WRD Seeks Input On Next Decade of Deer Hunting
Deer limits, doe days, baiting, coyote control... if you care about Georgia deer, speak now.
As emotions among Georgia’s deer hunters are likely at an all-time high, WRD is gearing up for a series of 10 public meetings that will shape your deer hunting over the next decade.
WRD announced Oct. 29 they are giving hunters the chance to participate in “Georgia’s 10-year Deer Management Plan” and weigh in on things like deer limits, either-sex days, baiting, coyotes and public hunting access. The first meetings are next week, so make plans now if you want to attend.
Key issues for the upcoming 10-year plan include Deer Management Assistance Programs, which could give private landowners harvest flexibility; predator management; regulation by zone or region; harvest reporting or tagging; use of suppressors; and hunting over bait, which is currently legal in south Georgia but against the law in north Georgia. To see a WRD document on all the key issues, click here.
The open-house-style public meetings will take place during the first season in a number of years when nearly all Piedmont and south Georgia hunters are again experiencing “doe days,” a change that means most hunters will be allowed to harvest only bucks from Dec. 1-25. That change came about as a result of public meetings last year when hunters cried out that deer populations had drastically dropped in recent years, most citing overharvest combined with predators.
In addition, hunters continue to send e-mails and ring GON‘s phones with complaints that the 12-deer limit is simply too high and needs to be drastically reduced. Interestingly, the 12-deer limit was a result of WRD’s 10-year Deer Management Plan meetings 10 years ago. Today, many hunters are wishing they had weighed-in during those meetings. If you’re not happy, now is the time to speak out.
A WRD press release on the 10 meetings says, “These meetings are one opportunity to allow members of the public to provide input regarding management of white-tailed deer. During these meetings, citizens will be able to provide thoughtful insight on specific key issues. Some of these issues include: deer population densities; deer-vehicle collisions; urban deer management; seasons and bag limits; hunting methods; hunter access; and education and outreach. Biologists and others will be available to answer questions about the key issues and provide background information if needed.”
Hunters are invited to come at any time during the meetings. The schedule for these meetings is below.
• Nov. 5, 3-8 p.m., Dalton, Dalton Convention Center
• Nov. 5, 3-8 p.m., Perry, Georgia National Fairgrounds
• Nov. 6, 3-8 p.m., Newnan, The Newnan Carnegie
• Nov. 12, 2:45-7:45 p.m., Greensboro, Greene County Library
• Nov. 13, 3-8 p.m., Marietta, Cobb Co. Parks and Recreation
• Nov. 14, 3-8 p.m., Waycross, Dixon Memorial Forest-Herty Building
• Nov. 18, 3-8 p.m., Gainesville, Gainesville Civic Center
• Nov. 19, 3-8 p.m., Albany, Flint Riverquarium
• Nov. 19, 3-8 p.m., Statesboro, Georgia Southern University
• Nov. 20, 3-8 p.m., McDonough, Henry Co. SPLOST Building
For those unable to attend the public meetings, comments will be accepted until Nov. 22. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings. Written comments may be sent to: WRD Game Management, Attn: Charlie Killmaster, 2065 U.S. Hwy. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.
For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan or to view the key issues, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings or call (770) 918-6416.
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