I prepared a sample letter that you are welcome to copy and paste, use as talking points though I suggest you re-write itIn regards to the deer season extension that N. Gunter Guy, Jr.
Commissioner of Conservation is to propose at the 7 February 2013 meeting of the Alabama Conservation Board for SW Alabama, I have to stand in strong opposition.
When everything is boiled down, the argument is “Will the marginal benefits for deer hunters outweigh the devastating effects on small game hunters?”
The CAB is supposed to weigh the effects on all stake holders. To allow this regulation will do great harm to small game hunters for only minimal positive impact on the deer hunters.
The deer herd will be negatively impacted. Or at the very minimum, a neutral effect though the Commissioner’s own study seems to point to more negative impacts then positive
Many are missing the fact that with a new influx of out of state hunters, lease fees will go up forcing many middle and low income Alabamians to leave the rank of hunters.
In my mind the worst aspect will be the end of small game hunting where ever the deer season is extended. The small game hunter can’t find property to hunt before or during deer season. Only after deer season does property open up for us. I already have plans to sell my dogs and equipment if the deer season extension is rolled out in my area. We only have four weekends in February as it is. The loss of any of it means that it is no longer worth the thousands of dollars that I pour into hunting rabbits. I will have to start hunting Georgia and spending my money there until they to begin to seek revenue from out of staters. Many Alabama small game hunters will not live within comfortable driving distance to hunt in states that have a better attitude towards small game hunters. At the end of this letter, I have quoted from the Commissioner’s study of the effect on small game hunters.
Some are saying that this isn’t an extension of deer season in that the season will be closed for 10 days in December. Anyone who thinks that small game hunters will have access to the woods during this time does not know deer hunters.
I suspect that the extension of deer season in the south west sector of Alabama is just a phased roll out for the entire state. Already, some I’m hearing some rumblings from counties not in the sector being proposed. It is being billed as good for the deer and the hunters. I would have to say the State and real estate holders only will benefit in the long run. The wildlife in Alabama are supposed to belong to all the people of the state and not just certain classes of hunters and landowners.
Gunter Guy is on record as saying”The thing is our deer season ends after everybody else’s, and we should take advantage of that to bring in money from out of state. ”
Using hunting as a revenue enhancement will hurt moderate to low income Alabama hunters solely to benefit large real estate owners by causing leases to rise. This will make hunting the sole province of the wealthy and or connected. Look to England as our future. Many of those of lesser means have already been forced out. The decrease in the number of hunters is troubling for the future of hunting
“ Most private lands in Alabama hunted primarily for deer grant very limited access for small game hunters (i.e., rabbit, squirrel, quail, and raccoon hunters) from November through January. Although hunting season for most small game extends from
October 1 to the end of February, the period from late November through February is the preferred time to hunt for most small game hunters. For many small game hunters, the only time hunting access is granted on these deer hunted properties is in February after the close of deer season. Extending deer season into February
would greatly reduce the already limited access to these properties for small game hunters.
Reduced hunting access for small game hunters on private properties hunted primarily for deer may result in a decline in small game hunter numbers in Alabama, as many small game hunters may either quit hunting altogether, or hunt in other states with more hunting land access during January and February.
The potential decline in small game hunting tied to a deer season extension could represent a threat to future wildlife conservation efforts, as well as a loss of an Alabama tradition.”