Date of this Version
During my 30 year tenure as Alabama's Game and Fish Division Director it has been very gratifying to witness the successful restoration of wildlife populations. We have been able to allow long hunting seasons with liberal bag limits for our popular game species. However, as conditions improved from a recreational standpoint we also experienced an escalation of wildlife damage complaints. Every member of the Alabama Game and Fish Division staff is involved to some extent in answering calls, providing information and otherwise assisting with resolution of wildlife damage complaints. We do not have the resources required to actively pursue every complaint received. Furthermore, we do not have absolute authority to act on our own in many situations. For those reasons, cooperative relationships with other agencies are of great important to us. Our primary approach to wildlife damage complaints is to get the complainant to help himself. This means suggesting actions that can be taken, providing reference material, referrals to specialists, and advice on legal aspects of control measures. This frequently requires the involvement of other entities. We also find that this aspect of our relationship with other state/federal/ and private agencies has the most strength. Agencies readily join in and provide their ideas, advice, publications and moral support. In most cases this is sufficient and does as much to resolve the complaint as can be reasonably expected.