Posts Tagged ‘Georgia Outdoor News’

Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to GON.com

By Daryl Kirby
Posted Thursday May 28 2015, 8:47 AM

Sportsmen are being asked to support efforts to raise hunting and fishing license fees. DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) has cut services to sportsmen over the years because of mandated budget cuts, and WRD says more money would allow the agency to return those services and also enhance and start new efforts.

Georgia’s resident license fees haven’t increased since 1992, and Georgia’s current fees are either the least expensive or close to it in every category among 16 Southeastern states.

So far there are no specific details on what programs WRD might implement to help hunters and anglers, but sportsmen are encouraged to give their opinions on a license-fee increase and what they’d like to see WRD do with additional funding.

Seven open meetings are being held this month. Sportsmen should certainly attend. It’s your money.

Read the rest of the article at GON.com

(Here are the meetings scheduled)

WRD License-Fee Open Meetings

All meetings 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

June 15: Gainesville Civic Center
Chattahoochee Room, 830 Green Street NE, Gainesville, GA 30501

June 16: Baxley City Hall
City Council Meeting Room, 282 East Parker Street, Baxley, GA 31513

June 17: Richmond Hill City Center
520 Cedar Street (in J.F. Gregory Park), Richmond Hill, GA 31324

June 22: Grace Fellowship Church
1971 South Main Street, Greensboro, GA 30642

June 23: Red Top Mtn State Park
Group Shelter #1, 50 Lodge Road SE, Cartersville, GA 30121

June 24: Darton College
Room J121-123, 2400 Gillionville Road, Albany, GA 31707

June 25: Miller-Murphy-Howard Building Conference Room, Georgia National Fairgrounds
401 Larry Walker Parkway, (Exit 135 off I-75), Perry, GA 31069

From Georgia Outdoor News
Hunters may need to check the calendar before pulling the trigger. Proposed regs include more buck-only days, including opening week of gun season for many counties.
By Daryl Kirby
Posted Wednesday April 29 2015, 4:29 PM

When it comes to setting hunting regulations, it’s quite impossible to please everyone. Based on reaction to proposed changes to next year’s Georgia deer season, quite a few groups are far from pleased.

Click on the map to go to the original article

Click on the map to go to the original article

Small-game hunters aren’t happy that the Northern Zone deer season would now stay open until the second Sunday of January. Meanwhile, Southern Zone deer hunters aren’t pleased their deer season would now close as early as Jan. 8 some calendar years. And even some Northern Zone deer hunters, who got their desired “one statewide deer season for the entire state,” are now hiccuping at a proposal to limit the either-sex days.

If the proposed regs pass, there will no longer be Northern and Southern deer zones—except in defining where baiting for deer is illegal. All deer hunters would be able to hunt deer until the second Sunday in January—Jan. 10 next season. However, in much of the old Northern Zone counties, it will be buck-only after Jan. 1.

Except for in the Upper Coastal Plain counties, in a few Piedmont counties in west Georgia and in suburban counties, antlerless deer also won’t be legal the first week of gun season. In the heart of the Piedmont region, it will be buck-only the first two weeks of gun season. It’s been a while since deer hunters have had to plan a special “meat trip” to the hunting club to hit the open doe days.

The proposed doe days won’t be finalized until a DNR Board of Natural Resources meeting May 20 at Middle Georgia College in Macon.

Read more at Georgia Outdoor News

Georgia Outdoor News

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From deer to dove to ducks, you’re missing out if you don’t take a kid on some of these special hunts.

By Danny Leigh
Originally published in the August 2014 issue of GON

GON_Youth

Brian (left) and Josh Leigh spend some time with their dog Gracie at the 2006 Walton Public Dove Field.

Georgia is truly blessed with a variety of public hunting opportunities. From the mountains in the north, Piedmont hills in the central part of the state and to sandy hills and swamps in the south, we truly have a huge variety of land to hunt.

Having two boys born in the 1990s and watching them grow up made me want to get them in the woods. I first started taking the boys dove hunting when they were 5 and 7, and even though they were not big enough to shoot yet, they enjoyed being in the field and fetching the few doves I knocked down. We started hunting the adult/child hunts at J.L. Lester, and eventually moved over to the Walton Public Dove Field.

One of the most memorable dove hunts we had was when I was accompanied by my dad, my two boys and two other dads and their sons. We were hunting the Walton field, and the birds were flying fairly well most of the day, but by 4 p.m. the birds were pouring into the field. One of the adults limited out and gradually the kids started reaching their limits. At the end of the hunt, the DNR staff always has a raffle for the kids and even a chance at a shotgun.

