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Archery Deer Season Opens Sept 14
Sep 5, 2013
Archery Season For Deer Opens Saturday, September 14

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Sept. 5, 2013) - Deer hunting season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year for many in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.  Archers get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 14.

Last year, 113,566 archery hunters harvested more than 60,190 deer. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 11, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire deer season (Jan. 1 in Northern Zone and Jan. 15 in the Southern Zone).

"Spring and summer seasons with abundant rainfall, like Georgia has experienced this year, generally produce abundant natural foods," said John W. Bowers, chief of Game Management.  "These conditions often contribute to an increase in deer quality, but can also make it a challenging year to hunt deer."

Beginning this season, the number of firearms either-sex days is reduced in most counties. A few factors went into this decision, including the decline in the number of fawns that survive into fall and an increase in doe harvest rates.  These factors warranted regulatory changes to reduce the doe harvest.  For more information on this change, visit www.eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/why-fewer-either-sex-days/ .

Many public lands offer specialty hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2013-2014 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public's use.

State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services' Wildlife Restoration Program.  Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.

Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers).  Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.  Counties in the Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties) offer either-sex archery deer hunting Sept. 14-Jan. 31.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required.  Licenses can be purchased online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes , by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).

For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting .

New Deer Harvest Record Required Prior To Hunting

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Sept. 5, 2013) - Don't forget to print a new deer harvest record and have it with you as you head to the woods on the opening day of deer season, reminds the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.

"A deer harvest record is good only for a single hunting season, so hunters need to be sure to print a new harvest record for the new deer season," said Charlie Killmaster, state deer program coordinator.

All deer hunters, including big game license holders, honorary and lifetime license holders, hunters under 16 years of age and landowners, should obtain a new deer harvest record.  Deer harvest records are required for any person hunting deer, regardless of age, are free of charge and available at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes or at any retail license agent.

Hunters must complete a deer harvest record before moving a deer from the site of a kill, except when participating in a wildlife management area or national wildlife refuge hunt that requires hunters to check out harvested deer. Hunters may not possess or use multiple big game licenses or deer harvest records and should keep harvest records with hunting licenses.

For more information on hunting in Georgia, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting .

Hunters Encouraged To Review Tree Stand Safety Tips

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Sept. 5, 2013) - Many hunters utilize tree stands to give them a leg up on their quarry.  However, sometimes these are improperly installed or show signs of wear after several years.  As a result, hunters may find themselves a statistic in a hunting-related tree stand incident, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.

Not every tree stand is the same. Hunters should be familiar with their particular model's features.  Following are recommended safety tips:

When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer's directions.

Hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent.  Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used.  Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.

Hunters should ALWAYS attach their FAS in the manner described by the manufacturer.  Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into the tree stand.  Be aware of the hazards associated with full body harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may also be fatal.  

Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended.  If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have an alternate plan for recovery or escape.  If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device.  

Consider your personal physical condition before going out. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape from a FAS, it is recommended that you hunt only from the ground.

Hunters should ALWAYS use a haul line to pull their gear and unloaded firearm or bow into their tree stand.  Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back.  Prior to descending, lower equipment to the ground on the opposite side of the tree.

Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness prior to hunting.  Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.

Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return.

For more information on tree stands or hunting-related safety, call 770-761-3010 or visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/education
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