GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Georgia is planning to open its turkey hunting season early for certain groups, and residents can provide input on the changes at upcoming public hearings.
A new state law that went into effect July 1 directs the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to establish a separate turkey season for youth and mobility-impaired hunters.
The DNR is proposing to open turkey hunting a few days before the season officially begins for the two groups of hunters, The Times of Gainesville reported (http://bit.ly/13j6ZBT). The traditional turkey season begins the first Saturday after March 19 and the season runs through May 15, said John Bowers, DNR's assistant chief of game management.
Public hearings are set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Gainesville; 7 p.m. Wednesday in Macon; and 7 p.m. Thursday in Douglas.
Paul Kesmodel, president of Cherokee Gun Club in Gainesville, said he thought most hunters would be supportive of the early season.
"I think most hunters would probably encourage that, because we are trying to encourage more folks to get involved in the shooting sports," he said.
State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gainesville, is on the Game, Fish, & Parks Committee. An avid hunter, he helped support HB 207, and thinks it's a good move for hunting in Georgia.
Dunahoo said having fewer people in the woods would allow for proper education for youth hunters, and better safety for individuals with disabilities. He added that hunters using wheelchairs would find an earlier season easier for getting around.
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