Deer Management Plan

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What recommendations would you make to improve deer management in Georgia for the next 10 years? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) will present recommendations on this subject for public review and comment. These recommendations are included in a deer management plan developed by a committee of 16 persons representing landowners, small and big game hunters, farmers, university professors and other groups with an interest in how deer are managed in the state.

The recommendations relate to 10 key issues identified by the committee. These key issues include five related to conservation and five related to methods of managing the deer herd. Conservation issues identified were: 1) hunter access; 2) deer density; 3) deer-vehicle collisions; 4) public/private ownership; and 5) urban and nuisance deer management. Method issues included: 1) dog deer hunting 2) hunting seasons and bag limits; 3) DNR policies; 4) supplemental feeding and baiting; and 5) wildlife management and hunting techniques. For each key issue, the committee developed recommendations.

WRD will host four statewide, highly interactive, open house-style public meetings, scheduled for mid-February, allowing all members of the public an opportunity to review the plan and provide input. During these meetings, citizens will be able to provide insight on recommendations related to each key issue. Biologists and others will be available to answer questions about the key issues and provide background information if needed. The open house schedule is as follows:

Feb. 15/5 p.m. –8 p.m./Covington/Newton County/Turner Lake Recreation Center/6185 Turner Lake Road

Feb.16/5 p.m. – 8 p.m./Jasper/Pickens County/Appalachian Technical College-Economic Development Center/Campus Drive

Feb. 16/5 p.m.-8 p.m./Cordele/Crisp County/Ga. Veterans State Park-Group Shelter/U.S. Hwy. 280 West

Feb. 17/5 p.m. – 8 p.m./Jesup/Wayne County/Altamaha Tech Poly Technical Center/1777 W. Cherry Street

The public should feel free to come at any time during the open house meetings. For those unable to attend the public meetings, written comments sent by mail or through the WRD website will be accepted until February 28, 2005. Written comments may be sent to: WRD Game Management/Attn: John Bowers/2109 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE/Social Circle, GA 30025. Comments also may be e-mailed through the WRD website – visit www.georgiawildlife.com , select General Info or Hunting and then click on “Georgia Deer Management Plan.”

For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan, visit the WRD website at www.georgiawildlife.com or call 770-761-3044.