the hunting sports in Alabama, trailing only deer hunting, which is a fall and winter sport.

The season is now open in most Alabama Counties. However, the start of turkey season has been delayed for research purposes in several wildlife management areas including: Barbour, J.D. Martin-Skyline, Oakmulgee, Lowndes, Coccolocco, and Perdido River. Turkey hunting begins there on March 24.

Hunters are reminded that the law now requires that you report any turkey that you kill on your smart phone or computer to the Gamecheck program. Hunting turkeys requires purchasing an Alabama hunting license. You should have your hunting license with you in case a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officer asks to see your license.

If you have not been granted access to hunt on private lands, you can still participate in the hunting sports through Alabama’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

“The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources continues development, maintenance, and management of over 721,574 acres of land for the Alabama hunter,” The division’s website reads. “These areas are financed with funds derived from hunting licenses and federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.”

Hunting and fishing is a $2.6 billion a year industry in Alabama, and Alabama is seventh in the nation on money spent for hunting and other recreational activities. Unfortunately, only four percent of Alabama residents have a hunting license. The average hunter spends $1,648 a year on the sport, and a portion of those dollars is devoted to conservation.

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The hunting, fishing, and shooting public provides over 90 percent of the money that is spent on wildlife habitat and conservation in the state.

The state of Alabama is world-renowned for its numerous sporting opportunities. Our state boasts the highest deer population density in the country, as well as plentiful turkeys, doves, squirrels, geese, quail, hogs, coyote, rabbits, alligators and other game species, plus freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Wild turkeys are found in all 67 Alabama counties.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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