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Grider Coordinates the State of Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunt Program – Part of the R3 Program

Justin Grider heads up the State of Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunt Program and is the R3 Coordinator for the state.

hunter with buck


The first R in Alabama’s R3 Program means recruitment. We want to recruit more hunters and teach them to hunt white-tailed deer, turkeys, waterfowl and small game. To recruit hunters, we need to teach and show them how much fun and how successful they can be when they participate in any or all of the hunting opportunities mentioned. 


The second R stands for retention, which means the ADCNR is bringing adults back into the game of hunting that may have left the sport of hunting at some time. Some adults may have hunted in their youth, but for many different reasons haven’t hunted in a very long time. We hope to bring them back into the sport through the R3 Program. 


The third R is reactivation - hunters who may have hunted in their youth, and when they’ve become adults, for a wide variety of reasons, have left the sport. We’ve learned that oftentimes when people have hunted in their youth, when they become adults, the strain of work, family and other activities limits their time for hunting. But as they’ve gotten older and have more time to hunt, we want to give them opportunities to return to hunting with a refresher course. 

In the R3 Program, the people who attend want to learn how to hunt and/or want to relearn how to hunt. Some of our students have little hunting experience and attend the course to learn about new equipment and tactics, have the opportunity to tune-up their hunting skills and learn about more public lands they can hunt where they’ll have good chances of success. They also want to have opportunities to interact with our instructors, who have had many years of hunting experiences. Rules and regulations and places to hunt change every year, so we want our students to be able to take what they’ve learned and use that information at the beginning of the season and/or the first deer-hunting trip of the season. 

In these courses, you will:

Learn New Rules: One of the courses that’s taught is teaching the new rules and regulations for hunting Wildlife Management Areas - WMAs that are state-owned public lands. We also teach how to learn the specific rules and regulations that apply to each of the WMAs. If our students are from different states, we teach them how to find that same information for the state where they live. We also want our students to learn how to act and react and learn from wildlife biologists on these public lands. Then our students can be up-to-date and know why various wildlife management areas (WMAs) sometimes have different rules. Too, the ADCNR wants to keep them current on new lands that recently have been acquired for public hunting within the state. 

Know about New Hunting Equipment: The ADCNR also offers a session on new hunting equipment on the market that’s often better and easier to use and drastically can increase hunter’s chances of being successful. We discuss different kinds of blinds, how to set them up and how to use them. For example, apps like onX is one of the newest and best hunting tools for the hunter, showing boundary lines for WMAs, listing the name of property owners around the WMAs, allowing you to mark the places where you’ve discovered deer sign and helping prevent you from getting lost by using satellite receivers on your cell phone or GPS or even a compass. 

We also show and specify the equipment you may want to consider for your backpack or daypack. We also teach how to survive comfortably, if you become lost in the woods. We give the attendees opportunities to learn to shoot, and more importantly, learn to shoot accurately. 

Justin GriderUnderstand How to Register for the Adult Mentored Hunt Program: 

The requirements to take these courses are the individual, must be at least 19 years old, be registered online at Outdoor Alabama’s website, and have a valid driver’s license. 

Go to Outdoor Alabama’s website, and click the hunting tab to find the link for the Adult Mentored Hunt Program to access all the information you’ll need, including dates and locations. There’s also a sample agenda on the website as well as the link for you to register. The basic course costs $20, and that includes lunch. All you have to do is show-up at the appointed time, date/location of that workshop. 

Meet Well-Qualified Instructors:

We’re really fortunate to have some highly skilled and extremely knowledgeable and certified instructors. Some are volunteers, some are hunter-education instructors, some are people who already have been through the program and been successful and others are biologists or staff members from Alabama’s Department of Conservation, including WMA people and firearm instructors. The skills we teach at the courses increase our students likelihood of being successful on public lands. 

Learn about Public Lands to Hunt:

The ADCNR has learned that one of the reasons many would-be hunters don’t hunt is that they aren’t aware of the public lands available that they can hunt, and how well these lands are managed to try and increase hunter success. However, if our students have private lands to hunt, everything they learn through the R3 Program also will apply to private lands. The ADCNR has more than 750,000 acres scattered throughout the state, and these WMAs are often within easy access to hunters from any section of the state or for out-of-state hunters. We have numbers of well-stocked deer places for hunters to hunt in Alabama. When you include U.S Forest Service lands and other public lands available, Alabama has over 1-million acres of land where the public can hunt. 

To learn more about the Adult Mentored Hunt Program, you can email Justin Grider at or reach him on his cell phone at (334) 590-1084.

Here are some other Adult Mentored Hunts available in early 2021.

January 8-9th - Mentored duck hunt with Auburn University wildlife students
January 15-17th - Mentored deer hunt at Portland Landing SOA in Dallas County with 10 Adult hunters
January 22-23rd - Mentored duck hunt with Alabama A&M wildlife students
January 29-31st - Mentored deer hunt at Portland Landing SOA in Dallas County with 10 Adult hunters
February 5-7th - Mentored archery deer hunt at Oak Mountain State Park with 5 Adult hunters
February 27th - Learn to Hunt Turkey Workshop at Cahaba WMA 
March 26-28th - Mentored Turkey hunt at Portland Landing SOA in Dallas County with 10 Adult hunters

Registration costs for Residents and Nonresidents:
$20 fee for 1-day events
$100 fee for 3-day events

License costs:
Resident All Game license (Annual) - $28.20
Nonresident All Game license (Annual) - $325.90
Nonresident All Game license (3 day trip) - $142.00

Visit the website.

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