Hunters and other interested citizens are invited to attend any of eight upcoming public meetings regarding the development of hunting regulations for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 hunting seasons.
These meetings, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, 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 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.”
A meeting will be held Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Coastal Electric Co-Op Auditorium, 1265 S. Coastal Highway in Midway.
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 zone.
However, there has been no consensus among hunters for what closing date makes the most sense. Current information indicates that most hunters prefer a date other than Jan. 15. The most popular options are: the first Sunday in January, the second Sunday in January and Jan. 15.
The department is specifically interested in public input on this important issue.
Additionally, the department has received good feedback on the recent regulatory changes providing for buck-only days during the deer season. For the past two years, these days have been Dec. 1-25 for most counties of 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: the first nine days of firearms deer season, the first 16 days of firearms deer season, Nov. 1 through the third Sunday, or a combination of days that achieve desired biological objectives. The department is specifically seeking public input on this important issue.
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 season for Wildlife Management Areas, and any other hunting issues.