Georgia DNR: Q & A – Question #1

Posted: 08/24/2012 in Archery, Gable Sporting Goods, Hunting, News, Regulations
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Recently, I contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and asked 10 questions.  My contact there is, of course, busy with day-to-day duties, but has managed to respond with some of the answers.  This series will give the answers to the questions by question number.

 

1. What do you think the future of deer hunting in Georgia holds for us?

1.)  The future of deer hunting in the Peach State is certainly bright and is anticipated to continue improving beyond the gains made over the past decade through the successful implementation of the Georgia Deer Management Plan 2005-2014 (“Plan”).  In fact, Georgia has met or exceeded over 80% of the action items identified in this Plan, which was citizen-directed with multiple levels of public participation.  Through flexible season and bag limit regulatory frameworks, Georgia deer hunters have successfully reduced an overabundant statewide deer herd of about 1.4 million deer to a current stable statewide population of about 1.1 million deer. This reduction  has resulted in improved habitat conditions, healthier deer and substantial increases in antler quality.

Since implementation of the Plan, average annual deer harvest has increased from about 319,000 to 404,000; the percentage of does in the harvest has remained at or slightly above 60%; and the number of deer hunters has increased, on average, from about 240,000 to 304,000.  Over that same time, the number of bucks entering Pope & Young records increased by more than 200 and now stands at more than 460.  Additionally, Georgia enjoys more than 200 Boone & Crockett record bucks.  These successes have certainly contributed to Georgia being a top destination for nonresident hunters.  However, the dynamic nature of wildlife management and conservation is not without diverse biological and sociological challenges (e.g., deer in suburbia, coyotes, deer-vehicle collisions, and funding).  Despite these continuous and novel challenges, Georgia will capitalize on these successes and initiate another extensive public participation planning process to develop a deer management plan for the next decade ensuring that deer management and hunting continue to thrive in the Peach State.

Georgia Deer Management Plan

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