News From the DNR Wildlife Division

Outdoors

SUMMARY OF RELEASES:
1.       OPENING DAY OF ARCHERY DEER SEASON IS SATURDAY, SEPT. 12
2.       BE SAFE AND BE SMART WHEN USING TREE STANDS
Found Wildlife Does Not Need Rescue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPENING DAY OF ARCHERY DEER SEASON IS SATURDAY, SEPT. 12

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Sept. 4, 2015) Archers will get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 12, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

Last year, 128,545 archery hunters harvested more than 64,695 deer. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 9, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire 2015-2016 deer season.

“Early archery season is an excellent time to pattern deer before home ranges shift towards fall food sources,” said Charlie Killmaster, Georgia’s state deer biologist.  “Mature bucks often haven’t adjusted to hunting pressure yet and may be more active during daylight.”

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 2015-2016 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers 111 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 Service’s 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 Jan. 2-31.  Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time during the deer season on private land.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record (which is free). 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 .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BE SAFE AND BE SMART WHEN USING TREE STANDS
TreeStandImage-NSSFPhoto
SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Sept. 4, 2015) Statistics each year reveal that almost half of all hunting incidents are due to falls or other safety issues with tree stands.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division suggests that hunters note that not every tree stand is the same and that they 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.

Photos by agencies/photographers: Tree Stand Image-National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF); Deer – Steve Kyles.

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