We hunted Walton for several years, and for a little more variety, we tried Redlands WMA’s adult/child dove hunt. The hunts at Redlands and Walton are very similar, and both usually have a good number of birds.

Dove hunting for us is traditionally the start of the hunting season, but before the first dove season even ends, we are planning for deer and hog hunting. One of best public places in Georgia to take both deer and hogs is Ossabaw Island. Its adult/child hunt falls during Thanksgiving when the kids are out of school. With the great hunting success on Ossabaw comes high demand to hunt the island. Most years it takes at least one rejection to be picked for the adult/child hunt on Ossabaw, but when the kids do get picked, it’s like winning the lottery. The first year the boys hunted the island they were 9 and 11, and they had two other buddies along for the hunt.

Read more at Georgia Outdoor News

As always, here is a link to Big John’s Awesome Google Calendar. 

Weekdays

Indoor – Governor’s Gun Club– Thursday night Indoor Shoot (Powder Springs, GA)

Indoor – Monroe’s Archery – Thursday Night Jackpot Shoot (Barnesville, GA)

 

Both Days

3D – NGC Gainesville (Gainesville, GA)  ***ASA Federation Georgia State Qualifier***

3D – Bucks2Beards (Old Fort, TN)

3D – Full Draw Archery (Alabama? No location listed – call David Hastyfor 706-463-2950) ***Tri State ASA Qualifier – Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee***

 

Saturday

3D – 323 Archery – (Douglaville, GA) (Yes, this is us!)

3D – Bowhunter’s Supply (Bowdon, GA)

3D – Buckeye’s Plantation (Social Circle, GA)  ***CANCELLED***

3D – Christian Bowhunters of Georgia (Covington, GA)

3D – Culpepper Outdoors (th0mpson, GA)

3D – Elbert County Archery Club (Elberton, GA)

GAA – ALC Summer Series Night Shoots (Loganville, GA)

 

Sunday

3D – Archery Connection (Phenix City, AL)

3D – Southern Bowhunters Association (no location listed)

 

If there isn’t a link, I didn’t find a post in the Georgia Outdoor News forum.

Lee's Obsession

Lee’s Obsession

Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to GON.com

Kill a coyote, save a fawn… and you might win!

By Daryl Kirby
Originally published in the May 2014 issue of GON
 

Click to go to the original article

Click to go to the original article

It’s time to do something. 

The days of denying coyotes have a dramatic impact on wildlife are over. It took studies by top university researchers to convince some folks of what hunters have been saying for years. Coyotes, without a doubt, are hammering fawns.

It’s not just deer that are taking a hit. Turkey reproduction numbers have dropped off the map. Are dramatically fewer poults being seen the past five years the result of turkeys suddenly having “filled their habitat range” so they are “self-regulating” their numbers and having fewer poults? Tell my buddy who has beautiful hardwood bottoms and ridges mixed with green fields, but very rarely does a turkey pass through. A hen did try to nest in a food plot last year—he found a pile of feathers and broken-up turkey eggs.

I know rabbit hunters who have tracts they’ve run dogs on for years—without killing rabbits—where the dogs now never strike a trail.

What changed in the Georgia woods? It’s the coyotes.

Yet, for whatever reason, there are still those in the hunting/conservation community who dismiss the coyote issue. We have to learn to live with coyotes, they say. 

Coyotes are not native to Georgia. We—and our wildlife—don’t have to find a way to be neighborly with yotes. 

Quite frankly, we’re weary of the excuses on why not to do something about coyotes. Heaven forbid if an invasive mollusk showed up in a stream or an invasive weed was found in a stand of longleaf pines—there would be enough federal money to sink a ship pouring in to get rid of those invasives.
Coyotes? We get shrugs of indifference. I personally heard a wildlife biologist tell a group of landowners that research indicates coyotes might have an impact in some areas, but that in other areas where hunting isn’t prevalent, coyotes are probably doing everyone a favor. Let that sink in a bit as you ponder the quality of your hunting the past five years.

It’s time to do something. 

The 1st inaugural GON Coyote Cull isn’t going to solve the coyote problem, but it’s a start. Go kill one. Read the trapping article in the June issue of GON. It includes detail that could get you started running a few traps, even if just for a weekend. If trapping is not your thing, go coyote hunting.

