Alabama Squirrel Hunting Season [Rules & Regulations]

Alabama Squirrel Hunting Season

The Heat of Dixie is for all outdoor activities, including squirrel hunting. With over 23 million acres of forestland and over Wildlife Management Units (WMUs), makes it an excellent place for hunters of all experiences. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has implemented several laws and regulations that hunters must abide by. Let’s take a look at them.

Alabama Squirrel Hunting Season

The state offers big and small game hunting. Experienced and beginner hunters can legally hunt fox and gray squirrels during the regular hunting season, which runs from October 1 through March 5. The dates can change yearly, so check the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources before heading to the woods.

Anyone under 16, residents 65 or older, and resident landowners hunting on their own property are exempt from requiring a hunting license. There are no exceptions, and if you’re caught hunting without a license, you are subject to fines, license revocations, etc. 

There are no regulations on the types of hunting equipment you can use. Most people prefer using a shotgun, rifle, or bow and arrow when hunting squirrels. It is also important to note that using artificial light for nighttime hunting is prohibited.

So, what type of squirrels does the state have, and where are some of the best places to hunt? Well, let’s take a look.

Types of Squirrels In Alabama

Alabama is home to three species of squirrels, which consist of the following:

  1. Eastern Gray Squirrel
  2. Fox Squirrels
  3. Southern Flying Squirrels

As mentioned above, only the fox and gray squirrels are categorized as small game. It is illegal to hunt the southern flying squirrels. Doing so can result in hefty fines and penalties.

I’m not sure if they are protected or endangered, but they are not classified as small game animals.

Where To Hunt Squirrels In Alabama?

There is no shortage of hunting grounds in Alabama. Whether you’re a seasoned or beginner hunter, there are several places to hunt squirrels and other small game animals. 

Below is a table of some of the best public Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), according to several online forums.

  • Crow Creek WMA
  • Coon Gulf WMA
  • Riverton WMA
  • Mulberry Fork WMA
  • Black Warrior WMA
  • Little River WMA

With over 721,574 acres of WMA land throughout the state, finding the right one to hunt can be challenging. When hunting squirrels, find a WMA with a large squirrel population, flat terrain, and patches of woods that contain hickory, beechnuts, or acorns.

Starting early in the morning or late afternoon will ensure you have a good day, as that’s when they are most active. You can find detailed maps and other wildlife management areas by visiting the Outdoor Alabama website.

This video will provide you with some tips on how to scout for squirrels.

Alabama Squirrel Hunting Regulations

Hunters are responsible for understanding and abiding by the hunting rules and regulations. This entails when hours you can hunt, private and public land, bag limits, safety, equipment, etc.

Many people enjoy hunting squirrels, but the laws differ in every state. Here’s what we found when researching the Alabama squirrel hunting regulations.

Do You Need A License To Hunt Squirrels In Alabama?

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, anyone 16-64 must possess a valid hunting license.

At the time of this writing, Alabama hunting enthusiasts can purchase the following types of hunting licenses:

  • Alabama Resident: Anyone who has lived in the state for 90 consecutive days or has a permanent dwelling at any time during the tax year. The only exceptions are; active military personnel and out of state of college students.) Residents must possess a valid hunting license and any additional permits.
  • Non-Resident Hunting License: Non-residents, 16 or older, must purchase a non-resident small game license.
  • Youth Hunting License: Residents and non-residents 15 or younger are not required to purchase a hunting license. At 16, you must purchase an Alabama youth hunting license; visit the Alabama Department of Natural Resources for the application.
  • Senior Hunting License: Alabama senior residents age 65 are not required to purchase a hunting license. If you have any questions or concerns, visit the Alabama Department of Natural Resources for complete details.

Before purchasing a license, visit the Alabama Department of Natural Resources for updated hunting license details.

How To Purchase An Alabama Hunting License

You can purchase a hunting license by visiting the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website to complete an online application.

You can also purchase a hunting license at a state-approved license agent by presenting your driver’s license, providing your social security number, and a hunting education course if required.

At the time of this writing, an annual small game hunting license costs

  • Annual – $114.25
  • 10-Day Trip: $69.60
  • 3-Day Trip: $50.45

When ordering online, you can print it after ordering, and it expires on August 31 annually.

