The public will now have “More Places To Hunt” on Dawson Forest WMA thanks to efforts by governmental agencies, sportsmen’s organizations and a private landowner. A previously closed road that limited access has recently been re-opened on the WMA, just in time for the opening of Turkey season – March 26.
A partnership of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) (National, State and local Amicalola Longbeard Chapters), a local land owner and Dawson County has resulted in establishing access to a portion of the WMA that had been blocked since 2004. Under the NWTF “More Places To Hunt” Program, a small piece of property was purchased that would restore access to the WMA.
“Thanks to our valued conservation partners and interested private landowners this project enhances access to 4,700 acres of the Dawson Forest Management Area,” said Ken Riddleberger, Region 2 Game Management Supervisor for WRD. “Access to hunting lands has been identified as a barrier to hunting and this project is one effort to address that need.”
The new access point originates off of Stone Place Court (off Steele Bridge Road) and travels to a large portion of the WMA. Previous permission to access the WMA at this point was lost when the adjacent property changed ownership. Following the sale of the neighboring property in 2009 the new owner, Randy Grant, indicated that he would be agreeable to opening the access point to the public. The NWTF provided funding for the the state to acquire the property. Also, Dawson County agreed to take control of the private road that connected to the newly acquired access point.
Dawson Forest WMA is located near Dawsonville in Northeast Georgia. The area covers 25,000 acres and offers many recreational opportunities including; hunting (deer, turkey, small game, dove and waterfowl), fishing, canoe access points, camping, hiking, horseback riding, bird-watching, wildlife observation and picnicking.
For more information on Dawson Forest WMA and the upcoming 2011 Turkey Season, visit www.georgiawildlife.com .
Cutline for Photo: Opening the gate (L-R) are Wes Dorsey (State NWTF Board Member), Tyler Jones (Dawson County), Jason McClure (President of Amicalola Longbeards Chapter), Keith Mulkey and Georgia NWTF Biologist Lynn Lewis-Weis.