Officials considering extending state’s deer season

Published 7:47 am Friday, February 8, 2013

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is considering extending the gun season in a portion of the state. (Metro Creative Services)

Hunters in Alabama may soon have a few more days to chase that trophy buck.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is considering extending the gun season in a portion of the state.

If the proposal is approved, the season in the southwest portion of the state would be extended to Feb. 13, beginning in 2014.

Email newsletter signup

The current proposal would extend the season south of U.S. Hwy. 84, which runs through Dothan, Enterprise, Andalusia and Grove Hill.

Chuck Sykes, the director of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, said using Hwy. 84 as a dividing line makes sense because it offers a smaller land area to use as a sample to see if extending the season will help or hurt the state’s deer population.

“You’ve got to start somewhere,” Sykes said. “The data shows the corner of southwest Alabama is where we can do the most good, and expand it (to other parts of the state) if it works. The research has been done. The area has been designated. Now we’re trying to make the right call.”

Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. said the boundaries for the proposed February extension in southwest Alabama are still being fine-tuned.

A proposal will be presented to the Conservation Advisory Board at its meeting Saturday in Montgomery, but no action will be taken. Advisory board rules state that no regulation may be voted on during the same meeting it is introduced in order to provide the board a chance to hear feedback from the public.

The Conservation Advisory Board is composed of 10 members appointed by the governor for alternating terms of six years, and three ex-officio members — Governor Robert Bentley, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System Director Dr. Gary Lemme. ADCNR Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. serves as the ex-officio secretary of the Board.

Dan Moultrie of Verbena, Ala., currently serves as chairman. Additional Conservation Advisory Board members include Austin Ainsworth of Guntersville, Grady Hartzog of Eufaula, Bill Hatley of Gulf Shores, T.J. Bunn of Tuscaloosa, Raymond Jones Jr. of Huntsville, Jeff Martin of Pell City, Joseph Dobbs Jr. of Bessemer, Dr. Bob Shipp of Mobile, and Dr. Warren Strickland of Huntsville.

The board assists in formulating policies for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and examines all rules and regulations. By a two-thirds vote of the members present and with the governor’s approval, the board can amend, change or repeal current rules and regulations or create and promulgate additional rules and regulations. The board also assists in publicizing the department’s programs and activities.