Home Biologist Georgia Park opens to deer hunters for three days

Georgia Park opens to deer hunters for three days

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A park in Georgia will be closed for a few days to hikers and cyclists, and open to hunters. There will be three days of archery at Blankets Creek in Cherokee County to help manage the deer population.

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County officials said the deer population has grown significantly over the years in the 330-acre park. When mountain bikers, runners and walkers began to complain about the aggressive deer, they called the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to assess the situation.

Wildlife biologist David Gregory said there was an obvious glut of deer.

“When you have too many deer, it negatively impacts the vegetation. When you go out there are no plants on the ground, no understory and it is not good for the ecosystem,” said Gregory.

Gregory said it’s not healthy for deer and it’s a safety concern for hikers and cyclists because the animals aren’t afraid of people.

“Anytime deer or wildlife get used to people it can be a dangerous situation whether they are physically attacking people or just from a health standpoint,” Gregory said.

MNR recommended a managed hunt. Cherokee County agreed and organized three days of archery. The first is Sunday, December 19. It is reserved for young hunters and disabled hunters. The other two days are January 2 and January 9.

Anyone in Cherokee County could register for a lottery to participate in the hunt. More than 1200 people have registered. Thirty hunters are chosen for each day. There is a limit of two deer.

Officials from the MNR and the Army Corps of Engineers will be at the park Sunday morning to help manage the hunt and ensure that no one tries to venture out on the trails during the hunt.

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