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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
August 8, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 8, 2018

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August 8, 2018 Page 5B /P orter MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson ove hunting has long been a pastime in Georgia. Its popularity has earned the mourning dove the title of the most hunted bird in Georgia. Each year thou- sands of Geor- gians flock to dove fields across the state in hopes of bagging a limit of doves. However, in too many cases, instead of taking TERRY W. home a mess of doves some hunters walk off a dove field with a cita- tion for hunting over bait. If these folks had known what constitutes baiting, chances are they could have avoided this unpleasant predicament. The Georgia DNR defines baiting as, " the practice of direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, dis- tributing, or scattering salt, corn, wheat, or any other grain or feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for doves, to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them" Most hunters are able to tell whether or not salt or grain was intentionally placed in a field. Over the years, however, trying to decide if an agricultural practice resulted in a field being considered baited proved to be perplexing. In an effort to eliminate the confusion swirl- ing about this is- sue, several years ago the Georgia Department of Natural Resourc- es, U.S. Fish and JOHNSON Wildlife Service, and agrono- mists with the University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension Service devel- oped guidelines that clearly define what can and cannot be done to a field where dove hunting takes place. Back in the day, dove hunts were traditionally held in fields planted in the spring and early summer with grain crops such as dove proso, milo, or white millet. Nowadays, however, many land managers have abandoned managing dove fields in this manner. They choose instead to stage hunts in fields planted in late summer into fall. The guidelines devel- opedbythe USFWS, GADNR and UGA have eliminated the guesswork as to which of the late sum- mer and fall practices re- sult in a field being baited. Simply put, you can legal- ly hunt over fields planted in summer or fall only if they are sown using normal agricultural practices for that crop and area of the state. For example, aerially seeding or top sowing a small grain without cover- ing the seed is not consid- ered a normal agricultural practice. As such, if you hunt a field planted in this manner, you are breaking the law. However, fields can be planted to canola, wheat, rye, oats, and barley if they are planted within certain This mourning dove feeds (Photo/Terry Johnson) on the ground safely until the start of hunting season. planting dates and covered in the proper manner. Since Monroe County is situated in the Piedmont physiographic region, this period runs from Septem- ber 1 through November 15. These crops much be drilled, harrowed, dragged or otherwise be covered. The application rate recom- mended for fields planted for all small grains is 1.5 to 2.5 bushels per acre. If you hunt doves in a field plant- ed to these crops outside of these dates or the seed was not properly covered, you are ,violating the law. It is also important to note that regardless if a field was either knowingly or un- knowingly baited, the field cannot be hunted within 10 days of the bait being completely removed. It is up to the hunter to determine whether the field she or he plans to hunt is baited. Therefore, it is always a good idea to leave your shotgun in your vehicle and scout a field before hunting. This will en- able you to see whether the feld looks baited. If something doesn't seem just right, don't take the chance that it might be illegal. Simply hop back into your vehicle and go home. If you have any ques- tions regarding bait- ing, contact the Law Enforcement Division headquarters in Atlanta at 770-918-6408. If you want to report, a baited dove field or poaching call Turn In Poachers (T.I.P) at 1-800-241-4113. Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors' for the Reporter for many years. Email him at wood- duck@ bellsouth, net. % MP quarterback J.T. Hartage (left), pictured during MP's loss to Lee County in 2017, will take the season's first snap in a pre-season home scrimmage versus Southwest (Macon) on Friday. (Photo/Kim Holderfield) !!iii~iiiiii By Richard Dumas The Mary Persons Bulldogs will unofficially kick off their much-anticipated 2018 cam- paign with a pre-season scrim- mage against Southwest (Ma- con) at 7 p.m. on Friday at Dan Pitts Stadium. It will be the fifth straight year that the Bulldogs have scrim- maged with the Class AA Patri- ots, who finished 5-5 in 2017. MP has won all four previous pre-season meetings, but only edged Southwest (Macon) 27-20 and 28-20, respectively, in the past two showdowns. The Patriots, who struggled with center-quarterback ex- changes in last year's meet- ing, should provide a stiff test for MP's secondary this time around. Coached by former UGA quarterback Joe Dupree, the Patriots feature one of the top aerial attacks in AA, led by senior quarterback Jordan Slo- cum. The 6'5", 193-pound signal caller is the No. 135-ranked se- nior prospect in Georgia accord- ing to recruiting site 247sports. com, having received college offers from Florida Atlantic and Colorado State among others. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have reached the AAAA state semi- finals in each of the past two years, losing to the eventual state champions. MP returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense in what is expected to be one of the best Bulldogs' teams in MP'S distinguished history. Among those returners is senior quarterback J.T. Hartage, the reigning Region 2-AAAA Offen- sive Player of the Year, who set school records for single-game (292) and single-season (1,840) passing yards in 2017. See next week's Reporter for a full MP 2018 football preview. remain The 2018 Mary Persons High regular home games this season between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 School football season is just and the cost will be $54 per season p.m. to purchase your tickets. around the comer. Regular season ticket. Also, advance general admis- reserved seats/season tickets for Please see Mrs. Barbara Dennis sion tickets for Mary Persons High home games went on sale start- in the Mary Person High School School home football games will ing Monda July 23. There are six front office Monday - Friday, be sold on the day of the game at MP, Monroe Rec Youth Football to be held Sat. morning varsity football squad, will serve as instructors for the camp. The camp will include: a t-shirt (if registered by July 20), lunch, offense/defense drills, a tour of the MP football facility, game film, etc. For more information, contact the Monroe County Recreation Department at (478) 994-7795 or visit The Monroe County Recreation Department and the Mary Per- sons Bulldogs are teaming up for a one-day Youth Football Camp on Saturday, Aug. 11. The camp, free to kids from 2nd-6th grades, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the MP Football Practice Facility. MP head football coach Brian Nelson and his staff, as well as members of the MP Rick Cantrell 478-992-7042 LAND CLEARING / FORESTRY MULCHING BRUSH MOWING / RIGHT OF WAYS / BOUNDARY LINES NO DEBRIS TO HAUL OFF / NO BURNING / ECO FRIENDLY Certified Public Accountants 68 North Jackson Street Forsyth (p) 478-994-1820 (f) 478-994-3102 Seraing Forsffth for more than 40years! HOPKINS ~g)~)iiO AS SOCIATES United Bank, and Persons Bank. The ticket price will be $10. The price at the gate will also be $10. MP will open its season at 7:30 p.m. on Frida% Aug. 17 at home against Gainesville. earnp to Heating & A/C, Inc. We Service All Brands of Heating & Air Conditioning Units Serving Monroe County & Surrounding Areas for over 40 years Free Estimates Financing Available Jullette Rd. Forsyth, GA 478-994-6127 Ga.Reg.CU 4014t9 turn to the experts= The Monroe County Sheriffs Office in cooperation with the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) will hold its 11th annual Teen Safe Driving Camp at GPSTC from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11. The camp, which is for teens ages 15-17, will cost $20 and will indude a hot lunch served in the GPSTC cafete- ria and logo t-shirt. Check-in will be between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. 109D Patrol Road. FORSYTH 478-994-9911