Managing state’s deer population

Been in a car vs. deer collision? Deer gobbling up your flowers and tomatoes? “Messing up” your yard? Then you might be interested in attending a meeting in Gainesville this week on “deer management” in Georgia.

“How many white-tailed deer should we have in Georgia?” That’s one of the questions state officials hope to get answered. The answer, they say, however, varies depending on whom you ask, adding, management of the animals can be a challenging and, at times, controversial topic. And they are conducting a series of meetings around the state on doing just that.

One will be held Thursday 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the Gainesville Civic Center. It’s drop-in” meeting. You’re invited to come by any time during those five hours and discuss the issue with experts.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD), the white-tailed deer is Georgia’s most popular game species. Currently, management of regional and statewide deer population density occurs through regulated hunting. However, other issues and opportunities are directly linked to this resource including wildlife viewing, ecological functions, agricultural damage, and deer-car collisions.

WRD’s successful management efforts are informed through biological data, public input and management objectives identified in the agency’s statewide deer management plan, developed through an intensive public participation process.

WRD requests your participation in three open house-style public meetings followed by a “virtual” open house or by submitting input through an online questionnaire.  These events allow everyone to provide input regarding management of white-tailed deer for the next 6 years. Citizens are encouraged to provide thoughtful insight on specific key issues. Some of these issues include deer population; deer-vehicle collisions; urban deer management; hunting regulations and methods; hunter access; chronic wasting disease; and communications. Biologists and others will be available to answer questions about the key issues and provide background information.

The public can drop in at any time during the open house meetings. For those unable to attend a meeting, a web-based “open house” where the public can view the key issues and access an online questionnaire will be posted at The online questionnaire will be available through April 7, 2024.

For more information on the Georgia Deer Management Plan, visit or call 770.918.6416.”