September 13, 2013 --
It’s the time of year hunting enthusiasts look forward to, the start of deer hunting season.
For nearly 70 qualified and registered bow-hunters, the anticipation of getting back into their tree stands ends Saturday as hunting season aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany gets underway. The season is scheduled to end Jan. 15, 2014.
“Hunting is a tradition enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts,” Julie Robbins, natural resource manager, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany, said. “It is also a vital component of maintaining a healthy deer herd aboard the base.”
Robbins said the hunting program prevents the deer population from surpassing the capacity of the environment to support it or reaching a point that deer create a significant nuisance.
“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 for 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,” she said. “This may result in more deer-vehicle collisions and cause declines in deer herd health.”
Al Belanger, game warden, Envir-onmental Branch, said 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, he said.
Additionally, hunters are required to weigh and take basic measurements of all deer harvested.
“Hunters must photograph and record basic biological information on harvested deer to help us improve our knowledge about the age, structure and physical condition of the deer herd aboard the base,” Robbins said.
Additionally, hunters selected new antler restrictions to be put in place by a vote for the upcoming season, according to Robbins.
“The antler restrictions require that any harvested buck have at least a 15” outside spread or 16” main beams,” she said. “These restrictions help to limit the harvest of younger aged bucks and improve the age structure of the deer herd.”
To hunt on MCLB Albany, per Base Order 1720.17R and Base Bulletin 1720, all bow-hunters have to pass the National Bowhunters Education Foundation safety course and the base hunter’s qualification course. In addition, all hunters are required to possess a base hunting permit and a valid Georgia hunter’s license, according to Belanger.
“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 is safe and they are proficient with the bow. This greatly increases the hunter’s ability to harvest an animal as humanely as possible.”
The qualification course requires archers to demonstrate their ability to hit a 3-D deer target with one shot at unknown distances from an elevated stand.
“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.”
According to Belanger, there are about 1,200 acres of land available for hunting aboard the base.
With hunters taking to their tree stands throughout the base, non-hunters are urged not to venture into hunting areas while the season is underway.
“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.
For more information, call 229-639-9946.