What has been proposed is a 25-day reduction in the number of doe days for the 2013-14 deer season, said John Bowers, assistant chief of the game management section of the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. But the overall length of deer season will not change.
“This proposed change is a result of scientific data, and deer hunters will still be able to hunt bucks during either-sex days,” he said.
Long-term data indicate a statewide decline in the fawn birth and survival rate in all physiographic regions of the state. At the same time, does have comprised 60-65 percent of the annual deer harvest. Additionally, the harvest of does has increased by 13 percent over the past few years.
So with fewer deer being born and surviving to adulthood, coupled with high levels of adult does being harvested, a statewide regulatory action is warranted, Bowers said.
Also playing a part in the decision is a marked increase in public dissatisfaction related to antlerless deer harvest and the declines in deer density witnessed by many deer hunters in Georgia.
For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's newspaper or subscribe to our e-Edition at http://ee.jcnews.com.