Deer hunting firearms season begins in Georgia - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Deer hunting firearms season begins in Georgia

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TALBOT COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -

Not everyone had to wait for the first day of firearms season.  People who took advantage of a state managed deer hunt got to start early.

"People who came out here got a little bit of a jump on the statewide season.  This was actually Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so we're wrapping up here this evening," said wildlife technician, Brian Grossman.

The state splits up time throughout the year that people are allowed to hunt with different weapons.  This is done to ensure that a hunter who prefers to use a bow and arrow doesn't have to compete for deer with hunters who have more effective firearms.

"I got in the tree stand at about seven o'clock.  Sat there about twenty minutes and heard a deer running my way.  I pulled my gun up, saw the deer.  Just twenty minutes sitting there.  After walking an hour and a half out in the woods, it was good to have a deer that quick," said hunter, Casey Jackson.

Today's hunt was open to anyone who wanted to sign up, but in other cases, the event has a theme.  Some are only for adults who bring children. Other times hunts are for ladies only, or seniors and disabled.   

At a state managed hunt, professionals use clues about the animals to make sure they are not overpopulating the forest.  Wildlife managers make decisions about how many deer need to be hunted based on various criteria.

"We look at things like the weight of the deer, the age of the deer.  If it's a buck, we look at the different measurements on the antlers, and that gives us an idea of how healthy the herd is," said Grossman.

In addition to various managed hunts throughout the year, Big Laser Creek Wildlife Management Area has a large fishing lake and offers other opportunities for people who enjoy the outdoors.  Georgia has over 100 wildlife management areas and more than 1 million acres of public land.  A schedule of managed hunting and locations can be found in any sporting goods store.

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