A whitetail deer makes its way through a field.
With over 1.7 million whitetail deer in Alabama, it’s no wonder the state is considered one of the top deer-hunting areas in the South. Alabama hunters don’t have the luxury of the North’s inclement weather to push deer to bait, so knowing the strategies behind getting a trophy deer is a must.
Look Before You Hunt
Scouting is an important part of any hunter’s annual practice, but in Alabama it is a key component to knowing where the deer are. Take time to look for deer signs, especially bedding and feeding areas and deer droppings.
The Alabama Game and Fish Department suggests also looking for shed antlers in the spring months. This, according to the website, is a great way to find trophy bucks’ territories and will prepare you for the fall hunts. The department also suggests training your dog to help you find those antlers; it’s much more effective than just happening across one.
Know the Seasons
While Alabama may not have the snow that will drive a deer to a bait source, it still has the luxury of premating and mating seasons for whitetail deer.
In the premating season, which runs in the early weeks of fall, the bucks are often out marking their territories and bulking up their food supply to prepare for the rut. This is a good time to lure deer in with food sources and by hunting their feeding grounds.
The mating season, or rut, is a bit more challenging if you’re trying to hunt food sources. Instead, try using scents and calls to bring a buck into shooting range. Rattling antlers emulate the sound of two bucks fighting over territory, which is sure to pique the interest of a dominant buck. The same goes for buck grunt calls. Doe bleats, on the other hand, mixed with doe estrus scents, encourage a buck by tempting his mating instincts.
Keep on Practicing
If there’s one thing that is certain when hunting in Alabama, it’s that you never know what type of shot you’re going to have to take. From large open areas, from thicket to swamp to forest, Alabama has a plethora of hunting grounds that you may find yourself traversing. Practice shooting in several stances, from standing to kneeling to prone positions and from elevated and declined positions.