MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Deer hunting season aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany begins Saturday and will end on Jan. 15, 2013.
Hunting is a vital component of maintaining a healthy deer herd and is a tradition enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts including the 92 hunters registered to hunt on base this year.
According to Julie Robbins, natural resource manager, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, the hunting program on base prevents the deer population from surpassing the capacity of the environment to support it.
“Hunters are required to harvest a doe before they have the opportunity to harvest an antlered buck,” she said. “This requirement provides a strong incentive to hunters to harvest sufficient numbers of does to maintain this balance. Without this balance, the population of deer would increase dramatically impacting habitat for other species, resulting in more deer-vehicle collisions, and causing declines in deer herd health.”
Additionally, hunters are required to photograph and record basic biological information on harvested deer. Robbins says that this data is used to improve knowledge about the age structure and physical condition of the deer herd on MCLB Albany.
Hunting is a safe outdoor activity but base officials caution hunters and non-hunters alike.
According to Game Warden Al Belanger, Environmental Branch, I & E Div., approximately 1,200 acres of land will be open for hunting this year.
“For safety purposes, hunting areas are off limits to non-hunters during hunting season, including all non-paved roads/trails used by joggers, bicyclists and vehicles,” Belanger said. “Joggers will be permitted on Perimeter Road and on interior paved roads.”
Personnel are asked to notify the game warden if there is a requirement to enter the hunting areas during the hunting season.
As an additional safety measure, deer hunting is restricted to archery only (bow or crossbow) and hunters must pass a qualifications course and equipment check as per Base Order 1720.17R.
“The purpose of the qualification course is to test the accuracy and skills of each hunter before he or she is allowed to hunt,” Belanger said. “It is also to ensure the hunters’ equipment operates safely and effectively.”
Avid bow hunter Lt. Col. Daniel Bates, MCLB Albany’s executive officer, said qualifying with the
bow is important for two reasons - hunter’s safety and ethical shooting.
“First, as a safety consideration, hunters need to be familiar and proficient with their equipment and able to use it safely without endangering themselves or others,” Bates said, who has been bow hunting since he was 14. “Secondly, hunters have an ethical responsibility to kill game quickly and efficiently.”
The qualification course requires archers to demonstrate they can hit a 3-D deer target with one shot at unknown distances from an elevated stand mimicking actual hunting conditions.
“We want hunters to be ethical in the harvesting of one of our natural resources,” Belanger said. “It is my job to enforce the hunting regulations and to educate hunters so they can have a safe and successful hunting experience.”
Hunters must check in with the game warden at Building 5643 before entering the woods and check out before leaving. If hunting in the morning, bow hunters are allowed to check in two hours prior to sunrise and check out one hour after sunset in the evening, according to Belanger.
Hunters are required to possess a base hunting license, a Georgia hunting license, a Georgia big game license, and a Georgia deer harvest record Belanger said.
For more information about base hunting regulations, call 229-639-5188.