With firearms hunting season just a week away, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division is reminding hunters to always put safety first, use courtesy, and to respect the property where you hunt. And this time around they’re adding one more thing – obey the laws of the state because a lot more eyes may be watching.
“We are essentially enlisting all the citizens of Georgia with our new Ranger Hotline Program,” Col. Eddie Henderson, director of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division said in a press release. “If you see a poacher, call the hotline number, 1-800-241-4113 or send an email to RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us and report it. The call or email is anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest, you get a cash reward for certain violations. It’s as simple as that.”
According to the press release, poaching is legally defined as illegal shooting, trapping, or taking of game or fish from private or public property, but in the conservation law enforcement community a poacher is a thief who steals wildlife that belongs to all citizens, robbing them of recreational opportunities, like hunting, fishing or wildlife watching.
“Shooting deer at night or from a public road, hunting out of season or on private property without permission are all illegal activities and we will continue to aggressively enforce the state hunting laws, as always,” Henderson said. “Our goal is for everyone to enjoy their hunt safely and legally.”
Regarding safety, Georgia DNR warns that hunters should never cut corners. Wear the fluorescent orange, practice firearm safety, always be respectful of other hunters and property owners where you hunt, and use extreme caution when using a tree stand.
“Our Rangers respond to tree stand incidents regularly and most of them are avoidable,” Henderson said. “Remember to install it correctly, use a haul line to pull gear into the stand, always let someone know your whereabouts and when you will return, have a rescue plan and, by all means, wear a safety harness.”
Georgia DNR gave the following points to remember while hunting:
- Stay on established roads – do not operate any vehicle, including ATVs, within stream beds.
- Pack it in, pack it out – take your litter with you.
- Always be sure of your target and the area beyond the target.
- Secure landowner permission before hunting on private property.
The Ranger Hotline program is housed in The Georgia Natural Resources Foundation, which is a 501c3 organization. Anyone who would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the program can do so at http://gadnrle.org/node/2 or send an email to email@example.com.
Firearms season for deer begins on October 18th in Georgia.