More than 82,000 deer reported in Alabama’s first year of game check
Alabama’s first year of mandatory deer harvest reporting shows that more bucks are being harvested than does and more deer are harvested on private land versus public land.
Out of the 82,435 deer reported, 45,546 were bucks and 36,854 were does; 35 deer were of an unspecified gender. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says while compliance was not 100 percent, it is a good start for the state.
“We estimate that approximately 35 percent of hunters reported their deer harvests this first year,” said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes. “I feel that as hunters get used to the idea and understand what we are trying to do, the reporting will increase. We also want to remind hunters that turkeys should be reported through the same system.”
Sykes said data reported by telephone was not as accurate as the data reported online and through the Outdoor Alabama app.
Turkey season begins March 15 in most counties and ends April 30. The bag limit in Alabama is five turkeys (one per day), and all must be male. Hunters have 48 hours to report their harvests.
Game Check was implemented as a tool to help wildlife biologists make better management decisions. Sykes says previous data collection efforts lacked a way to understand how the state’s deer and turkey harvests are distributed across the state and throughout the season.
“We need several years of data before we can draw conclusions, but we’re headed in the right direction.” he said.
Complete harvest data by county for deer and turkeys can be viewed online at https://game.dcnr.alabama.gov.
— Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources