Fall hunting season may take on a new look in many areas of Alabama as the state’s new bait privilege license is used for the first time.
The law creating the bait privilege license was passed by the Alabama Legislature earlier this year and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey May 7. The law authorizes the sale of annual permits by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) for hunting deer and feral swine over bait.
“Sponsors of the legislation hope the new bait privilege license will eliminate confusion and enforcement differences related to Alabama’s deer feeding laws,” said Alabama Farmers Federation Wildlife Division Director William Green.
The annual bait privilege license fee is $14 plus a $1 issuance fee for in-state hunters and $50 plus a $1 fee for out-of-state sportsmen. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, and Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens.
While Alabama requirements for hunting and fishing licenses have age exemptions and landowner exemptions, the bait privilege license does not.
Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Director Chuck Sykes said one of the most common questions about the bait privilege license is who is required to purchase it.
The short answer is anyone who hunts over bait.
“If the 7-year-old grandson is sitting in a shooting house with Granddaddy, and there’s a 30-06 and a .223 in that box, and there’s a feeder in the middle of the field, Granddaddy and his grandson both need to have a bait privilege license,” he said.
Many people falsely believe the new bait privilege license is required only for hunting over corn. Some people are calling it the corn stamp, Sykes said.
“That’s not true,” he said. “It includes a protein feeder, mineral blocks, juices and sprays. All of that is considered bait if you’re going to hunt over it. If you are going to do that, you have to buy a bait privilege license.”
A hunting license and a bait privilege license can be purchased online through the ADCNR at OutdoorAlabama.com or from an Alabama-approved agent or probate office.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources contributed to this story.