By: Brittany Denny
Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources will vote in May to shorten the deer hunting season by 25 days. This is due to the deer population reaching the goal of 1 million. The department feels that shortening it by this amount of time will make it easier to maintain the wanted population. Dr. Michael Chamberlain, a professor in the Warnell department at UGA thinks that this change would be beneficial from the biological stand point.
“There has been a significant decline in the number of fawn that are recruited into the breeding population each year. During the past decade there has been a significant decline in the number of fawns entering into adulthood,” says Chamberlain. Hunting expert, Chris Spencer believes another change would make a better option to protect the deer.
“I think instead of shortening the season they maybe need to take a look at the limit of deer. I think 12 is way too many. Shortening the season by a couple days or even a month isnt going to really matter because you can go out one or two days and shoot 12 deer,” said Spencer. The amount of time will make a huge difference but the time in which they choose to take from will be a greater impact.
“It should change the number of does harvested. I think alot of it will depend on the timing when the 25 days are reduced from if its early in the season vs late in the season, said Chamberlain. The fact is, it will probably make a larger effect if it is towards the end of the hunting season rather than the beginning. Though hunting plays a huge role in the decline of the deer population, predators are also becoming a large problem.
“There are alot more predators for the deer. The coyote numbers have multiplyed and no one is hunting coyotes. They are killing alot of fawns,” said Spencer. So who knows if it is the hunting or the coyotes killing more deer but regardless something has to be done. The population has decreased from 1.4 million to 1 million in the last decade.