As reported, there was significant political wrangling over the issue of legalizing hunting deer near feed with no distance restrictions in the Northern Zone. Much of that played out during the day and late into the evening of the final day of the 2018 legislative session. By that time, the issue hinged on House Bill 271.
The Georgia Hunting & Fishing Federation (GHFF), which supported HB 271, issued the following statement through its president Reggie Dickey.
“Hunting over supplemental feed is still illegal in the Northern Zone. GHFF would like to thank Senator Chuck Payne, Senator Jeff Mullis, Chairman Tyler Harper and the entire Senate for passing legislation that protected Georgia’s sportsman and did not place any undue burdens and new restrictions on Southern Zone hunters. There were a number of champions who fought hard to pass a clean bill in the House that the majority of hunters wanted — Representative Trey Rhodes, Representative Dominic Lariccia, Representative John Corbett, Representative Al Williams, Representative Jason Shaw and many more.
“Unfortunately, the Chairman of the House Game Fish & Parks Committee introduced language to HB 271 in his committee that put new restrictions on the Southern Zone, burdens on DNR/LE, wanted to give certain large landowners and clubs more hunting rights than the average hunter, and would not allow the clean HB 271 as passed by the Senate to come up for a vote by the House.
“The GHFF worked to make sure all hunters were treated the same late into the evening of the last day of session. We will continue to strive to represent all sportsmen and protect their rights under the Gold Dome.”