Prattville, AL, United States (4E Sports) – Thousands of hunters are expected to plunge into action as firearms deer hunting season kicks off Saturday.
Ray Metzler, assistant chief of Alabama Department of Conservation wildlife division, has reminded hunters that safety is a must as they look for whitetail deer, the most popular game in this hunting-crazy state.
“We want everyone to have a successful and enjoyable season,” Metzler said. “Exercise good gun handling, be aware of your target before you shoot. If you are hunting from an elevated stand, use a full body harness to protect yourself from falling.”
Metzler said all hunters, except those hunting waterfowls, are required to wear at least 144 square inches of “hunter” orange during gun deer season.
“An orange cap will meet the requirement,” Metzler said.
Metzler also reminded hunters about the department’s Online Deer Harvest Form, which allows hunters to provide important information about their harvest to help better manage the deer population, and keep track of their own harvests over time.
Metzler explained that hunters record their deer harvest online it benefits the state’s deer population by providing state wildlife biologists with information needed to help create sound, scientific wildlife management plans that promote a healthy sustainable herd.
“Alabama’s hunters are the most valuable asset in managing the state’s deer herd,” said Metzler. “Any data they can provide about their hunt, even if it was unsuccessful, is extremely valuable in creating a better understanding of the state’s deer herd.”
In addition to providing scientific data about the state’s deer herd, the Online Deer Harvest Form is a convenient way for hunters to keep track of their harvest history by serving as the hunter’s harvest journal.
“Once the information is added to the online database, it is permanently accessible by the hunter anytime, anywhere,” Metzler said.
With 250,000 licensed hunters, Alabama generates about $840 million annually from hunting, according to data from the Alabama Department of Conservation.
Based on calculations by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, hunting’s ripple effect for Alabama is about $1.5 billion.