For Northern Zone deer hunters in Georgia, there will be no hunting within 200 yards or within sight of feed this fall.
However, according to a recent update by Georgia Outdoor News (GON), the governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, signed an executive order directing DNR to take up the issue. “Based on the executive order, DNR will look at doing away with the Southern Zone and Northern Zone distinction,” said GON.
The recent baiting bill that would legalize hunting deer near feeders with no distance for Northern Zone hunters passed Georgia Senate but did not make it to the House. “The Senate vote on February 28, 2018, was 36 in favor and 19 against,” according to GON. “The House of Representatives was never allowed to vote on the issue.”
This decision has caused some turmoil in the state since Southern Zone hunters have no distance restriction. They haven’t had a distance restriction since 2011 when legislators approved a law that year to legalize hunting near feed with no distance restriction. “That legislation originally sought to legalize it statewide, but political wrangling ended up splitting the state,” according to GON.
So, for now, North Zone deer hunters will have to be careful because they could still receive a fine and game violation if found within 200 yards or within sight of placed feed.
However, GON reported that several law changes did pass, including a new mentor provision known as an “Outdoor Passport Program,” that would create a yearlong apprentice hunting license. According to Sportsmen Alliance, an apprentice license allows individuals “to try hunting under the control of an experienced mentor prior to completing a hunter education course.” This bill, that was unanimously approved by the Georgia House of Representatives, also gives hunters an incentive to mentor. That state will offer hunters who become a mentor under the program reduced license fees. The bill is currently on its way to the be signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal (R).
What’s your view on this issue? Do you think Northern Zone Deer Hunters should be able to hunt near deer feeders?
If you’ve got more questions on the Georgia Baiting Bill, contact one of our Land Professionals!