MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY --
It's that time of year Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany bow hunters look forward to the most - deer hunting.
The 2017-18 deer hunting season begins Sept. 9 and ends Jan. 14, 2018.
Julie Robbins, natural resources manager, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany, recently held the installation’s annual hunter’s brief at the Base Theater where she addressed many of the hunter’s concerns about this year’s deer hunting season.
One topic she discussed is how the Jan. 22 tornado, which wiped out most of the pecan grove and damaged other hunting areas on base, will impact this upcoming hunting season.
“Hunters hunting the west side of the base should expect to see more work being done due to the tornado’s impact, which includes planting and maintenance of new trees,” Robbins said. “Hunters can expect to be more concentrated in certain areas than in the past, which will require more cooperation and teamwork among the hunters.”
Robbins stressed that all hunters must abide by the antler restrictions and general hunting rules while aboard the base. She also listed several reminders and dates hunters need to know:
A deer survey using trail cameras began Aug. 8 and will end Aug. 29.
Bow qualifications will be held Aug. 28, 29 and 30 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-5:30 p.m.
Hunters can begin scouting Aug. 29 through Sept. 8.
Antler requirements for bucks must have an 18-inch main beam or 15-inch inside spread.
Antler restrictions and quotas may change depending on survey analysis.
Currently, hunters can harvest one buck and one doe. A total of 20 does and 20 bucks can be harvested this year.
Hunters must check in at Building 5643 before entering and after exiting the woods.
Bow hunters cannot check in any earlier than two hours prior to sunrise and must check out no later than one hour after sunset.
All hunters must read the log book at the Game Warden’s Office before entering the woods for any changes or updates.
All hunters must display the vehicle information sheet on the dash while hunting.
Hunters, who do not wear a full-body safety harness while in the tree stand, will receive suspensions if caught hunting without their safety harnesses. Ground blinds are exempted from the full-body safety harness rule.
Deer harvest records must be properly filled out prior to moving harvested deer.
Once the deer is at the Game Warden’s Office, hunters must weigh, photograph and record basic biological information.
Robbins emphasized that each year the deer quota is set to maintain a healthy, balanced deer herd.
“Quota numbers are determined through a camera and spotlight surveys,” she pointed out. “The camera survey method enables Natural Resources (personnel) to identify approximately 90 percent of the antlered deer aboard the installation.
“The number of does and fawns are determined by using a combination ratio of doe, fawn and buck photographs from the camera survey and the results of the spotlight survey,” Robbins explained.
Based on previous years, the deer herd aboard the installation is well balanced with close to equal sex ratios of bucks and does, she added.
One concern was the 750 acres that were impacted by the tornado Jan. 22, according to the natural resources manager.
“We tried to preserve as many trees as possible to include a small pocket of pecan trees, about 50, in the pecan grove,” she said. “About 150 acres in the pecan orchard were lost as well as nearly 200 acres had to be clear cut due to downed trees, timber sales and tree removal.”
In addition, more than 400 acres received moderate damage from the tornado throughout the base, she noted.
Robbins also pointed out that work will continue in the damaged areas throughout the hunting season and reminded hunters to be sure to read all instructions at the Game Warden’s Office before heading into the woods.
“Throughout the base, there will be approximately 1,300 hardwood trees planted, which will include a mix of 15 types of hardwoods including oak, poplar and blackgum trees,” she added. “There will be an additional 150,000 pine trees planted, most of them being long leaf pine trees.”
According to Robbins, the forest floor and ground cover is expected to take two to three years to recover due to logging.
“Because there is a lack of trees for hunters to hunt out of, ground blinds will be permitted this year,” she revealed. “There will be additional wildlife openings, or food plots, planted as well.”
While hunting aboard the installation, all hunters are required to possess a base hunting permit and a valid Georgia hunting and big game license. For more information, call 229-639-9946.