The DNR Board this morning voted to approve a DNR proposal that legalizes hunting deer over supplemental feed with no distance restriction on all private land in Georgia. The new regulation will be in effect for this coming 2018-2019 deer season in Georgia.
The DNR voted specifically to move the Northern Zone line to include only the Chattahoochee National Forest in extreme north Georgia — baiting deer is illegal regardless on all public land in Georgia — so this move makes baiting deer legal on all private land in the state.
Previously, hunting deer over supplemental feed with no distance restriction was legal only in the Southern Zone. In the Northern Zone, deer hunters were ticketed and fined if caught hunting deer within 200 yards or within site of placed feed.
In April, after the state legislature failed to take action on the deer baiting issue, Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order telling the DNR Board to take a look at the issue. The Board can’t change the baiting law or do away with the Northern/Southern Zone line—only the legislature can do that—but the Board can change where that line is drawn.
“The proposal was to increase parity for hunters across the state by making the Northern Zone the Chattahoochee National Forest and the Southern Zone would be anything outside of that,” said Wes Robinson, the director of Public and Governmental Affairs at Georgia DNR.
GON will soon have more details on the DNR Board’s action and tallies of public comment leading up to today’s vote.