New Georgia WMAs Added To Turkey Quota Hunt Lineup
Here's the skinny on three new pieces of dirt that offer some public turkey hunting this spring.
Three new Georgia WMAs will offer turkey quota hunt options to the general public this spring. The deadline to apply for for all WMA turkey hunts is Feb. 15, and all applications must be done through www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.
The three new areas are outlined below.
• CFL Hilliard: The Hilliard Tract in Marion County is the newest addition to CFL WMA and was previously owned by the Hilliard family and was a private hunting club for the family and guests.
“The property is right at 7,100 acres and has a decent to good population of turkeys from our observations since purchase and our conversations with the property manager who worked for Hilliard,” said WRD Biologist Theron Menken.
Both of the WMA’s quota hunts will have a one-gobbler limit.
“Turkey populations and poult recruitment are not as high as they once were in many areas for various reasons, and preventing overharvest and maintaining good numbers of birds on the property is important to maintain a quality, sustainable turkey hunting experience for the public,” said Theron. “As population numbers, habitats across landscapes and other factors like predation change over time, we have to make decisions on hunt lengths, harvest numbers, etc. to provide the best management of game populations.”
• Lanahassee Creek VPA: This new Voluntary Public Access (VPN) property outside of Preston in Webster County was just acquired a few months ago, and the turkey population is poor.
“Pigs have moved in, and talking to the previous landowner, the turkeys have disappeared,” said Drew Zellner, WRD biologist. “The habitat for the most part is there, and you have the creek on the west side, so you have the bottoms, too, but the turkeys just aren’t because the pigs have moved them out.”
WRD will begin management on the property, so hopefully the turkey situation will change by next year.
• Ohoopee Dunes McLeod’s Bridge Tract: Ohoopee Dunes WMA in Emanuel County has three tracts of hunting land, with the McLeod Bridge Tract being the largest at 5,653 acres. McLeod Bridge, which has recently acquired some new property, is the only tract at Ohoopee Dunes offering quota turkey hunts; the remaining two Ohoopee Dunes tracts are still open for general turkey hunts.
“We are still evaluating overall wildlife populations, but by offering quota hunts, we can help to provide a higher quality hunt while we evaluate the different population levels of the wildlife it holds,” said Chris Baumann, WRD region supervisor. “We have already begun timber thinning operations and prescribed burning to help increase the value of this property to wild turkeys. During this past fall and current winter work activities, we have seen a moderate density of turkeys and expect that turkey hunting will be good.”
Not all WMAs offer quota hunting only. Others are non-quota and open the entire state season. A handful of WMAs offer quota hunting during the first part of the season and then have a general hunting season during the second half of the season. Some areas only offer adult/child hunts. Refer to pages 36-39 of the February 2019 issue of GON for a full rundown on Georgia WMA turkey hunting, including stats on last year’s hunter and harvest number on most of the state’s WMAs.
Apply for quota hunts at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com.
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