The wildlife around Alabama is unique, and hunting has become a big part of the culture in the state. It is also an entertaining activity that usually ends in a delicious meal! While hunting in Alabama may not be as varied as in the lands along the Mississippi river or the Gulf coast, hunters will still find many species, such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, mourning doves, bobwhite quail, feral hogs, and waterfowl, among other commonly hunted species such as rabbits and squirrels.
If you hope to learn about duck hunting specifically, it’s essential to know the season dates, bag limits, licensing, and requirements. In this article, we will go over all of this and more, so get your rifle and binoculars ready. It is almost time to go hunting!
Hunting Season Dates in Alabama
Based on state regulations, the following seasons are suited for duck hunting during the year:
|Name of the Season||Dates|
|Special Teal Season||Sept. 10 – Sept. 25|
|Duck, Coot, and Merganser||Nov. 27 – Nov. 28, Dec. 5 – Jan. 31|
|Special Youth, Veteran, & Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days||Nov. 19 – Feb. 4|
Best Hunting Grounds in Alabama
Now let’s talk location. What would be the best place to hunt ducks in Alabama? Of course, the first place that would come to mind if you’re a nature enthusiast or an experienced hunter is the Tennessee River Valley. Located in the north, this area is where ducks spend their winters in “teams” (groups of flying ducks) or “waddlings” (groups of ducks on land). The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is the most concentrated hunting ground for waterfowl at 35,000 acres. If you plan a hunting trip to the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, keep in mind that at the time of writing, their visitor center is temporarily closed for renovation. Further, the closure includes grounds around the area, and they estimate that to continue through the winter. Anyone with questions can call 256-350-6639 Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Central.
Hunting opportunities up north would be around Lake Guntersville, Swan Creek WMA, Jackson County WMA, and Mallard Fox Creek WMA. So keep an eye on out across the Tennessee River, and you should experience some productive and successful hunting!
In the central areas of Alabama, the Demopolis WMA is a great hunting ground for ducks as it covers nearly 7,000 acres of land and holds plenty of woodies, mallards, ringnecks, and bluebills.
Moving down south, the best hunting land would be Upper Delta WMA, which has 42,451 acres of ponds, sloughs, and flooded areas, making them perfect duck breeding grounds. In addition, the W.L. Holland and Mobile-Tensaw WMA in the Lower Delta are common duck wintering areas worth taking advantage of on hunting days.
The best hunting ground overall would be the one that is closest to you, as ducks are plentiful in most parts of the state.
Daily Bag Limits
The daily bag limit is a limit set by a state on the number of a particular animal a single hunter can catch on a hunting day. For ducks, this limit is set to 6 ducks per day, with no more than:
- 4 mallards (max 2 hens)
- 3 wood ducks
- 3 scaups
- 2 pintails
- 2 redheads
- 2 canvasbacks
- 1 mottled duck
- 1 black duck
So, better keep count of how many ducks (and what kind) you catch in a day, or you may risk garnering some hefty fines from the state!
The possession limit is the number of species you can control or transport at one time. In Alabama, the possession limit is three times the bag limit, so in terms of ducks, that’s 18 birds maximum. So, make sure you not only keep track of how many ducks you kill in one day but also the total number of ducks you possess at one time.
Requirements/Cost For Duck Hunting in Alabama
Like with most game, you’ll need a hunting license and a few permits to hunt ducks in Alabama. Here are the required licenses, permits, and stamps, as well as the cost of duck hunting in Alabama.
- Hunting license: $114.25 (annual), $69.60 (10-day), $50.45 (3-day)
- Alabama duck stamp: $11
- Federal duck stamp: $28
- Wildlife Management License (only required for Wildlife Management Areas): $20.05
Make the most out of Alabama’s hunting seasons within the bag and possession limits. The state is around 70% forested, which makes it a great home for a variety of species – including ducks. When hunting ducks in Alabama, they should specifically be targeted during the winter, when they herd together to survive the cold. Though Alabama may not be known for its hunting, it definitely holds its own!
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can you duck hunt in Alabama?
Of course, you can! But make sure to keep it legal. You’ll need a hunting license, an Alabama duck stamp, and a federal duck stamp before heading out for a hunt.
When does duck hunting season start in Alabama?
The duck hunting season commences with the Special Teal Season every year, which falls on September 10.
Does Alabama have good duck hunting?
In terms of the number of ducks Alabama falls behind many of the northern and eastern neighboring states. But there are still plenty of ducks to be hunted in Alabama.
Where is the best place to duck hunt in Alabama?
The best place to hunt ducks in Alabama is either the Tennessee River Valley or Guntersville Lake, Alabama.
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- Real Tree, Available here: https://www.realtree.com/waterfowl-hunting/duck-hunting-nation/2018/alabama-duck-hunting#:~:text=Hunters%20have%20plenty%20of%20places,a%20free%20WMA%20map%20permit.
- Outdoor Alabama, Available here: https://www.outdooralabama.com/what-hunt/waterfowl-hunting-alabama
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Available here: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/wheeler