Letters To The Editor: March 2024

Reader Contributed | February 28, 2024

Megan Abercrombie with a bass she caught in Walton County on a Megabass jerkbait.

Confusing Hunting Regs For Chattahoochee Nat. Forest

Dear GON,

I want to thank GON for talking to me on the phone this morning. They encouraged me to write this letter.

I am 74 years old and have hunted all my life in Fannin County and have many great memories of deer and turkey hunting. I have purchased lifetime licenses for myself, my son, two son-in-laws and eight grandchildren, six of whom are girls.

Fannin County is located in north Georgia and contains 106,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest. This year’s hunting regulations stated Fannin and Union counties would have more firearms doe days, with a total of eight days, according to the color-coded map released. Then you read on and find out that on the Chattahoochee National Forest, there is this regulation: East of I-75: Closed to antlerless deer hunting- during archery, primitive weapons, and firearms deer seasons.

Doe days only apply to private land in Fannin and Union counties.  Yes, I could kill a doe in my front yard, but that is not hunting in the mountains and not much of a challenge. It would be a lot less confusing if the regulations stated doe days in Fannin and Union counties only apply on private land. I can see where a father and son see the main color-coded map and make a decision to come to Fannin County to hunt during the advertised days and kills a doe on the Chattahoochee National Forest and then find out it was not legal because they did not see the fine print on the next page.

A lot of us were raised eating deer meat. To stay legal, if you see four does and a spike buck, you shoot the little buck for meat because you may or may not have another opportunity.  If you drive Highway 60 going to Dahlonega in the late afternoon, you will see a lot of deer in the fields, all does. Several locations you can drive less than a mile and count more than 100 but none with antlers.

I have talked to several DNR biologists over the years, and they have stated they would not support doe days because there is not deer in the mountains.

The Chattahoochee National Forest covers 867,000 acres across 26 counties, and I sometimes wonder how the DNR determines the deer population in the mountains.

This brings us to the changes in the turkey regulations over the last couple of years. We went from a limit of three to two and the season starting two weeks later. This year those having private land can start their season on March 30, while those hunting public land can’t start until April 6. I love turkey hunting more than deer, and it is hard  to understand why private-land hunters have an extra seven days of the season. The worst part is that if I kill a turkey on the Chattahoochee National Forest, I must go somewhere else to hunt because of the limit of one per public-land area.

I just dislike the confusion and the changes that are being made by the DNR, and if you question their decisions, a usual answer I hear is, “You just do not understand.”

Thanks for talking with me this morning.  Just an old hunter who would like to enjoy the rest of his hunting days.

Don Kendall, Fannin County

Young Reader Needs Some Postspawn Advice

Dear GON,

Thank you GON for the hunting trips and the pics of deer. Y’all inspire all of the people, including me. There’s a lot of bucks y’all have shown in the books. The fish reports in Georgia have dropped off a lot. Why is that? What is the best lure to use in bass fishing when they are coming off those beds?

Thank you,

Miles Thompson, 12, Byromville

Editor’s Note: We’re trying to beef up our fishing reports as the spring is here! Turn over to page 66 for our lake reports. While you may not fish any of those lakes, you’ll find some postspawn tips in there that you can try where you fish.


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Branson Simmons, of Adairsville, with a Cherokee County buck from Nov. 1.

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