It’s unusual. With most hunters in Alabama focused on big game such as whitetail deer, sometimes the small game hunters feel like a red-headed step child. Now, the ADCNR has introduced plans for a new WMA that focuses on small game such as quail, rabbit and squirrel hunting.
The ADCNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to expand and improve bobwhite quail habitat through the creation of a new Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in south Alabama.
Approximately 7,000 acres within the Conecuh National Forest is now part of Boggy Hollow WMA in Covington County, Ala. The newly created WMA will be managed as a bobwhite quail focal area and will provide additional habitat for nongame species including gopher tortoise and red-cockaded woodpecker.
Boggy Hollow WMA is located off State Route 137 just west of Wing, Ala. The WMA will be open to hunting this fall.
In addition to an emphasis on quail habitat, Boggy Hollow will also provide exclusive small game and deer hunting opportunities during regular season dates.
Thursdays and Fridays will be dedicated to squirrel, rabbit, raccoon and opossum hunting. Quail hunters will have dedicated hunting days on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Deer hunters will be given archery-only hunting days Sunday through Tuesday. Turkey hunting will also be permitted on Boggy Hollow, on regular season dates.
“This format was developed to offer a broad spectrum of specific hunting opportunities, while still focusing on quail and small game,” said Bill Gray, WFF District IV Supervising Wildlife Biologist.
To thrive, bobwhite quail need open grassland habitat with an extensive groundcover of forbs, native grasses and scattered brush thickets. U.S. quail populations have declined in areas where this habitat has become fragmented. Boggy Hollow WMA will be converted into bobwhite quail habitat through selective timber thinning and more frequent, smaller prescribed burns. These efforts will allow more sunlight to reach the ground and spur the growth of native grasses and forbs. While quail presently exist on the property, the new habitat management practices are expected to provide opportunity for a population increase.
WFF is a participant in the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, a multi-state effort to restore bobwhite quail to America’s landscape. The creation of the Boggy Hollow WMA quail focal area is one piece in the national puzzle of bobwhite quail restoration. To learn more about bobwhite quail in Alabama visit, www.outdooralabama.com/northern-bobwhite.
For more information about Boggy Hollow WMA, visit www.outdooralabama.com/wildlife-management-areas.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.