The idea behind the Coyote Cull is simply to give everyone a little extra incentive to spend a weekend at the hunting property this time of year working on the coyotes.

Kill one. Have someone take a picture of you with the dead coyote, and you need to be holding a copy of this month’s GON. This is simply so folks can’t enter with a picture of a coyote killed last year. Don’t share your coyote so your buddy can enter—we’ll have a polygraph.

Consider this. A professional trapper just caught 11 coyotes on a Morgan County tract. He removed them to a live pen. That night, one female had seven pups and another had nine. Think about that next time you hear someone say killing a coyote will somehow just make things worse.

It’s fawning time, and turkey poults are about to hatch. Take out a coyote right now, and it will make a difference. 

Read more and learn how to enter HERE.

A coyote grabs dog 10 feet from horrified woman in Morgan County.

By Brad Gill
Posted Wednesday April 23 2014, 9:48 AM

Georgia Outdoor News

click to go to GON.com

It’s uncomfortable to even think about, but try to imagine a coyote carrying off your family dog, one you’ve had for nine years…GON_dog

Bruce Weiner, of Atlanta, has owned a Morgan County farm for 20 years. While living in Atlanta, he often takes his family out to the farm to enjoy the slower-paced lifestyle.

“We’ve seen armadillos, deer, turkey, wild boar, snakes, but we’ve never seen a coyote on the property,” said Bruce.

Also 20 years ago, Bruce and his wife hired a nanny, Jennifer Lang, to help with the kids. Although Bruce’s kids are pretty much grown now, Jennifer is still the nanny. One of her current responsibilities is taking care of the dogs.

Back in February, Jennifer was at the farm and let all three of the family’s dogs outside.

“It was right at 6 p.m., right at dusk,” said Bruce. “Within minutes—she turned her back for just a second—she heard one of the dogs crying, and what looked like a big dog was taking off with one of our dogs, a 3 1/2-lb. yorkshire terrier.

“It just grabbed it and carried her off in its mouth right in front of our nanny—10 feet in front of her!”

Read More Here

 

(As a side note, I would hate to be a coyote that tried to snatch one o’ my dogs. Brody is 90#, Gretchen 85#, and Cinders is 45#. Since this photo was taken, we’ve added a large German Shepherd to our pack.)

 

Brody is the dog on the left, Gretchen is in the middle and Cinders on the right. Since this photo, we've added a 90# GSD to our pack.

Brody is the dog on the left, Gretchen is in the middle and Cinders on the right. Since this photo, we’ve added a 90# GSD to our pack.

Georgia Outdoor News

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Warm-season food plots can be enhanced.

By Joe S. Reams III
Originally published in the April 2014 issue of GON

 

Sweet Tea is a special selection of a perennial plant in the Mallow family named Sida that is highly attractive to deer. There are at least a dozen species of Sida that occur in the Southeast, some of which are native and some non-native. Sweet Tea has been identified as Sida acuta, which is a native plant of the Southeastern United States.

Sweet Tea is a special selection of a perennial plant in the Mallow family named Sida that is highly attractive to deer. There are at least a dozen species of Sida that occur in the Southeast, some of which are native and some non-native. Sweet Tea has been identified as Sida acuta, which is a native plant of the Southeastern United States.

Food plotting has come a long way in the last 10 years in the South and has evolved into a broader discussion about habitat. A number of informative studies have yielded tons of useful information on this subject but the volume of facts can be somewhat exhausting. Sometimes it pays to take a step back and look at the big picture to help us understand the microscopic. I hope to share some background on the subject of habitat restoration and then some specific steps to take that will directly and positively affect your hunting success. 

“Live and learn,” the wise old saying goes. Someone once turned this proverb around to convey another truth: “Learn and live.” 

There may not be a more agreed upon statement on earth. Society operates on this principle, but there is rarely a consensus about how to implement change for the better. Unfortunately, a lot of really important issues end up being political fodder, restricting our learning because of the “spin” put on the facts. There is also the divisive political labeling game…. “if you believe in ‘that’ then you are one of ‘them.’” 

Over time, as the dust settles people usually figure out the “real deal,” as my dad would put it. It’s a shame that we have allowed conservation issues to be used in political games. The good news is that, due in large part to sportsmen, things are changing. 

The truth of the matter is that hunters, being the very first conservationists, are now walking away in droves from the fruitless political fracas and are choosing rather to be engaged in educating themselves about good stewardship practices.

