The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) White-tailed Deer Program goal is to provide a quality white-tailed deer population statewide and offer maximum outdoor recreational opportunity to the public without negatively affecting the resource. Alabama"s deer population is estimated to be approximately 1.5 million, with hunters harvesting in excess of 300,000 deer annnually.
WFF biologists provide deer related technical assistance to managers on private and public lands, conduct seminars, speak publicly, write articles for professional publications, conduct statewide disease surveillance, and cooperate with Auburn Univesity deer research projects to ensure Alabama's deer resources are managed in an appropriate manner.
The Deer Management Assistance Program (DMP) is a comprehensive deer management program, consisting of data collection and cooperator education with which the WFF tries to put the landowner/cooperator in a better position to manage their lands for a healthy deer herd, while maintaing habitat integrity. Data from the program are used to develop site specific harvest recommendations, and have prompted numerous research projects to help better understand deer biology. Collecting harvest information including sex, age, weight, lactation rates and other attributes should be a facet of an active deer management plan. Chris Cook, Deer Project Study Leader, compiled instructions and developed data sheets for hunting clubs to collect the necessary information to take an active role in managing their white-tailed deer resources.
In addition to working with private landowners, WFF biologists also provide technical assistance on various local, state, and federal public lands across the state. Some of the assistance provided to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program includes habitat modification recommendations, deer harvest analyis, reproductive health evaluations, population surveys, deer disease surveillance, and regulation recommendations.
WFF Deer Management Steering Committee
Chris Cook, Deer Project Study Leader
Kevin Pugh, Wildlife Biologist
Bill Gray, Supervising Wildlife Biologist
Chris Nix, Wildlife Biologist
Statewide Deer Harvest Summary
The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries has conducted an annual mail survey to obtain harvest and man-days of hunting information since 1963. The survey provides excellent trend data for biologists to evaluate and assist with management decision making processes.
Information highlighting Alabama's deer harvest information is available by clicking on the appropriate links below:
- Hunter Survey Results
- Alabama's gun deer harvest information
- Alabama's archery deer harvest information
- WMA Information and Harvest Surveys
Reproductive Health Informtion
The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries has collected white-tailed deer reproductive health information since 1995. The collections provide valuable information regarding the reproductive capacity and breeding chronology of white-tailed deer throughout Alabama.
Historically, most food plots were planted with small grains in the late-summer or early-fall. These food plots were planted primarily to attract deer to the gun or bow during hunting season. Food plots now are an integral part of many intensive deer habitat management programs. Today, more and more deer hunters and deer managers plant food plots for reasons other than hunting only. Regardless of the intended purpose of food plots, planning and preparing for planting food plots for deer ahead of time provide the most benefit for your investment.
Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer in Alabama was written to provide deer hunters and managers with timely and factual information to aid them in properly managing their deer herds. For the individual hunter or the professional deer manager, this book offers a sound basis for management decisions. For those with only a casual interest in the white-tailed deer, it makes an excellent reference tool.
Links of Interest
QDMA Report on CWD
Recently QDMA released a report on 10 Reasons You Don't Want CWD in Your Woods. Here is a brief summary from that report:
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a serious threat to the future of deer hunting. Yet, there are many hunters who don't understand or appreciate the threat, who feel it is not something they have to worry about because it is far away from their woods, or who confuse it with other diseases. That's why it's important for all deer hunters - especially those who have not yet felt the impact of CWD or who live far from any outbreak areas - to learn what is really happening right now to those who have the misfortune of being affected.
To find out more about CWD in Alabama and what to do, review our Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.
Articles of Interest
- Deer Management Through Culling – Does It Work?
- Urban Deer
- Doe Management Equals Deer Management
- Fawns Not Abandoned: Leave Them Alone
- Antler Development
- Choices In Deer Management
- Mentoring Young Hunters - Returning To A Path Less Traveled
- Fawns Best Left In The Wild