The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) has released the proposed hunting regulations for the next two Georgia seasons, and the document includes some changes that might be of interest to sportsmen.
The entire proposed regulations document is available online at WRD’s Web site. If you hunt WMAs, there may be proposed changes to WMA hunts that affect you, so a look through the document before these proposals are approved may be worth the time.
Great news for hunters and wildlife management in Georgia is a continuation of adding deer hunts on state parks where deer overpopulation has long been an issue. New hunts on three more state parks are proposed.
Below are some of the regulation proposals:
• DEER: Addition of 30 more either-sex deer hunting days in Bartow, Banks, Chattooga, Dawson, Floyd, Franklin, Gordon, Hall, Haralson, Pickens, Polk and Walker counties. Every day will be a doe day.
• DEER: Addition of 12 more either-sex deer hunting days in Catoosa, Dade, Gilmer, Habersham, Lumpkin, Murray, Stephens, White and Whitfield counties. These counties would have 25 total either-sex days, including opening weekend of firearms deer season.
• STATE PARKS DEER HUNTING: Addition of new quota deer-hunts for three state parks — Bobby Brown State Park, 665 acres on Lake Russell (two primitive-weapons hunts per season); Mistletoe State Park, 1,920 acres on Clarks Hill Lake (one firearms hunt per season); and Tugaloo State Park, 400 acres on Lake Hartwell (two archery-only hunts per season).
• BEAR: Six new counties would be opened to bear hunting — Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Walker and Whitfield counties.
• DEER/WMAs: Replace check-in requirements with sign-in sheets on deer hunts at B.F. Grant, Big Lazer Creek, Clarks Hill, Di-Lane, Dukes Creek, Grand Bay, Little Satilla, Rum Creek, Tuckahoe and West Point WMAs.
• ALLIGATORS: Increase hunting opportunity with addition of 11 new counties for a total of 86 counties open to alligator hunting and 50 additional quota permits for a total of 550. Proposed changes by Alligator Zone are:
Zone 1: New counties added are Marion, Muscogee and Chattahoochee; increase permits to 40 from 35.
Zone 2: Increase permits to 85 from 70.
Zone 3: New counties added are Crawford, Houston, Peach and Taylor; increase permits to 40 from 35.
Zone 4: No change.
Zone 5: New counties added are Bibb, Twiggs and Wilkinson; increase permits to 45 from 35.
Zone 6: No change.
Zone 7: Increase permits to 90 from 85.
Zone 8: New county added is Glascock; increase permits to 110 from 100.
• WMAs: Legalize electronic calls for coyote and feral hog hunting on WMAs.
Members of the general public are invited to comment at three public hearings (all begin at 7 p.m.)
• April 17: Newnan, at the Asa Powell Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave.
• April 18: Cordele, at the Georgia Veteran’s State Park, 2459 U.S. Hwy 280 West.
• April 19: Jasper, at the Jasper City Hall, 200 Burnt Mountain Road.
Additionally, if you can’t attend a hearing, you can mail written comments to: Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Game Management Section, 2070 U.S. Highway 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025. Written statements must be received by WRD before close of business on May 9. The Board of Natural Resources will consider the proposed regulations changes, and comments received during the hearing process, during their meeting May 23, 9 a.m., in Suite 1252 at 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta.