Controlling Deer Damage In Georgia
Managing Deer Populations
One of the most effective ways to reduce deer damage to crops is to reduce the number of deer. This can be accomplished by allowing gun or bow hunting on your land during the liberal legal hunting seasons for no charge or with a paid lease agreement. Providing hunting access not only reduces deer pressure on crops but also provides a source of food and recreation for hunters. Deer can build up high populations quickly where agricultural crops are adjacent to good cover, therefore the continuation of hunting year after year is necessary to maintain acceptable stable deer populations. Revenues from hunting leases can be used to recover losses from damage or pay land taxes. With open hunting land at a premium and leases ranging from $2 to $36 per acre, leasing your land to hunters can be profitable. Some organized bow hunting groups specialize in urban/suburban deer harvest in a conscientious and discrete manner. These groups often donate harvested game to selected food pantries and shelters. Contact any Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office for information on bow hunting groups for your area.
Special Crop Damage Permits
Under most circumstances, deer harvest during legal hunting seasons should adequately reduce deer populations. However, in some instances special permits may be issued to commercial farmers to allow removal of nuisance antlerless deer outside of the open hunting season. These permits can only be issued to growers having a 3-acre minimum of commercial crops. Crop damage permits to remove a specific number of antlerless deer are obtained from the DNR Game Management Section (see page 1). A field assessment of damage by wildlife biologists or technicians may be required.
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