COLUMBUS, Ga- Georgia Department of Natural Resources is touring the state this week, offering hunters and the public at-large a chance to help shape hunting policy. The DNR is putting out the call that everyone in the state, regardless if they can make a meeting, can still contribute to the process.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division offers the public a chance to contribute ideas and feedback to its mandates every two years. If you want to help DNR shape the 2017-2019 hunting seasons, the time to speak up is now—and the state says it really does value the public’s input when shaping regulations.
“They’re a balance between what’s socially desirable and what’s biologically possible. We will listen to the public, and a lot of times implement what the public wants, as long as it’s biologically-sound and doesn’t hurt the resource,” says Don McGowan, a regional operations manager with the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
One of those principles of biology is managing the deer population.
“One of the ideas of that is just to have the buck-only days the first week or two of the season, and then the rest of the time, either buck or doe can be taken. That’s just a proposal,” says McGowan.
DNR also wants public comments about whether hunters should be allowed to use buckshot and silencers/suppressors in public hunting areas—the state’s wildlife management areas.
“We don’t see any negative biological reason why they’re not, and really no safety reason, so we just want to float it out there and see what the public thinks about it,” says McGowan.
DNR says it wants all to feel they have a voice in the regulation process.
“We don’t want to be restrictive unless we have to, and that’s kind of how we view our regulations. If there’s really no reason to have it, biological or safety or otherwise, then we want to do away with it. We don’t want to be unfairly restrictive,” McGowan says.
Feedback is being taken now through January 20.
The meetings are being held outside the Columbus area. But you don’t have to be present at a meeting to submit comments and ideas.
For more information, visit Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources website.