FDR State Park Deer Hunt In Proposed Hunting Regulations

Proposed regs will move dove-hunting days later in the season and open new WMAs to hunting.

Brad Bailey | April 29, 2008

DNR Parks can be applauded for taking action to control deer overpopulations on several state-park properties. Last year, deer-management hunts were allowed on three additional parks, Mistletoe, Bobby Brown and Tugaloo. Overall, hunting was allowed on 10 state parks.

This year, DNR’s proposed hunting regulations include a management hunt on the state’s largest park, the 9,017-acre Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) State Park in Harris County.

In preparation for the management-hunt proposal, biologists compared the unhunted deer population on the park with the hunted deer population on nearby Big Lazer Creek WMA. The study concluded that deer browsing on the park had caused a significant decrease in species diversity and abundance of vegetation on the park. The deer density on the park was estimated at more than 56 deer per square mile, three times higher than the density on Big Lazer.

The two-day, Tuesday/ Wednesday quota hunt is proposed for Jan. 13-14, 2009 with a quota of 150 hunters. On the first day of the hunt, hunters would be required to shoot a doe before killing a buck. On the second day, any deer could be killed with no limit. No additional hunting would be allowed on the park.

According to WRD Assistant Chief of Game Management John Bowers, there was some opposition to deer hunting on FDR, but overall support for the management hunts was “overwhelming.”

If you have a lucky rabbit’s foot, start rubbing it now, the quota deer hunt on FDR is likely to be extremely popular. As with other quota deer hunts on state parks, the quota drawing would be handled through the DNR website.

The proposed regs also include opening hunting at a second state park, the 2,910-acre Chattahoochee Bend State Park, which is located in Coweta County along the Chattahoochee River. The property was acquired for future development as a park, but until development takes place, the property would be open for hunting. The proposed regulations for the park include sign-in hunts and state seasons for archery deer, either-sex, primitive-weapons deer and firearms deer and state seasons for turkey hunting.

Two new wildlife management areas will open for hunting under the proposed regulations, Silver Lake WMA in Decatur County and Oliver Bridge WMA in Bulloch County.

The 3,791-acre Silver Lake tract in Decatur County bordering Lake Seminole will be managed independently from Seminole WMA. Quota deer hunts and quota turkey hunts are planned on the tract.

The 1,500-acre Oliver Bridge WMA, located in Bulloch County along the Ogeechee River, is slated to offer two sign-in, either-sex deer hunts, and state seasons for turkey hunting and small-game hunting except during firearm deer hunts.

The new regulations package also includes a proposal to remove some of the dove-hunting days from the beginning of the season in September and tack them on to the end of the season in January.

According to DNR, many hunters had asked for more late-season, dove- hunting opportunity. In response to the request, DNR held eight public meetings and provided a dove-season evaluation on their website. According to DNR, 790 dove hunters responded and 66 percent favored DNR’s option of taking six days from the end of the September season and adding them to the end of the January season. There was also strong support for hunting doves all day on the October season opening day.

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