When it comes to conservation issues, I find that many landowners and sportsmen are choosing to ignore the nuts on both sides and are pressing forward and doing the right thing. We’ve always known that it is beneficial to everyone (not to mention the animals we hunt) to protect our water and air, but along the way we somehow allowed radical groups to hijack the discussion and lay claim to the entire conservation message. 

On the flip side, because we agreed on things like free markets and small government, we let other special interests convince us we were in with the crazy people if we went very far down the conservation road. We saw the “experts” dividing into camps, and we read stories of fraudulent skewing of facts. So we found it easy to be skeptical about some of this fanatical environmentalism. I still am, but I’m much more discerning in what I dismiss and what I pay attention to. I’ve heard countless stories from landowner clients who say they have been jerked around in the past by overzealous “government hounds,” as a landlord of mine called them, many times with bad science and manners. This caused some hard feelings and mistrust, but I have noticed that many of these landowners and sportsmen are refusing to allow those experiences to discourage them from their commitment to conservation. At the same time they smell plenty of bull coming from all directions, and not only from the folks who think guns are bad, hunting is murder and people are just two-legged animals. It’s also from a few who let their bottom line shape their views on conservation. Sportsmen have evolved into savvy fact-checkers and are not falling for junk science very easily. Thankfully, these days there is plenty of good, clean science out there, and we have seen measurable results with implementing various new practices. 

A hot topic in the southern hunting world is habitat restoration. In the industrial Northeast, because of the impact of a high population density and polluting factories, they witnessed the effects of wetland and habitat destruction earlier than in the South and were forced to begin taking steps to mitigate these damages. Over the last 30 years in the South, we have seen some ill-effects of our own. Now we are implementing various practices in order to enhance our southern habitats, keeping our forest systems diverse and productive, and sensibly protecting our water.

Read the rest at Georgia Outdoor News

I had a blast at the shoot yesterday – I shot with “Bowanna” (Lee) and Danny for most of the shoot – we had Brad with us until the fifth target, then he dropped back a group so Corey and Ezra (Spanka) could have three people in their group.

I forgot my camera, and honestly, my phone is OK for a few shots, but not great, so I’ve pulled Lee’s photos from the GON.com forums.

If you don’t know who Lee is, this is one of his YouTube videos.

 

Here are the photos Lee snapped yesterday. I’m the big ol’ fat guy in the shooter shirt, Danny is the skinny lad in the grey t-shirt.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Georgia Outdoor News

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There was a tremendous response from hunters to this year’s cover-ballot survey.

By GON Staff
Posted Thursday January 30 2014, 10:04 AM

GON_SurveyLet someone try to tell you sportsmen don’t care about the heritage and future of deer hunting in Georgia. Forget how few hunters showed up for state-held public meetings no one knew about, let them talk to the rural mail carrier who delivers to GON’s office, or to the GON folks who spent four weeks day and night keystroking every word from two- and three-page handwritten letters that poured in with this year’s cover-ballot VOTES survey.

Sportsmen care, with a passion. And that gives us hope we can once again have a Georgia deer season where the majority of hunters look back and rate their hunting as excellent or good. GON has been doing our annual Rate Your Season survey for almost two decades. Used to be, season after season the top ratings were positive, and poor ratings garnered the lowest response.

That began to change about a decade ago. Hunters started to express concern that deer numbers were getting too low on their hunting land. Those who said coyotes were eating deer were scoffed at, and they were still being told it was impossible to kill too many does—that if you wanted to grow big bucks, shoot every doe you saw.

That was the past. Going forward, sportsmen have lots of opinions and ideas, and some of those appear below. We randomly picked a tiny fraction of the overwhelming number of comments to put in the magazine. Some of these comments you might agree with, others might make you scratch your head—or bang it on the table. Regardless, we feel all sportsmen should have a voice. There was only space for a very small sample of comments in this issue of GON. We want everyone’s opinion and ideas to be heard, so every single comment was keystroked and is published here. Next to each county is a letter and number, which shows the number of season ratings for that county (e-excellent, g-good, etc.)

For the rest of the article – visit GON.COM, or click either image in this excerpt.

This is from Papa Joe’s funeral this morning – sadly, I missed Hound Dog’s post at GON.com saying to bring an arrow, so I left the Scott release I shot the ’97 IBO World Championship with instead. PapaJoe.jpg

This is Papa Joe – one of the Georgia Outdoor News forum members, Alligood729, is using it as an avatar to honor Papa Joe.

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