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Late-Season Deer Rut Means February Deer Hunting in Alabama

Zachery Bond | Mossy Oak ProStaff

buck in rut
 

In south Alabama, where I live and hunt, we have a deer season that extends into February. We’re also seeing some other southern states like Florida and Louisiana lengthening their deer seasons  into February. The first Alabama counties to have a February deer season were primarily the south Alabama counties below Montgomery, which is in the central section of the state. Many of the people in south Alabama had been telling wildlife biologists that the southern part of the state had a rut that was just starting in February. The biologists conducted research to prove that our rut started the latest of any rut in the State of Alabama.

Alabama is an unusual state in that we have at least five different rutting seasons that occur in various parts of the state, although some counties have seasons that overlap. However, due to south Alabama having the latest rutting season, and deer season in Alabama once ended at the end of January, we never got to hunt the rut around our homes like the rest of the state did. The peak of south Alabama’s rut extended into February, and after the results of the study of the deer rut, the State of Alabama first expanded deer season only in south Alabama into February. Then hunters there could experience and hunt the rut like deer hunters in other sections of the state.

Since the study was done and the first February deer season was held, the State of Alabama has decided to allow hunters statewide to hunt until February 10, giving Alabama one of the longest deer seasons in the nation, with bow season beginning each year around October 15 and gun season starting around Thanksgiving. Better science, more research and a willingness on the part of the State of Alabama to help the deer hunter has allowed deer hunters who live in or who come to Alabama to participate in a very long deer season. 

As in many sports, deer hunting is changing. The equipment and weapons used for hunting deer have changed, the season dates are different today in various states, and the hunter himself has changed how and where he hunts. Mossy Oak ProStaffer Zachery “Zac” Bond of Mobile, Alabama, has been a Mossy Oak Pro for one year and is one of the new generation of bowhunters.

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