Days GON By January 2011

In 1991, GON weathers the storm to survive and become a thriving magazine; Jimmy Millsaps wins BASS Invitational on Lake Martin.

Brad Gill | January 2, 2011

Each month we turn back the clock to see what was being reported in the pages of GON, both 20 and 10 years ago. Here’s what was happening.

20 Years Ago: January 1991

Is GON Gone?: This issue of GON marked the 100th issue. Instead of celebration, GON was in fear of losing the business. The economy was in horrible shape, and many advertisers were cutting their dollars and pulling ads from GON.

Steve Burch wrote in his editorial, “We expect our advertising sales and income to plummet like a greased bullet sinker over the next six months… But we aren’t about to abandon ship! This is our last tabloid publication for the foreseeable future. Beginning with the Feb. 1 (1991) issue, GON will be a magazine and will be produced monthly rather than bi-weekly… We believe these changes will allow us to weather the storm, if we get some help from you.”

And, the rest is history! Obviously, GON weathered the storm, and 20 years later it continues to bring readers valuable hunting and fishing information.

Nighthunters Pick Poor Place to Poach: Deputy’s Front Yard: When James Joel Winters and Ronald Glen Melton, both of Butler, planned on doing a little night hunting Dec. 13, 1991, they had no idea the deer they would shoot would end up falling dead 100 yards from a deputy sheriff’s house.

When the two shotgun blasts rang out, Upson County Deputy Sheriff Jimmy McDaniel had just finished watching the news. After hearing the shots, he put on his uniform, strapped on his revolver and got in his unmarked Upson County Sheriff Department car. After following the truck about a half mile, he passed it and turned his car sideways in the road, blocking the truck.

“I could see a shotgun across the dash,” said McDaniel. “So I made… them climb out of the driver’s side with their hands up.”

Another shotgun was found against the passenger side door. Two loaded pistols were also found under the front seat. In the back of the pickup was a dead button buck that would have dressed out at 30 pounds. DNR ranger Henry Daniel arrived on the scene and cases were made.

10 Years Ago: January 2001

13 Bald Eagles Found Dead At Clarks Hill: Ten years ago there were 13 bald eagles found dead on Clarks Hill reservoir. The birds, all found along the lake shore, were thought to have been killed by an unusual disease that may have been transmitted to the eagles from sick coots the eagles had eaten, the article states.

“If all these birds are local birds, the disease is having a serious impact on the bald eagle population at Clarks Hill,” said then WRD Biologist Haven Barnhill.

The 10-year-old article doesn’t state the name of the disease; however, it’s likely Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy, a neurological disease that comes from eating hydrilla infected with stigonematales.

Boom Year For Bear Hunters: North Georgia bear hunters shattered the season bear harvest. Preliminary numbers indicated that north Georgia bear hunters killed a total of 245 bears for the 2000 season, topping the previous record of 219 killed in the 1999 season. Nearly half the bears — 125 — were killed by archers.

The current state record for bears was recorded in 2007, when 424 bears were killed.

Georgians First and Second in Alabama BASS Invitational: Jimmy Millsaps, of Canton, and Danny White, of Milledgeville, placed first and second, respectively, at the BASS Alabama Eastern Invitational. The tournament took place in December 2000 on Lake Martin.

Jimmy took home $51,000, and Danny collected $32,000. Three other Georgians placed in the top 20: Paul Hanley, of Hull, Royce Railey, of Columbus, and Tommy Chumley, of Jasper.

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