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Articles written by David Rainer


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  • McCaleb Crowned Grand Champion at Governor's One-Shot Turkey Hunt

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    Despite some challenging weather conditions, the Alabama Governor's One-Shot Turkey Hunt last week was another resounding success with numerous hunters from across the nation bagging an Alabama bird. "We had hot and humid weather to start and then a line of thunderstorms came through," said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) at Wednesday's awards luncheon. "But more than a third of people hunting ended up with a turkey. "It has...

  • R3 Program Expanding Outreach to All Campuses

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    One of the goals of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is to not only manage and conserve our abundant natural wonders but to also share Alabama's great outdoors with everyone. The R3 Program of ADCNR's Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division is a significant part of outreach efforts to get Alabama's citizens and guests outside, enjoying the many outdoors recreational opportunities in our beautiful state. R3 Coordinator Justin Grider and his team want...

  • Alabama Saltwater Records Continue to Fall

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    As saltwater fishing for 2024 heads into the peak seasons, a look back at 2023 reveals another record-breaking year for those who fish Alabama's coastal waters and the Gulf of Mexico. The catch that went viral with news agencies around the world picking up the story was the giant blue marlin caught by "Best Trait," a 55-foot Viking sportfishing vessel owned by Scott Crump of Jasper. The marlin officially weighed 1,145.6 pounds, which is not only an Alabama but also a Gulf of Mexico record. The...

  • Gulf State Park Pier Repairs Reach Milestone

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    The reconstruction of the Gulf State Park Pier reached a milestone recently when the walkway to the octagon on the end was partially completed. Lamar Pendergrass, the South Region Operations Supervisor for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) State Parks Division, said missing pilings and decking components have been replaced all the way to the octagon, which will allow construction workers much easier access to the entire 1,544-foot pier. "You can actually make...

  • Odette's Ogden Crowned Alabama Seafood Cook-Off Champ

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    A dish prepared with one of the tasty fish species that can be reeled in from Alabama's beautiful beaches was crowned champion of the 9th annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off at The Wharf in Orange Beach this week. Chef Kyle Ogden of Odette Restaurant in Florence, Alabama, prepared his "Spring Tide" dish with pompano as the centerpiece, and it proved to be the winning preparation against three other finalists – Chef Emilio Urban from CoastAL in Orange Beach, Chef Justin Fridley of The Depot in A...

  • Female Conservation Enforcement Officers Recognized by Academy

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Apr 1, 2024

    As part of the SEC Softball Tournament last week at Auburn University, eight female Conservation Enforcement Officers (CEOs) from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) were honored during the tournament and with a shopping trip by Academy Sports + Outdoors at its Auburn location. Cody Reid, Academy's Regional Marketing Specialist for Alabama, east Tennessee and Georgia, said recognizing the CEOs was a natural fit for Academy. "The Alabama Department of...

  • Alabama Agencies Meet to Work on Feral Swine Solutions

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Mar 1, 2024

    Anyone who has explored Alabama's great outdoors or spent time on a tractor cultivating an agricultural crop knows how destructive feral swine can be on the landscape. Because of the prodigious reproductive capacity of these wild hogs, controlling the populations is difficult at best, and many researchers believe that total eradication of this invasive species is not a viable option. Some are looking to methods other than hunting or trapping to control the hog numbers, and Texas recently approve...

  • Be Sure of Turkey Season Dates, WMA Regulations

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Mar 1, 2024

    The spring turkey season in Alabama is fast approaching, and some confusion exists on the dates of the Special Youth Hunt that precedes opening day of the regular season. Marianne Gauldin of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division said this year's opening day of the regular season falls on a Monday. That means the Special Youth Hunt will be on the Saturday and Sunday immediately preceding the opening day. For Zones 1...

  • Join State Parks for Hike 24 in 24 Alabama

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Mar 1, 2024

    Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to join the naturalists and volunteers from the foothills of the Appalachians, along the Tennessee River Valley to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for the "Hike 24 in 24 Alabama" initiative from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' (ADCNR) State Parks Division. The Alabama State Parks' interpretive hike schedule (www.alapark.com/hike-24-24-alabama) includes hikes led by knowledgeable State Park staff and volunteers. Each hike...

  • Field Turkeys Require Special Tactics, Patience

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Mar 1, 2024

    One of the most frustrating aspects of pursuing the Eastern wild turkey in Alabama is hunting the wily birds in wide open territory, open agricultural fields or clearcuts for example. With virtually no cover to hide, hunters may have to resort to somewhat extreme measures to bag a bird in the open. I remember trying to outwit what I call field turkeys with Preston Pittman, who has won so many turkey calling contests that I can't list them all. Pittman finally said, "If I have to dig a hole in...

  • Mobile's EcoWild Expo Celebrates Alabama's Outdoors

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Mar 1, 2024

    Alabama is blessed with many natural wonders and diverse ecosystems that provide abundant opportunities for Alabamians and visitors alike to enjoy. A group of folks in south Alabama wants to make sure one of those amazing ecosystems receives it due recognition. Hence, the birth of the EcoWild Outdoor Expo that will be held May 10-12 at the Mobile Convention Center on Water Street on the banks of the Mobile River. The team at PMT Publishing and Mobile Bay Magazine, having published magazines in A...

  • Uphill Battle Continues on Bobwhite Quail

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Feb 1, 2024

    Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Now that the white-tailed deer season has ended, hunters will likely turn their attention once again to small game like rabbits, squirrels and the bobwhite quail, although quail hunting is nothing like it once was. When fence rows from small farms and family gardens crisscrossed Alabama and the Southeast, the bobwhite flourished. Since large-scale farming operations became the norm and many families moved to urban and suburban areas, the q...

  • State Public Fishing Lakes Staples in Communities

    David Rainer, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|Feb 1, 2024

    Alabama is blessed with an abundance of lakes, reservoirs and waterways for residents and visitors to enjoy for fishing, boating, birdwatching and many other outdoor activities. However, several pockets exist in the state that are not close or convenient for residents to get to the water. That lack of access for subsistence fishing, especially in our rural counties, led to the creation of the Alabama State Public Fishing Lakes (PFLs) program in the 1940’s and ’50s to serve those people who nee...