2015-01-01 / Front Page

DNR will hold public meeting to obtain input on hunting regulations

Hunters and other interested citizens are invited to attend a public meeting set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 7, at the Pope Center on Lexington Avenue in Washington.

This is one of a series of meetings being held all over the state to focus on the development of hunting regulations for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 hunting seasons.

Sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’Wildlife Resources Division, the forums are specifically designed to give the public a chance to provide input in the development process.

“Public input is important and valuable,” said John Bowers, chief of the DNR’s game management section. “While we currently have no proposed regulation changes, we are considering establishing a single statewide deer season and adjusting the timing of ‘buck-only’ days. As always, we want to maintain simple, easy- to- follow hunting regulations that encourage hunting participation, maximize opportunity, and are biologically appropriate.”

Previous survey data, public input, and other information have clearly demonstrated to the department that most hunters desire a single statewide deer season. That is one statewide deer season with a consistent closing date, which would end separate season dates for the northern and southern zones. However, there has been no consensus among hunters as to what closing date makes the most sense.

Current information indicates that most hunters prefer a date other than January 15. The most popular options are:

(1) The first Sunday in January.

( 2) The second Sunday in January.

(3) January 15.

The department is specifically interested in public input on this important issue.

Additionally, the DNR has received positive feedback on the recent regulatory changes providing for buck-only days during the deer season. For the past two years, these days have been December 1-25 for most counties in the state.

However, public input suggests that most hunters prefer some other timing during the deer season for buck-only days, and the current dates may not meet harvest reduction goals. Again, there is no consensus on this issue.

Potential options include:

(1) The first nine days of firearms deer season.

(2) The first 16 days of firearms deer season – November 1 through the third Sunday of the month.

(3) A combination of days that achieve the desired biological objectives.

Other issues of interest include: deer bag limits; charging an application fee to apply for the department’s quota hunts; migratory bird seasons (e.g. waterfowl, doves, etc.); hunting regulations; and seasons for wildlife management areas.

Any participant at a meeting may present data, make a statement or comment, or offer a viewpoint or argument, either orally or in writing.

Statements should be concise to permit everyone an opportunity to speak.

Participants must register upon arrival and notify the registering official of their intent to give a statement. Those unable to attend one of these meetings may submit input either electronically or in written statement form.

Input must be received by January 14, 2015.

Written statements should be mailed to GA DNR/Wildlife

Resources Division/ Game Management Section; Attn: Tina Brunjes; 2070 U.S. Highway 278, S.E.; Social Circle, Georgia 30025.

Statements may be electronically submitted at www.georgiawildlife.com.

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