Posted: Tuesday, October 29th 2013 at 5:56pm
Public meetings to address deer management plans in Ga.; one to be held in Gainesville
One of the issues on the agenda for the meeting is urban deer management. Deer have become a problem for some residents of Gainesville in recent years, especially along Riverside Drive. (File photo)
SOCIAL CIRCLE – How many white-tailed deer should we have in Georgia? The answer to this question varies depending on whom you ask. Management of Georgia's white-tailed deer herd can be a challenging and, at times, controversial topic.
According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), the white-tailed deer is Georgia’s most popular game species. Currently, management of regional and statewide deer populations occurs through hunting (81 percent of all hunters pursue this game species) as facilitated and constrained by laws, regulations and hunter access. However, there are a number of key issues and opportunities directly linked to this resource besides hunting; including wildlife viewing, ecological functions, agricultural damage, and deer-car collisions.
WRD’s management efforts are the result of biological data, public input and management objectives identified in the agency’s statewide deer management plan, developed through a public participation process. WRD is seeking to continue integrating public involvement by developing the next iteration of Georgia’s 10-year Deer Management Plan.
Toward that goal, WRD is inviting public participation in 10 statewide, interactive, open house-style public meetings, scheduled throughout early November - one of them in Gainesville. These meetings are one opportunity for members of the public to provide input regarding management of white-tailed deer. During these meetings, citizens will be able to provide insight on specific key issues. Some of these issues include: deer population densities; deer-vehicle collisions; urban deer management; seasons and bag limits; hunting methods; hunter access; and education and outreach. Biologists and others will be available to answer questions about the key issues and provide background information if needed.
The Gainesville meeting will be at the civic center Nov. 18 from 3:00-8:00.
Gainesville is one urban area of the state where deer have become a problem for some residents in recent years - notably along Riverside Drive. There was even a special hunt on the grounds of Riverside Military Academy (RMA) two years ago aimed at thinning the deer that populate that part of the city. (See second link below.) RMA is located at the end of Riverside Drive.
For those unable to attend the public meetings, comments will be accepted until Nov. 22, 2013. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings. Written comments may be sent to: WRD Game Management, Attn: Charlie Killmaster, 2065 U.S. Hwy. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.
For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan or to view the key issues, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Meetings or call 770-918-6416.
Link: Go Hunt Georgia
Link: Deer hunt begins Thursday at RMA
Associated Categories: Local/State News
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