Alabama Handgun Regulations for Bowhunters Expanded

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The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announces the limited expansion of the opportunity for bowhunters to carry handguns during archery-only season, which opens October 15, 2011.

This regulation change creates the opportunity statewide for archery hunters otherwise authorized by law to carry handguns in the field for personal protection. However, such handguns may not be used to hunt game animals that are not already open to firearms hunting.

While some consideration had been given to expanding the regulation change to include all firearms, such action has been postponed for further evaluation.

Conservation Commissioner N. Gunter Guy Jr. said, “This change has been made to conform to an existing regulation that allows the possession of handguns by legally licensed persons in any Wildlife Management Area (220-2-.21). We also want to afford more opportunity for hunters for personal protection and for taking legal game such as feral hogs. However, before action is taken to allow all firearms for archery hunters, we want to ensure that there is ample public notice and time for a comment period.”

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.


Retired2hunt's picture

  I am happy to read this


I am happy to read this from Alabama and them moving in the right direction.  While they may have a lesser chance of meeting up with a charging black bear - it still exists.  The chance of a feral hog charging or some other big cat also still exists.  I am all for being able to carry a sidearm - especially during an archery season.  I know this has to go through the standard general public opinion period but surely hope it is well received.  The ability to shoot feral hogs alone while out in an archery season is well worth this change.  And I would also hope that the few unethical hunters who would use the sidearm instead of their bow for the specific tag they have would not be the reason to change the law just to pin the hands of the masses.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

The topic of concealed

The topic of concealed handguns while hunting is a big issue for us out here in California.  Just 2 days ago, one of my friends was archery hunting out here, when he saw some turkey vulture activity.  He went to investigate, and saw movement out of the corner of his eye.  He turned, and 30 yards away, was a pretty, not so little mountain lion.  Needless to say, he quickly excited the area.

I can't imagine what would happen if the cat had attacked.  You probably wouldn't even get one shot off with a bow, let alone multiple.

Glad to see Alabama allowing this to happen.  Granted, there probably are not many lion attacks down there Wink, but the state should not restrict a person's right to protect themselves, no matter what the danger.  I understand the problem it may create with some not so ethical people attempting to take game with the handgun during an archery only season, but I would guess those instances would be few and far between.