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Meeting discusses proposed deer plan

POSTED: November 18, 2013 11:37 p.m.

With time running out on the current Deer Management Plan, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is already looking toward its next one.

The DNR-WRD hosted an open-house-style meeting Monday night at the Gainesville Civic Center to discuss a new 10-year Deer Management Plan.

The new plan would take effect in January 2015.

The meeting was one of 10 the WRD is conducting statewide to get the public’s input on the white-tailed deer and its key issues including the deer population, deer management, hunting seasons, methods and limits.

“The meetings give us a general idea as to what direction the people want the white-tailed deer population to go,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the DNR-WRD. “It’s an extensive process.”

Killmaster said common themes between hunters have been seeing fewer deer than in years past and a change to harvest reporting (the killing of a deer by a hunter and reporting it).

He said a possible change to how the report is obtained could change in the new plan to include using a smartphone application.

Killmaster said the planning began last summer for the new plan, and four regional subcommittees will meet at the end of this year make their recommendations to the DNR-WRD based on the public comments and studies that have been conducted.

“We’re a little ahead of schedule,” Killmaster said, “but we want the plan to be ready to go (in 2015), and there could be some issues to resolve before then.”

Killmaster also said Hall County has a “healthy” population of white-tailed deer and there are no more complaints than average for the area.

For those who were unable to attend the meeting, comments are accepted online, and by mail at WRD Game Management, Attn: Charlie Killmaster, 2065 U.S. 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.

Comments are being taken through Friday.


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