VOTES: Voice of the Educated Sportsman

The state will soon begin a new long-term plan for deer management in Georgia. It's time to let your voice be heard.

GON Staff | January 2, 2014

Each January, GON offers the chance to voice opinions on issues that affect sportsmen. This year the questions center around the future of deer hunting in Georgia as WRD prepares a 10-year deer-management plan.

In addition to the annual Rate Your Season survey, other questions on this year’s January cover ballot center on important deer-management issues.

Here are the ballot questions:

Question 1: Stance on this season’s December buck-only hunting for most counties: Approve or Disapprove?

So it became a reality on Dec. 1 when most Georgia hunters took to the woods and could not shoot a doe. With the exception of counties with QDM regs or if you were bowhunting, Georgia gun hunters experienced buck-only hunting from Dec. 1-25. The buck-only days were implemented as a way to reduce doe harvest after lots of complaints about a decreasing deer population.

GON has heard from some readers who report a noticeable decrease in hunters in the woods in December, and they say that fact alone will mean more deer on their properties next season. Others are saying there are not enough does killed in December anyway to significantly impact the population, or they simply want the flexibility to shoot does whenever they want.

Question 2: Stance on current deer limit: Approve or Disapprove?

There are two sides to the limit issue as well. On one side, land managers want the flexibility to control their populations, and a 12-deer limit allows them to do just that. They say just because there is a 12-deer limit doesn’t mean hunters have to shoot 12 deer. They simply want the flexibility to regulate their own herds. A higher deer limit allows them to do that.

The other argument is that a 12-deer limit is too high, which is the reason most hunters are pointing to a decrease in deer sightings on their properties. Our readers have a vast number of alternatives to the 12-deer limit (3-, 5-, 8-deer limits, or one buck and four does, etc.). We just want to know where you stand on the current deer limit—approve or disapprove?

Question 3: Stance on hunting over baited/feeding sites: Stop It Statewide, Keep It Southern Zone Only, Make It Legal Statewide

This issue of hunting over bait/feed has been a hotly debated issue for many years in Georgia. We’ve now had legalized baiting/feeding in the Southern Zone for two seasons. As WRD works out its 10-year management plan, where do you stand on hunting over bait/feed in Georgia?

Question 4: Rate your 2013-2014 deer season, and tell us why it was either Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor.

The Rate Your Deer Season survey gives hunters a chance to voice opinions on the state of deer hunting and what they think needs to be done to improve the deer hunting in Georgia.

The cover of the magazine is your ballot. Each reader gets one vote, which is controlled by your subscription mailing label for subscribers or by the cover ballot for newsstand copies. If you don’t want to cut off the bottom of your cover, you can photo-copy it, or you can take a digital photo with your phone and e-mail the pic of your ballot.

We also want to hear your comments. Please include them in a note along with your ballot or in an e-mail.

If you only want to respond to Rate Your Deer Season, you can do so by e-mail. Simply send your rating, the primary county you hunted and your comments on why you rated it that way to [email protected] with the subject “Rate Your Season.”

Send your ballot to:
GON VOTES, 4331 Seven Islands Road, Madison, GA 30650, or FAX to (706) 342-2022. You can also e-mail a digital photo or scan of your ballot to [email protected]. The deadline is Jan. 20.

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