The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division wants you to know the length of the deer hunting season has not been shortened — as has been reported by some media sources.
The DNR’s Assistant Chief of the Game Management Section John Bowers put it this way, “The proposed regulations under consideration recommend a 25-day reduction only in the number of either-sex or ‘doe days,’ not in the length of the overall deer season. This proposed change is a result of scientific data and deer hunters will still be able to hunt bucks during either-sex days.”
Long-term data indicate a statewide decline in the fawn recruitment rate in all physiographic regions of the state. At the same time, does have comprised 60-65% of the annual deer harvest. Additionally, the harvest of does has increased by 13% over the past few years. In other words, there are less deer being recruited to replenish and stabilize the deer population. The broad trend of declining fawn recruitment rates coupled with high levels of doe harvest warrant a statewide regulatory action.
As the public grows more dissatisfied about the harvest of antlerless deer, declines in deer density concern many deer hunters in Georgia.
“We believe the proposed reduction in either-sex days strikes a reasonable balance between diverse hunter desires while attempting to address statewide biological concerns,” said Bowers. “There is no proposal that will satisfy everyone. The Department has done its best to develop a balanced proposal. While the proposed reduction in either-sex days reduces the opportunity to harvest does, it maintains the opportunity to deer hunt and harvest antlered bucks.”
You’re invited to express your thoughts and concerns about proposed hunting regulations. The Wildlife Resources Division has scheduled three public hearings on the proposed hunting regulation changes. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m.:
- April 23, 2013: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Health Sciences Building, 2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA
- April 24, 2013: The Roberts Chapel Auditorium, State Offices South at Tift College, 300 Patrol Road, Forsyth, GA
- April 25, 2013: Amicalola Electric, 544 Highway 15 South, Jasper, GA
Those unable to attend a meeting may submit input either electronically or in written statement form. Input must be received by 4:30 p.m. on April 30, 2013. Written statements should be mailed to:
- GA DNR/Wildlife Resources Division/Game Management Section
- Attn: John W. Bowers
- 2070 U.S. Highway 278, S.E.
- Social Circle, Georgia 30025.