Historically, Alabamians loved to hunt.

They hunted everything: bird, large game, small game. For generations of Alabamians, dove and quail hunting was a fall ritual followed by squirrel and deer seasons in late fall, duck and waterfowl seasons and rabbit and turkey seasons in the spring. Feral hogs and coyotes can legally be hunted 365 days a year. While the game continues to abound, there are fewer hunters than ever before.

Various factors influence hunting, from a connection to the land to the price of food. While many younger Alabamians have fewer memories of exploring fields and forests, food price inflation has made hunting the most economically beneficial that it has been in decades. But even if they wanted to, more and more Alabamians don’t really even know how to hunt.

That’s where Hunting 101 stepped in.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (AECNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) division has addressed this need by offering their Hunting 101 Workshops. Participants learn how to hunt through Alabama’s Adult Mentored Hunt (AMH) Program. The program teaches all the skills needed to put wild game on the dinner table and help start new traditions.

Alabamians can get started in the AMH program simply by signing up for a Hunting 101 workshop.

“Hunting 101 is open to anyone with an interest in learning how to hunt,” said Brandon Holloway, Conservation Enforcement Officer and Regional R3 (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation) Coordinator for WFF. “Our hope is that participants walk away from the experience with the skills and confidence needed to have a successful hunt on their own or with a hunting partner.”

The program is designed for anyone with little to no hunting experience. The daylong workshops take place at various Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) throughout the state and provide participants with an opportunity to learn hunting basics, firearm safety and handling, where to hunt and what equipment is needed.

Immediately following the workshops, participants are encouraged to use their new skills by small game hunting on the WMA with assistance from experienced mentors.

Registration for Hunting 101 is now open. The first workshop of the 2022-2023 season will take place at the Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Decatur on September 24. There is a $20 registration fee for each workshop.

Click here to learn more about the AMH program or register for a workshop.

Workshop participants must be at least 19 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license. Attending Hunting 101 is a prerequisite to becoming eligible to participate in a three-day AMH hunt for deer or turkey. Workshop attendees will be notified by email if they have been randomly selected for an AMH hunt.

Workshops will also be held:

  • October 1 at the William R. Ireland-Cahaba River WMA near Birmingham

  • October 8 at the Upper Delta WMA near Mobile

A Turkey Hunting 101 workshop is also scheduled for February 25, 2023, at the William R. Ireland-Cahaba River WMA near Birmingham.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning