VOTES: Voice of the Educated Sportsman

GON readers get to chime in on important topics that will be brought up for discussion at this month's WRD hunting regs public meetings.

GON Staff | January 3, 2015

Each January, GON offers the chance to voice opinions on issues that affect sportsmen.

In addition to the annual Rate Your Season survey, we’re asking three other questions on this year’s January cover ballot that center around topics that will come up for discussion at the WRD hunting-regulations meetings this month. To see the dates for those meetings, turn to page 23.

Here are the GON ballot questions:

Question 1: Pick a statewide deer season closing date: Jan. 1, First Sunday in January, Second Sunday in January or Jan. 15.

WRD reports enough support from sportsmen who want a single statewide deer season that it will likely become a reality for next deer season. According to chief of WRD Game Management John Bowers, the question that now needs to be answered is when would that ending date be.

Hunters can expect discussion on this issue at January’s WRD public meetings. Although there are several options on when a statewide deer season would end, expect the closing date to be somewhere between Jan. 1-15.

Even though it’s impossible to please all hunters with a particular deer-closing date, Bowers said they will be looking for input that allows the best solution that can appease the most folks.

Question 2: Preferred Buck-only Dates?: Dec. 1-25, Nov. 1-third Sunday in November, first 16 days of firearms season, first 9 days of firearms season, no opinion or none of the above.

After two years of Dec. 1-25 buck-only hunting for most hunters, testimonial evidence from GON readers makes it pretty clear that many hunters are still in favor of buck-only hunting during some point of the hunting season.

However, we’ve heard from a number of sportsmen who say the current Dec. 1-25 isn’t the best time for a buck-only period.

WRD sent out an online questionnaire asking hunters to pick their preferred buck-only dates. Although this was not a scientific survey, it was a good way to gather hunter input. One clear thing did come back from the questionnaire: there was not a majority consensus on when the buck-only hunting period should be. We want your thoughts on when you think buck-only hunting should take place.

Question 3: Would you support or oppose a small application fee for WMA quota hunts?

WRD is looking at the option of charging a small fee for those wanting to apply for online WMA quota hunts. To decide if you’d support or oppose this, please turn to page 14.

Question 4: Rate your 2014-2015 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 picture 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, and comments, to [email protected] The deadline is Jan. 19.

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