DNR seeking ideas to better handle deer population - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DNR seeking ideas to better handle deer population

February 16, 2005

Dougherty County- Last April, Thomas Parris Jr. died in a wreck on Byron Plantation Road.

A deer bounced off a car and crashed through Parris' windshield. He died in front of his two small children and his wife.

Deer-vehicle collisions are extremely common, partly because Georgia's deer population is so large. So the Department of Natural Resources is getting feedback from people around the state, like Jim Yawn of Perry.

"I think the people that are involved in hunting need to get out and stake their reasons and at least either support what they think or what they or what they believe in," said Yawn, who came to an open house in Crisp County about deer population issues Wednesday night.

A state steering committee was recently brought together to look at the problem.

"Together they identified some hot issues relating to deer management," said Julie Robbins, a senior wildlife biologist with the DNR.

Ten issues ranging from changes in the hunting season to ideas to help reduce deer-vehicle collisions.

"And look at things that we could do, habitat manipulations, to decrease the attractiveness of roadsides to deer," Robbins said.

Or increasing bag limits for does from 10 to 17. That's an idea Jim doesn't like.

"I don't think you can eat 17 deer, even though they have a procedure where you can donate the food to the needy and the hungry," he said.

So for people who have a problem with the deer population, now is the time to speak out.

"And at least try to get that across to the law makers and legislators that are gonna be making these laws."

Even though Jim knows lawmakers get the final vote, he'll be glad he took the time to make his opinion count.