Georgia’s archery deer
season starts Saturday
SOCIAL CIRCLE – Hunters utilizing archery equipment will get the first opportunity to bring home a deer starting Saturday according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Last year, 139,043 archery hunters harvested just over 50,000 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2017-2018 deer season.
“Archery season is an excellent time to get an early start on putting some venison in the freezer,” said state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster. “Although it’s still warm this time of year, it’s the easiest part of the season to pattern deer. Just don’t forget to report your kill to Georgia Game Check!”
Georgia hunters can check out an interactive map that allows them to see the best opportunities available for the counties they hunt at http://georgiawildlife.com/rut-map.
All hunters must report their deer harvest through Georgia Game Check, including hunters under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime, and sportsman license holders. Hunters will need to obtain a free deer harvest record each season. Before moving a harvested deer, hunters are required to immediately enter the date and county on the harvest record, and within 72 hours, must complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check (https://gooutdoorsgeorgia.com) or hunters can go “paperless” and report through the free Go Outdoors GA app (you can report through the app even with no connection. Once your phone gets a signal, it will automatically sync your information).
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 through Jan. 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 and a big game license. Licenses can be purchased online at http://georgiawildlife.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 http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.
Florida contest targets
13,000 invasive lionfish
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — About 13,000 lionfish will be caught in Florida waters when an annual contest to remove the invasive species wraps up.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s 2017 contest ends Monday. Commercial and recreational fisherman had already hauled in 12,300 lionfish with five days left to go.
Lionfish are native in ocean waters off Africa, Asia and Australia. Florida officials say the lionfish invasion began with a handful of released fish and were first discovered in 1985 near Fort Lauderdale. They’ve since spread statewide and beyond.
Lionfish eat native fish, including species important to maintaining healthy reefs. They also compete with other native predatory fish for food. Lionfish defend themselves with venomous spines and have few natural predators in U.S. waters.
The contest began May 20 and has averaged about 120 lionfish caught per day.