It’s deer season in Alabama, only bow and arrows until Nov. 7

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VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Archers unite! Thursday kicked off deer season in every hunting zone in Alabama. This means Alabamians can go hunt, but only with a bow and arrow.

That means it’s busy season for Mark’s Outdoors in Vestavia Hills.

“It’s primetime,” Vaughn Jones, a Mark’s Outdoors Sales Associate, said. “It’s a busy time of year, it’s what we live for. Deer season and the upcoming holiday season are the bulk of our sales.”

Mark Smith is an Archer Specialist at Mark’s, no relation. Smith said he and his team at the archer counter have been swamped.

Smith taking measurements on a bow brought into Mark’s Outdoors for repair.

“Deer hunting, which is probably going to be the biggest draw here for most of our guys and girls,” Smith said. “That’s the one everybody kind of looks forward to the most.”

For a few bucks, you can get set up to hit the great outdoors. Smith said it’s an intricate sport.

“I pick on the gun hunters because, in order to kill a deer or hunt anything with a bow, you gotta be a better hunter,” Smith said while smirking. “It’s not because I gotta be better. It’s because more things can go wrong because I gotta get closer.

But according to Smith, that doesn’t mean archery isn’t a sport for Alabamians of all ages.

Smith helping a customer and their young son adjust their bow.

In Alabama, there is no law limiting the age of a hunter. Until an Alabama resident turns 16, they don’t have to have a license to hunt. After working with this young man, he said he’ll get to see him grow as an archer.

“I’ll see him again. I’ll see him again. I’ll see him again. What’s gonna happen is he’s going to come in here and show me a picture of that first deer he killed with his bow. There’s just nothing better.”

For those intimidated of walking into a shop like Mark’s – admittedly like CBS 42 Digital Reporter Landon Wexler at the start of today – Smith said don’t be. Just put the ego aside and be ready to learn.

“Because as we get older, especially as a guy, you come in here and feel like ‘I gotta pretend I know things. No, don’t do that. Just come in and say ‘I don’t know anything.’ and it’s a whole lot easier.

The gun portion of deer season kicks off Nov. 7 and lasts until Jan. 27 of next year.


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