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Hunters take aim at deer living on islands in Georgia lake

November 24, 2018

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Bow hunters are taking aim at the deer living on islands in Lake Lanier.

The lake’s annual deer hunt, regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is set for this weekend.

The deer end up on the islands by swimming out to them from the mainland, said Nicholas Baggett, the agency’s natural resource manager on Lake Lanier.

The hunt will include about 23 groups of islands, peninsulas and areas across more than 1,000 acres, The Times reported.

The hunt is scheduled in the fall of each year to coincide with bow hunting season and is intended to control deer populations on the uninhabited islands of the lake, the Gainesville newspaper reported.

Last year, 110 hunters killed 43 deer — nine bucks and 34 does.

This year, hunters will need to use boats because the lake is near its full pool. In previous years, the lake was lower and hunters could walk or wade to some islands near the shore.

Several islands near high-traffic areas will be marked for boaters with signs noting the upcoming hunt.

“Aside from this announcement (which we will repeat before the next two hunts) the peninsulas and islands that may become peninsulas (depending on lake level) receive signs at their narrow points notifying walkers of the hunt,” the Corps of Engineers posted on its Facebook page.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources helps schedule and organize the island hunt.

“We like to do it during this period when the parks are not used very much,” Baggett said. “We try to strike a balance between those who may want to use our trail system or some of the parks in the south end and just close them down for some limited periods.”

The hunt has grown over time, according to corps records that go back to 2007, and 2017 was the busiest hunt to-date by both hunter participation, number of deer bagged and area of land open to hunters.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.gainesvilletimes.com

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