Alden Stroud from Alabama Christian Academy and Rodrigues Ellington from Sidney Lanier High School were honored as Players of the Week by the Montgomery Quarterback Club at the Club’s November 14 meeting. Former Auburn running back Ronnie Brown and former Alabama quarterback Jake Coker were the featured speakers. From left to right: Brown, Stroud, Ellington, Coker
By now, ALL resident deer hunters in Alabama should be aware of the scourge of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and the terrible impact it can have on a deer herd, along with the loss of revenues associated with deer hunting. Once again, CWD is an always fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of members of the deer family. It attacks the brain of infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions, and die.
Alabama regulations ban the import of live deer, whole carcasses, and certain body parts of any member of the deer family from CWD-positive states. Thirty-six other states also follow these rules as they apply to certain body parts. Violation of Alabama’s body parts ban is a Class C misdemeanor. Parts that may legally be imported into Alabama include completely de-boned meat, cleaned skull plates with attached antlers if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present, upper canine teeth if no root structure or other soft tissue is present, and finished taxidermy products or tanned hides. Keep in mind that root structure and other soft tissue should be removed from all teeth.
Alabama hunters going out-of-state should check the regulations of their destination state regarding handling and tagging of carcasses before preparing their deer for transport back into Alabama. Alabama is currently CWD-FREE, but it will take every sportsman’s help to maintain that status. To report the importation of live or harvested deer, call Operation Game Watch at 800 272-4263. If possible, provide a name and description of any suspects, including a vehicle description, license plate number, and the time and location of the observation. Also report sightings of resident deer showing signs of CWD to the same phone number.
Consider the follow numbers, and keep in mind that an outbreak of CWD in Alabama would no doubt adversely impact these figures. Tim Wood, general manager of the Central Alabama Farmers Co-Ops in Selma, is keenly aware of how important hunting is to Alabama, both economically and culturally. Wood is also a co-chair of the new group, Hunting Works for Alabama, a grass-roots group of people who want to make sure that the public is informed about the huge impact hunters have on Alabama’s economy.
He says that hunting in Alabama is a $1.8 billion dollar industry in the state. Hunters in Alabama spend on average $375 million a year just on hunting-related gear, plus over $400 million a year on travel, food, fuel, and lodging. That type of spending is awfully important to communities is some of the more rural areas of the state. Alabama simply cannot afford to have an outbreak of CWD. Keep your eyes open, and your phone handy!
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announced recently that an Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer has been named the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Officer of the Year. Brad Hasamear received the 2017 Colonel Bob Brantley Wildlife Officer of the Year Award at ceremonies in Louisville, Kentucky, a few days ago. Hasamear is a Senior Conservation Officer.
“Today’s conservation enforcement officer must be an educator, mentor, public relations officer, hunting and fishing promoter, search and rescue professional, and law enforcement officer,” says Alvin Taylor, the President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA). “Senior Officer Hasamear meets everyone of these demands with a positive attitude, and unwavering professionalism.”
Hasamear is the only officer assigned to Lawrence Co., which is a mostly rural county that is home to two Wildlife Management Areas, the Bankhead National Forest, and the Tennessee River. As a testament to his maturity and work ethic, Hasamear schedules his work days in split shifts, sacrificing his off-duty time so that he is working during the most critical times of the day. He made 181 game violation cases in the 2016-2017 hunting season, focusing his efforts on violations that create a danger to the public and adversely impact wildlife populations.
In 2016, he was instrumental in locating and rescuing 11 people, and rendering medical assistance within the Bankhead National Forest. Using his canoe, Hasamear rescued an elderly couple and their dog from rising flood waters. He also assisted state and local law enforcement with a suspect who had assaulted and injured four officers. He is also no stranger to youth hunting and fishing, shooting, archery in the schools, and hunter education programs. He also speaks at various schools and to civic groups.
The SEAFWA Wildlife Officer of the Year Award is determined by nominations submitted to the heads of law enforcement from the SEAFWA states and territories. In addition to direct law enforcement, an officer is selected based on community service, outreach and education, interdepartmental cooperation, and innovations that may be utilized by other officers and departments. Member states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, and Texas. Also Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.