Tis’ the season for holiday hunting

Published 6:10 pm Friday, December 19, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Christmas is just days away. For many people, the holidays mean some well-earned days off from work.

After all the gifts have been opened, why not make the most of the holiday season by spending some quality time with family and friends on a thrilling hunting adventure in Alabama’s Black Belt?

We are in the heart of deer season, and there is no better place to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and take down a trophy buck than the Black Belt, which offers scores of hunting lodges and thousands of acres of public hunting lands.

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The Black Belt’s rich, dark, fertile soil produces an abundance of vegetation that creates the perfect habitat for wild game, especially whitetail deer.

“These factors help make the Black Belt not only Alabama’s best region for hunting, but one of the top hunting and fishing destinations in the country,” said Pam Swanner, project manager for the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, which promotes hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation in the region.

“Trophy bucks, some even record-setting, are taken on a regular basis.

More than that, though, hunting in the Black Belt is a fun adventure for the family, or for individuals who just want to get away.”

For hunters wanting to experience the best of hunting in Alabama, Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association’s website provides information on great places to hunt and stay in the Black Belt.

The website, www.alabamablackbeltadventures.org, includes contacts for more than 50 hunting and fishing lodges and outfitters in the Black Belt. It also includes information about the Black Belt’s numerous public hunting lands.


An exciting, new bonus for hunters this year in the southern part of the state is the extension of hunting season by 10 days into February, which will allow hunting during “the rut.”

The rut, or mating season, is widely accepted as the best time of the year to deer hunt because the chances of dropping that monster buck increases dramatically. However, in past years, the rut wasn’t in full effect in popular hunting areas in the southern region until after the season’s traditional closing date of Jan. 31. Extending the deer season to Feb. 10 gives hunters an even greater chance of claiming their trophy animal.

Of course, more hunters will want to show off their prized buck. This year, the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association is offering its biggest prize ever – $600 – to the winner of the Big Buck Photo Contest.

The grand prize is a Hog Wild Blowout – a hog-hunting trip for two at Great Southern Outdoors Wildlife Plantation, courtesy of Black Belt Land Realty, in the heart of the Black Belt, valued at $500, plus a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.

The Big Buck Photo Contest is open to any hunter who bags his or her trophy deer in any of the 23 counties (stretching across the state’s midsection) that comprise the Black Belt.

Those counties are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

Awards will be given in three age categories: 13 and under, 14-17, and 18 and up. Each category winner will receive a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.

And, of course, the grand prizewinner will also receive the hog-hunting trip for two at Great Southern Outdoors.

Entries in the Big Buck Photo Contest will be accepted through Feb. 23, 2015.

Entrants should include their name and the county in which the deer was taken.

Entries must be from the current hunting season.

Photos will be posted on the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association’s Facebook page, and the number of “likes” they receive will determine the winners.

To enter, email your photo to: amandaingram@alabamablackbeltadventures.com. You can also text them to 334-300-6616.