Introduction to Alabama Hunting License Laws and Regulations

Welcome to your trusted resource for understanding the rules that govern Alabama's hunting and sporting fishing activities. This guide illuminates the legal framework set out in the Code of Alabama and the comprehensive Alabama Game, Fish, Furbearers, and Other Wildlife Regulation Book. These definitive sources of wildlife legislation ensure both ethical practices in the great outdoors and the preservation of our state's rich natural heritage.


For the most current regulations, season dates, and bag limits, visit the continually updated portal at Outdoor Alabama. This online resource provides invaluable information for anglers and hunters alike, ensuring you remain informed and compliant with the latest standards in wildlife management.

Should queries arise that span beyond the scope of this manual, you can reach out to the experts at the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, the District Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Offices, or engage in a direct conversation with an experienced Conservation Enforcement Officer. These professionals can offer tailored guidance on more intricate legal considerations, ensuring that your outdoor pursuits are not only enjoyable but also in strict adherence to Alabama's conservation laws.

 

 

General Information for Alabama Hunting Licenses

Aspiring hunters and anglers aiming to secure a resident license in Alabama need to meet specific residency qualifications. One must establish a bona fide residence within the state boundaries for a unbroken period of 90 days leading up to the purchase of a license. This stipulation also extends to members of the United States military who are stationed in Alabama. A key indicator of residency for the purpose of acquiring a license is the possession of an Alabama Driver’s License.

Once the residency is established, it should be noted that both resident and nonresident annual hunting and fishing licenses are issued for the period starting on September 1 and expiring on August 31 of the subsequent year. For individuals born on or after August 1, 1977, procuring a hunting license obligates them successfully to complete a hunter education course approved by the state. Details on exemptions can be discovered within the official Hunting Laws & Regulations.

While in the act of hunting or fishing, it is a legal requirement to have your valid license on your person. Furthermore, hunters targeting deer or turkey must carry an official deer and turkey harvest record – either in traditional paper form or through an approved digital application. It is strictly prohibited to maintain possession of more than one harvest record simultaneously.

Ethical conduct during hunting and fishing is strictly monitored. The illegality of killing or maiming any species of game without attempting to retrieve it and count it in your daily bag or creel limit is enforced, save for exceptions such as game fish that do not meet legal size restrictions and protected species. Individuals are also admonished against pursuing or collecting game on properties where they lack the requisite permission.

Lastly, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources holds the authority to inspect any gear or vehicles used in hunting and fishing endeavors, such as game bags, hunting coats, camping equipment, and automobiles. These inspections are part of the enforcement procedure to ensure adherence to Alabama’s wildlife conservation laws and regulations.

 

 

Buying a Hunting License in Alabama

For those eager to procure Alabama hunting and fishing licenses, numerous channels are available across the state. An extensive network of over 275 special license agents, located in sporting goods stores, marinas, and county courthouses, is at your service to facilitate your license purchase. Additionally, licenses can be bought by sending a completed application, the appropriate payment, and a photocopy of your driver’s license through the mail to the following address: Attn: License Sales, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, 64 N. Union St., Suite 567, Montgomery, AL 36104. For those in need of an application packet, help is a phone call away at (334) 242-3465, or assistance can be sought via email at dcnr.wfflicense@dcnr.alabama.gov. Furthermore, the website Outdoor Alabama is a comprehensive resource for all your licensing information queries.

It's important to note that integrity is crucial in the license purchasing process. Furnishing false statements to a license agent when obtaining a license is strictly unlawful. Additionally, the abuse of licenses such as lending, borrowing, selling, purchasing, renting, or using somebody else's license for hunting, fishing, or trapping activities is prohibited under the law.

When defining residency for the purpose of buying a license, an Alabama Driver’s License is a primary indicator. For Alabama residents who do not hold an Alabama driver’s license, presenting proof of residency to a probate judge or license commissioner is a prerequisite for license purchase, an exception that is specifically applicable to all individuals possessing an out-of-state driver's license.



Compliance with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) for Migratory Bird Hunting in Alabama

Attention all migratory bird hunters in Alabama: it is a federal requirement to possess a Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit before embarking on hunts for species such as doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, coots, ducks, geese, or sandhill cranes. The HIP permit is integral to the collection of vital data on migratory bird species, ensuring that hunting seasons are determined based on robust and scientifically-backed data, which is essential for the conservation and management of healthy wildlife populations.

HIP permits are readily obtainable at no cost at any licensed outlet that sells hunting permits. The process to acquire a HIP permit involves responding to a brief survey, after which you will be provided with a certification proof. This HIP certification must accompany you in the field as legal evidence of program participation when hunting any designated migratory bird species.

 

Will You Need a License?

IF YOU ARE...

RESIDENT

NONRESIDENT

AGE

16–64

16+

HUNTING ON LAND
YOU OWN

No

Purchase of nonresident license required

FISHING FROM THE BANK (PUBLIC WATERS) WITH A HOOK & LINE IN THE COUNTY YOU LIVE IN

No

N/A

MILITARY STATIONED
IN ALABAMA

Yes

Stationed in
Alabama
(30 days or more) may purchase resident license

MILITARY VISITING ALABAMA

Home on leave —
No license required (must have copy of leave papers and an AL driver's license)

Purchase of
nonresident
license required

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.