The Georgia House of Representatives voted 122 to 48 to pass HB 277, the "Baiting Bill," which would make it legal in the Southern Zone to hunt deer and hogs with no distance requirement from feeders or food like corn spread on the ground. From its original version that would have legalized baiting for deer and hogs statewide, HB 277 was amended so deer hunters in the Northern Zone would still have to be 200 yards and out of sight of bait. The current version of HB 277 makes hog hunting over bait legal in the Northern Zone.
Deer and hog baiting in the Southern Zone and hog baiting in the Northern Zone would not be allowed on federal or state lands like WMAs and National Forest.
HB 277 would also restrict anyone from placing feed or bait that would "constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement for any game bird or game animal" within 50 yards of a property line or boundary.
HB 277 now moves to the Senate, where it must pass in its current form or be sent back to committee. If passed by the Senate, Gov. Nathan Deal would have to sign the bill before it became law.
Another bill of interest to sportsmen, Senate Bill 188, would have legalized shooting exotic animals and game animals in high-fence enclosures as small as 250 acres. SB 188 was voted down in the Senate.
Make Your Voice Heard
Sportsmen who feel strongly about an issue should tell their legislators how they want them to vote. Go to www.congress.org to learn who your state representatives are. The website gives links and phone numbers to contact your legislators. Make sure to contact only your state representative and state senator regarding state legislative issues.