Thursday, January 28, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Deer hunters in Alabama currently are likely experiencing the gamut of rutting activity across the state. Because of our state’s diverse topography and wildlife management heritage, some hunters may see deer in the heat of rut, while others are watching young bucks start to chase does as the rut kicks off. For others, the rut is so 2015.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Inspiration comes in abundance at the annual Buckmasters Life Hunt at Sedgefields Plantation in west central Alabama.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If you’ve ever watched a show on HGTV called “Tiny House Hunters,” then you have an idea of what visitors to Meaher State Park will experience when they rent one of the park’s new ultra-efficient cabins.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Finally, Alabama deer hunters got a week of weather where sweating and pouring rain weren’t parts of the equation.

As we head into the new year, I’ve already heard through the grapevine of rutting activity. Judging from the number of outstanding bucks I’ve seen on social media sites, there definitely has been some chasing going on in some parts of the state.

As the rut kicks off, there is a tendency to want to head into the woods to look for rubs and scrapes to pinpoint the rutting activity.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

While many of us have been busy searching for the perfect Christmas gifts these past few weeks, one group at Dauphin Island has been on an unusual quest for a totally different prize – fish fillets.

Nope, there’s no big Christmas fish fry planned. The search for fish fillets is part of an intensive training regimen for the Alabama Marine Resources Division’s new canine program to sniff out violators of state and federal fishing regulations.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

A brainstorming session involving the Alabama Marine Resources Division, Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) and the Alabama Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) resulted in significant implications for those who love to fish in Alabama’s saltwater environment.

The three entities concluded that their combined efforts could best be used to develop a long-term plan for Alabama’s world-renowned artificial reef program.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Deer hunters can rejoice that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in Alabama or any of the surrounding states. That, however, does not mean we deer hunters can take that fact for granted.

Currently, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division is revising the strategy that will help WFF officials respond quickly should CWD be detected in Alabama in the future.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

More than five years ago, April 20, 2010, to be exact, life on the Gulf Coast changed, and not for the better.

That is the date of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform explosion that killed 11 people and injured 17. It also resulted in 134 million gallons of crude oil being released into Gulf waters.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

With the successful Alabama Avid Turkey Hunter Survey as its model, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division is recruiting another diehard group of hunters.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

To report red snapper harvest, click here or on the logo above.

 

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

As many Alabama offshore anglers will attest, the results from the red snapper catch data is the same old song, second verse.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

When the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division announced recently that one of the Nongame Section’s programs had discovered a hellbender, I admit I was a bit puzzled about why there was so much buzz about a vintage fishing lure.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

As the Halloween season approaches, one of the most maligned species in the animal kingdom is under scrutiny in Alabama, for good reason.

Nick Sharp, Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Nongame Biologist, puts the creature closely associated with Count Dracula in perspective.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Two years ago, the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board approved a change in the definition of “area” where it is legal to hunt deer and feral hogs when supplemental feed is on the property.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound are bugged, but the listening devices aren’t snooping to hear the inshore anglers’ big-fish tales or locate their favorite fishing holes.

The microphones, known as hydrophones, are strategically positioned around the Bay and Sound to listen for the fish themselves – a select group of fish.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

When a change in the weather and the opening of a hunting season coincide, it can be a beautiful day for those of us who love the outdoors.

Such was the case last weekend for the opening of the dove season in the north zone, which encompasses most of the state.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Alabama’s goose hunters and youth waterfowl hunters will get increased opportunities for the 2015-2016 seasons, but Mother Nature will again determine if those opportunities are realized.

Although Alabama is not particularly known for its goose hunting, waterfowl hunters occasionally have the opportunity to add honkers to the bag. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The state budget impasse in the Legislature in Montgomery could soon have far-reaching impacts on those who love and enjoy the abundant natural resources Alabama has to offer.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. and the directors of the four divisions – State Parks, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Marine Resources and State Lands – have taken that message across the state in the past week to highlight those impacts if proposed cuts to the DCNR budget become reality.

At the third stop on that tour at Spanish Fort’s 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on Tuesday, Commissioner Guy implored the public to become involved in the process.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Alabama Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship has a point to make, but the audience he needs to reach is not on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Alabama’s saltwater anglers are well aware of the red snapper story, so Blankenship reached out to what is known as the Washington (D.C.) bubble, where outside information has a hard time gaining attention.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

By DAVID RAINER

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Fire is your friend if you’re managing land for a variety of reasons, especially for wildlife habitat, according to Andy Baril of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). Controlled fire, that is.

Baril, a regional extension agent in ACES’ Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources Division, was at the Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery over the weekend, and I asked him what hunters and wildlife managers can do right away to enhance their land with hunting seasons on the horizon.

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