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Legal Arms & Ammunition for Hunting

Rule 220-2-.02

*Taken from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

(1) GENERAL PROHIBITIONS: It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt with a bow or gun that has a light source attached that is capable of casting a beam of light (including a laser sight) forward of said bow or gun or to possess such a light source adapted for attachment to said bow or gun while hunting. It shall be unlawful to use any equipment that uses electronics to increase the ability to see in the dark (night vision equipment) to hunt any species of wildlife, both protected or unprotected species.

(2) DEER: WHEN AND WHERE DOG OR STALK HUNTING IS ALLOWED - Rifles using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition; shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using buckshot, slugs, or single round ball. Muzzle-loaders and Black Powder Handguns - 40 caliber or larger, provided however, that during special muzzleloader deer season, muzzleloaders shall be limited to those with open sights only (no scopes) and persons while participating in special muzzleloader deer season shall not possess any type of firearm other than a legal muzzle-loader; long bows or compound bows; handguns or pistols using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition.
WHEN AND WHERE STALK HUNTING ONLY IS ALLOWED - Same as above, except slugs or single round ball only may be used in shotguns.

(3) TURKEY: Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using standard No. 2 shot or smaller, and long bows or compound bows. Handguns or pistols using centerfire, mushrooming ammunition, open metallic sights only, no scopes. Use of decoys prohibited.

(4) MIGRATORY BIRDS: Shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, plugged or otherwise incapable of holding more than 3 shells using standard No. 2 shot or smaller, except waterfowl must be hunted with steel shot only, T-size or smaller and waterfowl hunters shall not possess any other size steel shot or any size lead shot; or long bows or compound bows. Waterfowl may also be hunted with other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved shot and sizes.

(5) BOBCAT & GROUNDHOG: Rifles of any caliber; handguns or pistols; shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller using standard No. 2 shot or smaller long bows or compound bows.

(6) RACCOON & OPOSSUM: Nighttime hunting - Shotguns using No. 6 shot or smaller; .22 caliber or smaller rimfire firearms. (See "(8) OTHER GAME BIRDS OR ANIMALS" for daytime hunting.)

(7) FOX, COYOTE and FERAL SWINE: Rifles of any caliber; handguns or pistols; shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller (with slugs or single round ball only during stalk gun deer season); long bows or compound bows.

(8) OTHER GAME BIRDS OR ANIMALS: Rifles using rimfire ammunition or those operated by air; muzzleloaders; long bows or compound bows (Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, no crossbows or other devices propelling arrows or bolts); shotguns, 10 gauge or smaller, using standard No. 4 shot or smaller; handguns or pistols.

(9) SPEAR: DEER and FERAL SWINE may be taken by hand thrown spear during the open Bow and Arrow season on these species. The hand thrown spear shall have a sharpened blade a minimum of two inches in width. The spear shall only be hand thrown.

(10) CROSSBOW: (a) Properly permitted and licensed permanently disabled persons may use a crossbow to take any of the above game birds or animals during open season.
(b) Permits for permanently disabled persons to use a crossbow shall be issued to persons meeting at least one of the following qualifications:
(1) Any person previously licensed under Section 9-11-45.1 Code of Alabama, to use a crossbow.
(2) Any person unable to ambulate without the aid of a wheelchair, two crutches, two leg braces or two leg prostheses at all times.
(3) Any person who, by reason of permanent physical impairment, is incapable of holding, drawing, or releasing a compound bow, recurve bow, or long bow, with a minimum peak tension (within the users normal draw length) of 35 pounds.
Persons applying for a permit to use a crossbow pursuant to (b)(2) or (b)(3) above shall present to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources a letter from a licensed physician stating the applicant's name, address, description of the permanent physical impairment, the medical reason for such impairment, and a specific statement certifying how the applicant meets the criteria of (b)(2) or (b)(3). Upon review and approval of such letter by an authorized employee of the Department, the letter shall be returned to the applicant and said letter shall be in the applicant's possession and serve as a permit at any time he/she is utilizing a crossbow for hunting.

Rule 220-2-.03 Legal Specifications for Bow and Arrow
(1) A legal bow for hunting is defined as either a long bow, a recurve bow or a compound bow designed to be held, drawn, and fired in the upright (vertical) position. There shall be no attachment or extensions on the bow upon which the shooter may rest the string, drawing hand, fingers, release aid or arm to assist in holding or to hold the bow at full draw. The bow must be supported only by the shooter's hand, and the string and arrow must be drawn and held using only the shooter's strength while the bow is being shot. This does not prohibit the use of cable guards on compound bows or the use of string releases or mechanical releases which are hand-held and hand-drawn with no other attachments, connection or contact with the bow other than to the bow string. It shall be unlawful to hunt with any bow which does not conform to the requirements of this paragraph, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation.
(2) Sighting and aiming devices on all bows shall be void of any electronics with computational capabilities. The use of electrically assisted aiming devices shall be limited to illuminated sight pins/beads/markings which are attached to the bow. Sights with magnification or light projection (laser type) features are prohibited.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt wildlife with a crossbow or with any mechanical device that holds a bow at full or partial draw, except a person holding a valid crossbow permit issued by the Department is allowed to use a device that holds a bow at full draw provided the device has a full working safety to prevent accidental firings, or a crossbow as otherwise provided by law or regulation.
(4) It shall be unlawful, except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, for any person to hunt deer and turkey with bow and arrows that are not in conformance with the following specifications:
(a) Bows must have a minimum peak tension (within the user's normal draw length) of 35 pounds. Compound bows shall not have draw reduction (let-off) greater than 90 percent at full draw.
(b) Arrows shall be a minimum of 20 inches in length (nock slot to end of shaft) and equipped with a broadhead which has a minimum of 2 sharpened edges.
(c) Broadheads shall have a minimum weight of 100 grains. The minimum cutting diameter for any broadhead shall be 7/8 inch. The minimum thickness for fixed blade broadheads shall be .015 inch, and the minimum thickness for expanded broadheads shall be .025 inch.

Rule 220-2-.99 Legal Specifications for Crossbows and Arrows for Use by Disabled Persons

Crossbows and arrows for hunting game birds, animals and unprotected wildlife by properly permitted and licensed permanently disabled persons, pursuant to Rule 220-2-.02(10), must meet the following specifications:
(1) Crossbows must have a minimum peak tension (within the normal draw length) of 100 pounds.
(2) Crossbows must be equipped with a working safety to prevent accidental firing.
(3) Sighting and aiming devices on all crossbows shall be void of any electronics with computational capabilities. The use of electrically assisted aiming devices shall be limited to illuminated sight pins/beads/markings which are attached to the bow. Sights with magnification or light projection (laser type) features are prohibited.
(4) Bolts or arrows shall be a minimum of 14 inches in length measured from nock slot to end of shaft.
(5) Arrows or bolts used for hunting deer and turkey must be equipped with a broadhead which has a minimum of two sharpened edges. Broadheads shall have a minimum weight of 100 grains. The minimum cutting diameter for any broadhead shall be 7/8 inch. The minimum thickness for fixed blade broadheads shall be .015 inch, and the minimum thickness for expanded broadheads shall be .025 inch.
(6) Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, resident and non-resident licensed sport fishermen who also hold a valid permit or license from his or her state of residence, or the State of Alabama to hunt by crossbow as a disabled person, may use crossbows for bowfishing in Alabama, provided such persons otherwise comply with the provisions of this rule and Rule 220-2-.46.

*FULLY AUTOMATIC FIREARMS AND SILENCED FIREARMS PROHIBITED.