Contributors to this thread:
Threat To Public Hunting.
As most of you know by now West Jefferson Public Hunting Land has been leased out to hunting clubs. (ALL OF IT) Unless mining operations are still being done, it has been leased. (NO MORE PUBLIC HUNTING). NEXT!!!!!! will be Cahaba Wildlife Management Area and Mullberry Fork. The State has been leasing these lands for W.M.A. hunting and if they chose not to pay the lease, then a real threat to lose these lands for public hunting will happen. It's not a maybe! It's all about the money. if the lease goes up and the State choses not to pay the increase then it will no longer be what it is now, plain and simple. The lease can be terminated at any time with a 30 day notice. It's hanging by a thread in my opinion. "I would like to here what you think on the matter".
If we step back and take a cynical look at the West Jefferson lands we could easily assume that the land owner used the state to improve the habitat and hunting in the area only to take it way once private investors were willing to pay more. If we applied that same perspective then Cahaba will fall as well. Geomet started drilling on Cahaba some three-four years ago, maybe earlier. I used to enjoy hunting Cahaba but now large trucks roam the roads and with all of the drilling I do not think the state will renew the lease. When Geomet first started drilling I had the opportunity to speak with one of the workers as he was leaving one day. He spread out a large map of the area and on this map there were three distinct colors. He indicated that one color was for driling now, one color for future wells and the third color was for future exploration. I think if the state were going to spend the tax money then they should look for better grounds for sportsmen. Just my humble opinion.
if the land in question is u.s.x the state should have ask me. i worked for them for 16 years and one thing i learned from them is don't trust them. i knew when the state leased it that cahaba and west jeff. were short lived if the state didn't get it tied up in writing for a long time. usx is the only one that makes gulf states looked respectable. he he
I do wish the State would get busy and do what they promised and start buying land for the future of hunting. I think they are way to slow with it. Oh! It is USX properties and they are a mining operation but Molpus Corp. has took over all the surface rights for USX and will be doing Timber Management on all the properties they can. It will be all pines except for the QMZ's. They will be thinning all that is ready to thin and clear cutting, cleaning and re-planting all the pines, similar to Oakmulgee in rows. This can be good deer habitat when the thinning and clear cutting starts. We leased some of the old WJM and started a club and I guess we will see how it goes. I was told that Molpus will lease the land to the state if they will pay, but I feel Molpus will want more for the land. If the State does not, then it will be leased to hunting clubs on a year to year basis with an increase to match. I guess we hunters are stuck between a rock and a hard spot and will lease ourselves right out of public hunting oportunities.
I fear you are right. Obtaining permission to hunt used to be a simple matter. I remember hunting on Kimberly-Clark property and all you had to do was send in a self addressed stamped envelope and they sent you a permit. Thankfully there are plenty of WMA that the state does own. The forever wild program is a great program but like all government programs it is caught up in red tape so the process is slow. In the mean time the sportsman of alabama are paying the price.
Like everything else, it too often comes down to money, especially now that we are seemingly facing our second great depression!
Clubs can't afford land, they can't attract enough paying customers if they do secure a lease, the rising price of gasoline, it all leads us to hunting a diminishing public land resource and like many states, ours is struggling to maintain WMA lands. Revenue from hunting has tanked.
My neighbor has been begging guys in the neighborhood to join his startup club in Autauga county, As much as folks wanted to participate they all are so strapped for extra cash they have had to pass, not only on the sweet club offer but many have suspended all their hunting. He gave up the lease this weekend and lost his "good faith" deposit of $500. BTW, the memberships in that new club were only proposed to be $850.
We are facing a serious crisis all around - public and private land!
Here in N Alabama the forever Wild program has bought a tremendous amount of land for Freedom Hills and Lauderdale mgt areas. Not much hunting pressure on Lauderdale even on the gun hunts. I haven't hunted Freedom Hills in several years but hear the hunter numbers are down for it as well.
I think gas prices keep a lot of folk away. Fuel costs make it a $25 trip to Lauderdale for me, this takes some of the enjoyment out of the hunting experience.
I did hunt Lauderdale 60 or more times a year, I may go 4 or 5 times this year.
You are right Eric gas prices will keep a lot of people away just like it does for the 3D archery season. Who can blame someone when it cost thirty bucks every time you go hunting, adds up quickly. I know hunting at Oakmulgee will cost me on average $20.00 in gas every time I go. I am forutnate though and live in Alabaster and work in Riverchase, others are not so fortunate.
My new 58mpg hunting truck gave me back the freedom that gas prices had taken away.
I've always been a 4-6 time a week hunter, until a couple years ago. That had gotten to mean budgeting an extra $300 a month to hunt instead of the $100 or so I feel I can justify (to myself).
Now, I don't have to think about whether a hunting trip will be worth the $20 I'd have been spending. I can get there and back on a gallon.
This hunting season I'll not be "redistributing" near as much of my "wealth" to the big oil companies, and I'll get to hunt all I want. Just like back in the good ol' 90's.
UMM....I can only surmise you are hunting not killing, how would you get a deer out??
I want to see a deer strapped to that thing.
Well, the ol' Ford may need to get fired up a couple times this season, if I get lucky. And on cold mornings.
Here's a pic of my ride for this evening.
Looks like you got eyes and a beak on your walley tacker Buz ~
I thank they call 'em a p...pr...pro...profalactic, er, sumthin'.
Darn set of legs you have there! A real Chick magnet you are!
Here's how Buz and ride looked during preseason. Can't wait to see what the ride looks like postseason.
From Missouri and disgusted at the lack of public resources in Ala. MO. had over a thousand conservation areas excluding Nat'l forests, etc. Four excellent trout parks. The commission is self funded and separate from any state agency. This nation was designed as the land of the free with each state given land for public use. This opposed to the king and land barrons holding all the land. It's shameful Ala has nearly little public access.
We may not like it but whoever owns a tract of land has the right to lease it or sell it to who they want.
Last thing I want is the state or Federal gov telling private land owners what they canbor cannot do with their own land.
We lost 2 WMA in south Alabama recently but the owners chose not to lease it to the state and they should be free to do that.
The state purchased land which is the Perdido WMA probably 12 yrs ago but the difference is the state owns the land so there is no worry of someone choosing not to lease it.
Sometimes things change but it may be for the better.