Letters To The Editor February 2018
Suburban Deer Not The Same Challenge As Hunting Big Woods Bucks
The story of Lee Ellis’ potential state-record buck was of special interest to me as I am a hunter and someone who has deer living in my neighborhood. Let me state that I had no interaction with Zeus but did have numerous interactions with the buck harvested by Drew Carroll.
While Duncan Dobie did a nice job covering the story, he reiterates multiple times throughout the article that killing urban deer is every bit as challenging as killing a deer in the open woods. That is hogwash, Mr. Dobie.
I took numerous pictures of Drew’s deer on more than one occasion with a Nikon SLR, not needing the secrecy of a trail cam due to the buck’s comfort around people. My neighbor also took numerous pictures of it on his cell phone. Drew earned the buck by having the ability or network to gain knowledge of the deer’s existence, not due to any great hunting talent he may or may not possess.
As a hunter myself, I congratulate Lee and Drew on their superb harvests, as they are certainly excellent trophy racks to be sure. They earned these trophies through the hours of work put in to find the deer in the greater Atlanta sprawl. With that said, I would ask that we please do not place urban hunters on the same footing as a hunter working the woods where hunting large bucks is truly a fair chase. It is simply not the same “game.”
David Giancola, Atlanta
I Want Baiting, But Probably Not Why You Think
In the Northern Zone and particularly in Lumpkin County, there are a few good bucks. The deer population is about 18 or so deer per square mile, which is much lower than in the Southern Zone. You really have to do a lot of homework to be successful up here, and you’ll go some years without getting a good buck, and you might take a doe on an either-sex hunt.
The guys I hunt with look for natural food sources, water sources, bedding areas. When the rut comes in, they implement rattling and estrus scents to try and draw in a good buck. Often we’ll draw in some bucks but not good ones, usually young ones. But, on occasion a good buck will show up.
A new hunter in north Georgia will need to devote a lot of hours to scouting and preparation. He will need to pay attention to wind direction and cover scent. He will need to understand when the rut is on and how to hunt long hours in the stand. If he works at it, the mountains may produce for him the buck of a lifetime that will yield great pride in his honest and deserved achievement.
Baiting in north Georgia would simply serve as a tool when used with a game camera to assess the quality of your buck population. It can save you some time if you think you have a 130 or better class buck, when you really have a small-racked 6- or 7-pointer. I think it is a good tool for a lease manager. That is why I think baiting should be allowed in the Northern Zone.
Doug Lyon, Cumming
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