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Controlled hunt to thin deer population OK'd

WINDER - The City Council approved a formal request to proceed with a controlled hunt this fall to thin the burgeoning deer population.

Eric Bentley, park manager of Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, submitted his request to the city's mayor and council to proceed with a controlled hunt. His specific request was for an exemption from the city's firearms ordinance at the discretion of the commissioner of natural resources.

"Deer overpopulation is becoming a problem at Fort Yargo due to its location in proximity to all of the development around the park," Bentley said in the request. "There are deer-car collisions almost on a daily basis on Georgia Highways 81 and 11, along with Punkin Junction and Carson Wages Roads."

In fact, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the two stretches of Ga. 81 and Ga. 11 are among the most dangerous zones in the state with respect to deer-car collisions. Bentley said deer in the park are not getting enough to eat, as shown by so-called "browse lines" where deer are eating leaves off trees as high as they can reach.

The dates for the hunt are Nov. 29-30 and Jan. 3-4. Strict guidelines will govern the hunt.

A quota of 65 hunters will be drawn for each of the two scheduled hunts. Selected hunters must attend a mandatory safety meeting the night before the two days of hunting. Hunters must also observe clearly marked safety zones and hunt from stands to lessen the probability of stray bullets.

Hunters for the Hungry will be on hand during both hunts to take any deer meat hunters wish to donate to food banks.

New councilmen sworn in

In a brief ceremony Tuesday evening, Winder Mayor Buddy Ouzts administered the oath of office to the city's two newest council members, Frank Dunagan and Larry Evans.

Court clerk recognized

for outstanding service

The Georgia Crime Information Center recently completed its audit of the Winder Municipal Court. Court Clerk Rebecca Arnold passed the audit without problem. Arnold was congratulated on her outstanding performance as court clerk.

•Winder will observe Poetry Month by sponsoring its annual poetry contest. Any Winder or Barrow County resident is eligible to submit an entry. Deadline for entries is April 1. Entry forms and more information are available on the city's Web site at www.cityofwinder.com and at City Hall. Winners in each of the age categories will be recognized at the May 2 City Council meeting.

•The Winder Police Department will hold an informational seminar at 7 p.m. on March 23. The seminar will offer parents safety tips for their children's Internet use.