Alabama’s spring turkey season is underway and will close May 3 for most Alabama counties. Decoys are permitted in Baldwin and Mobile counties.
The season will be delayed March 28 to May 3 for research purposes at several Wildlife Management Areas, including Perdido River (Baldwin County, north of Interstate 10, near Gateswood).
Hunters are also reminded that all turkey harvests must be reported through Alabama’s Game Check system. The data collected is used by Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) biologists to better understand harvest trends, and set seasons and bag limits.
“It is very important that hunters understand how harvest reporting has the potential to affect turkey management decisions,” said Chuck Sykes, director of WFF. “Turkey harvests have been consistently underreported. If that trend continues, it could alter season dates and bag limits.”
Turkey harvests can be reported online at outdooralabama.com or through the Outdoor AL mobile app. The mobile app is available from the Apple and Android app stores or at outdooralabama.com/contact-us/mobile-apps.
WFF is also asking those who hunt for at least 10 days during turkey season to participate in the Avid Turkey Hunter Survey. Participants will receive a copy of the state’s annual turkey report and will be entered to win a new shotgun donated by the Alabama Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). To sign up, email your Conservation ID number and email address to Steven.Mitchell@dcnr.alabama.gov. Hunters may also contact WFF Wildlife Section at 334-242-3469.
With the first confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Alabama, many athletic events are being affected. Here is a list of some of those organizations:
Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) — Executive Director Steve Savarese said all athletic events in the state would shut down for two-and-a-half weeks beginning March 18. At the end of this period, the AHSAA will re-evaluate health conditions and determine the status of spring sports championship play.
Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) — At first, SSAC announced the suspension of regular season competitions for all team sports until March 25. However, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) came out later and said the spring sports seasons would be cancelled. NAIA also decided no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition, and those enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent. The University of Mobile baseball team and softball squad were both nationally ranked when the seasons ended.
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) — SIAC is determined to cancel all spring athletic and championship events through the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. Other athletic-related events, such as practices and spring football exhibitions, were also suspended. The Spring Hill College softball team and men’s tennis squad were both undefeated in league play while the beach volleyball team was hoping for a return to the national tournament for the third straight year.
Sun Belt Conference (SBC) — SBC announced that regular-season competitions and conference championships in all sports are suspended indefinitely. The University of South Alabama men’s and women’s basketball teams were one day away from playing for the conference tournament championship before it was cancelled. Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann said all students have been asked to leave campus until April 19, but those not able to move are being accommodated.
NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships — The championships that have called the Alabama Gulf Coast home for many years are also a casualty of the pandemic. A joint statement from the city of Gulf Shores and the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission said: “We are saddened to announce the NCAA has canceled all winter and spring championships, including the Beach Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shores. They have done this to protect student-athletes, coaches, staffs, families and fans amid COVID-19 concerns. These championships will not be rescheduled for this school year.”
Foley Sports Tourism — Foley has had to cancel numerous events, such as the Perdido Soccer Shootout Boys’ Weekend, Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament (postponed to April 25-26), Jubilee Jam Lacrosse Tournament and Optional State/Xcel Gymnastics meet. Still scheduled to take place at this time are the Southern Coast Cup (high school soccer) on April 2-4 and the Battle by the Bay (volleyball) on April 3-5.
National Archery in the Schools Program’s Alabama State Championship — Set for April 2-3 at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, this championship has been cancelled. The decision to cancel was made by the city of Montgomery and the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Several Mobile County participants have captured state and national titles over the last few years.
University of Mobile’s Sam Nichols would finish her collegiate career with not only the new school record in total blocks with 544, but she would also surpass the 1,000 kills plateau in her career. To cap off her senior year, she took home the SSAC Volleyball Player of the Year award while being named to the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention team. Joining her on the all-conference first-team was Jocelyn Mahayag, while on the second-team were Carley Hamric of Daphne and Anna Claire Harris. On the all-freshman squad was Abigail Andrews of Mobile.
Three University of South Alabama volleyball student-athletes were named to the 2019 All-Sun Belt Conference. Senior middle blocker Kelley Hartman was named first-team while Iva Durdanovic and Meaghan Jones were voted second-team. It marks the third consecutive season Hartman has earned all-conference honors, and the first time either Durdanovic or Jones have earned the distinction. Hartman was also named to the CoSida Academic All-District team.
The Spring Hill College women’s volleyball team put four players on the SIAC all-conference team. Emmarose Neibert was named the Setter of the Year for the second time while Cassidi Sterrett was the Libero of the Year for the second straight season. Joining them on the first-team were middle blockers Kassandra Fairly and Bentley Odom. Head coach Peggy Martin was named the Coach of the Year for the second consecutive time. Payton Gidney was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America third-team in NCAA Division II, while Fairly was named to the Conference Commissioners Association NCAA Division II and American Volleyball Coaches Association All-South Region teams.
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