You’re a hunter. You’re out in the woods as much as possible. You’ve noticed some things about the deer, turkey and quail populations over the years. How can you make your voice heard? How can you contribute to the success of Georgia’s game management?
January 2021 marks the start of the next two-year hunting regulations cycle. The 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 hunting seasons will be determined by this process.
There are two sources that govern hunting in Georgia:
Laws are set by the Georgia General Assembly. The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) does not have an active role in introducing or voting on proposed law changes. WRD’s role is to serve as a source of information to assist lawmakers in making informed decisions.
Regulations work within the framework of these laws. For example, framework dates are set in law for when seasons may be open and when they must be closed. WRD must set the hunting season dates within these legal frameworks.
The 2-year Cycle
WRD’s professional biological staff develops regulatory recommendations that are presented to the Board of Natural Resources for consideration. The Board of Natural Resources may adopt, modify or reject these recommendations. Regarding hunting regulations, these are set on a 2-year cycle.
The next 2-year regulations cycle starts in January 2021 with public input meetings. During this public input phase, interested members of the public may provide WRD with ideas, opinions, or data for consideration as we develop regulatory recommendations. Public input may also be submitted electronically, in writing, or by telephone. Staff evaluate biological data and public input during January and February in order to develop hunting regulation proposals. In March, these proposals are completed and presented to the Board of Natural Resources for its consideration.
A public comment period occurs in April, during which interested members of the public comment specifically on the proposals under consideration. WRD holds three public hearings for feedback, and this feedback can also be submitted electronically, in writing or by telephone.
After receiving this feedback, WRD presents the proposed regulations and public comments to the Board of Natural Resources in May, and the Board takes action. Then, for the next few months, the regulations booklet is developed, published and distributed so that hunters can read up on everything in August in advance of the coming hunting seasons.
We Need You!
It’s a team effort to create the rules that govern hunting in Georgia. Lawmakers, WRD staff, the Board of Natural Resources and hunters like you are all key parts of a cycle designed to manage Georgia’s wildlife populations using scientific principles while meeting public objectives. Get involved by:
- Finding a public input meeting near you
- Attending the virtual public meeting on January 14 at 7 p.m. on WRD’s Facebook page
- Formally submitting your comments by January 22, 2021 by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mailing them to: Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division ATTN: Tina Johannsen, 2067 US Highway 278 SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
*Any comments submitted through this platform are considered informal and will not be taken into consideration for the 2021-2023 hunting regulations cycle. Please submit your comments through one of the formal methods listed above for consideration.