What Do You Need to Apply for A License?

To apply for a hunting license, the applicant must provide the following:

  • State-issued driver’s license or state ID
  • Social security number
  • Proof of a state-approved Hunter-Trapper Education course for anyone born after August 1, 1977.

Do I Need To Take A Hunters Education Course to Get A Hunting License?

In 1992, the Alabama Legislature passed a law that required anyone applying for a hunting license to pass a state-approved hunter education course. The law was enacted to help reduce the number of hunting accidents.

Anyone born on or after August 1, 1977, to take the course before applying for a license.

You must be at least 10 years old and a resident of Alabama to take the course. At the time of this writing, the cost of the online course is $28.95.

Bag Limits

Alabama has one of the most liberal squirrel hunting seasons and bag limits in the nation. The bag limit is six per day, regardless of species combined.

Alabama Small Game Animals

Whether you enjoy hunting squirrels or not, Alabama has several small game animals you can hunt. 

Below is a table of the small game animals and dates for Alabama residents and non-residents.

Small Game AnimalDates
Rabbit, SquirrelSeptember 10 – March 5
Bobcat, Coyote, FoxOpen season, daylight hours only
RaccoonOpen season
Groundhog, Beaver, NutriaOpen Season
OpossumOpen Season
Pig FrogOpen Season

Hunting Methods

According to Alabama hunting laws and regulations, hunters can use any legal and approved hunting method that is currently in use.

You’ll be fine if you have a permit or license and abide by the rules and regulations.

Can You Use A Dog To Hunt Squirrels In Alabama?

The laws vary depending on where you’re hunting. For example, in Woodruff Lake, hunters can use dogs for small game animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and doves.

However, dogs are only allowed after and before deer hunting.

Allowing your dog to hunt or take tree squirrels or other wildlife is illegal.

Hunters must abide by the rules and regulations of the hunting area. Failure to do so can result in fines.

Can You Hunt From A Motorized Vehicle In Alabama?

You can hunt from a motor vehicle when the motor is shut off, and the vehicle has stopped moving.

It is illegal to hunt on public roads such as highways. Using artificial lighting to blind the animals is illegal and can result in harsh penalties.

Violation of this law will result in fourth-degree misdemeanors.

A fourth-degree penalty consists of a $150 but not more than $300 fine and a possible revocation of your hunting privileges. 

Hunters must abide by the rules and regulations of the area they are hunting. Understanding the laws and regulations, failure to do so can result in harsh penalties and fines.

Do You Have To Wear Orange Or Camouflage To Hunt Squirrels?

All hunters, hunting any wildlife except foxes, raccoons, and opossums, must wear a minimum of 144 square inches of hunter orange. This can include items such as vests, jackets, hats, etc.

Individuals hunting from an elevated position of 12 feet or more are exempt from wearing orange.

Equipment and Gear

Equipping yourself with the right gear can make all the difference in your hunting experience. Here is some essential hunting gear:

  • Hunting License and Permit: A valid hunting license and a small game permit are required to hunt squirrels. 
  •  Boots: Sturdy and comfortable boots are essential for walking and hiking in the woods.
  •  Game Bag: A bag or backpack to carry hunting gear and harvested squirrels.
  •  Binoculars: for scouting squirrel activity from a distance.
  •  Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for field dressing and skinning squirrels.
  •  Hunting Clothing: Camouflage clothing that matches the environment can help blend in and stay hidden from squirrels.
  •  Ammunition: Depending on your weapon of choice or bow used, appropriate ammunition or bolts are necessary for hunting squirrels.
  •  Map and Compass: A map and compass can help you navigate in the woods and find your way back to camp or your vehicle.

Safety Tips and Considerations

Following safe hunting practices and being aware of squirrel conservation efforts is essential when hunting in Alabama.

Since some squirrel species in the state are protected, understanding local regulations and conservation initiatives is crucial.

Final Word

With more than 1.3 million acres of public hunting land and liberal seasons and bag limits, makes squirrel hunting in Alabama exciting.

Ensure you have the proper license and gear and understand the local regulations to have a successful and safe hunt.

Visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website before heading to the woods, as the dates, license fees, hunting areas, and regulations change regularly.

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