MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY --
Food plots are ready, bow qualifications are complete and ladder stands are in place.
Hunting enthusiasts have waited many months for the start of the 2016-17 deer hunting season, which begins Saturday, aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
More than 50 bow-hunters have qualified for this year’s hunting season, according to Julie Robbins, natural resources manager, Environmental Branch, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany.
“These hunters attended mandatory hunter safety briefs and proved their skills through a qualification process,” Robbins said.
She noted the installation offers hunters about 1,200 acres of land as they take to their tree stands for opening day of deer season.
Al Belanger, game warden, MCLB Albany, said the deer quota will be one buck and one doe for each hunter.
“Only a few hunters meet the quota each year due to the challenges of bow hunting,” Belanger said. “Those challenges include the limited effective range of archery equipment and a very wary deer herd that can pattern hunters as much as hunters try to pattern them.”
Robbins stated 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 said. “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 expressed.
“Part of (that is due to) maintaining a healthy deer herd (by) ensuring quality habitat is available,” she said. “Natural Resources manages both natural forages and food plots for deer to keep the herd healthy. Natural forages are managed by prescribed burning and controlling invasive plants such as kudzu and Japanese climbing fern.”
Certain areas throughout the installation have been planted to provide food and wildlife viewing locations throughout the year, Robbins pointed out.
“This year’s summer food plots included mixtures of browntop millet, buckwheat, and soybeans,” she continued. “Winter forages are typically planted in September through October and will consist of small grains like wheat and oats, winter peas, and clover.”
Although a lot of preparation has been made for this year’s hunting season, Robbins reiterated that all hunters must abide by the antler restrictions and general hunting rules while aboard the base.
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.
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.
While hunting aboard the installation, all hunters are required to possess a base hunting permit and a valid Georgia hunter’s license. For more information, call 229-639-9946.