With certified game checks in place, Alabama's numbers reveal some interesting facts.
The 2016-2017 hunting season was the first year of mandatory game checks in Alabama. The purpose of the checks was to allow authorities to better understand how many deer are being taken each year and where. This information would be crucial in helping provide better management of certain areas throughout the year.
The questions on the reporting included if the deer was a buck or a doe, if it was shot on private or public land, and even what county it was harvested in. Believe it or not, even with 82,435 deer taken this year, authorities believe only 35% of all hunters actually reported their kills.
"We estimate that approximately 35 percent of hunters reported their deer harvest this first year," said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes. "I feel that as hunters get used to the idea and understand what we are trying to do, the reporting will increase."
Out of the total harvest, 45,546 bucks were taken and 36,854 were does. Another 35 deer were of an unspecified gender. While there was not a large percentage of hunters actually reporting their deer, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says they believe the program is off to a good start.
Hunters are able to report the data via telephone, online, or through the Outdoor Alabama app. Since the phone require more from he hunter and is more time consuming, the agency suggests all hunters use their online services at www.outdooralabama.com in order to fill out their information.
Please note that any hunter that is planning on filling out their information online or by phone will still need to process a harvest record and hunting license during their hunt.