Crossbows & Turkey Decoys Now Legal

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The Alabama Legislative Council today approved changes to the state’s hunting laws that legalize the use of crossbows, turkey decoys and the use of scopes on muzzleloaders. The three proposals were recommended by the Conservation Advisory Board in May. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources held a public hearing regarding the issues in August and received more than 3,000 comments regarding the proposed regulations.

An analysis of those comments indicates that 78 percent favor the crossbow regulation, 86 percent favor the muzzleloader regulation, and 77 percent favor the turkey decoy regulation.

Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley says these regulations allow new choices for hunters. “They are options and not mandates,” he said. “That is why the overwhelming majority of hunters favor all the regulations so enthusiastically. Public input indicates that a vocal minority opposes the crossbow and turkey decoy regulations, and virtually none oppose the muzzleloader regulations.”

Archery deer season opens October 15 in Alabama, with gun season opening November 20 and closing on January 31, 2005. Crossbows will be legal for the entire season.

Turkey season in most counties opens March 15, 2005 and ends April 30, 2005. The use of non-mechanical turkey decoys is now legal during the spring season.

Scopes on muzzleloaders is now also legal. Alabama has a special muzzleloader season that runs from November 15-19, just prior to the regular gun season.

For more information on Alabama's hunting laws, click here.