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October 3, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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October 3, 2018
 

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Page 2B October 3, 2018 iRepOrter MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W, Johnson . olthough we are a few weeks away m the open- g day of the 20!8-19 .Firearms Deer Hunting Season, Monroe County deer hunters are already brim- ming with excite- ment and full of uncertainty. Most hunters just cannot wait for the arrival of what for many is the most impor- tant hunting date on the calendar. At the same time, TERRY W. they want to know what the new season holds in store. Although there is no way to gaze into a crystal ball and have a forecast magi- cally appear, the prognos- tications made by the state deer biologist, coupled with a close examination of the results of the 2017-18 season, should give us a pretty good idea as to what to expect this year. According to the Geor- gia State Deer Biologist Charlie Killmaster, "With a couple of years of reduced harvest on females, from reduced either-sex days, we've seen a slight increase in the population. Fawn recruitment rates have been reasonable and stable the last few years, and the percentage of mature bucks in the harvest stable" It is clear from this analysis the seasonwill be similar to the 2017-18 season. With that in mind, let's take a quick look at what happened last year. Based on the JOHNSON Game Check reporting sys- tem, 359,262 deer hunters harvested a total of 381,629 deer. Most of the deer taken were does (219,019). In comparison, hunters took home 162,612 bucks. Here in Monroe County, hunters reported slaying a total of 1,542 deer (853 bucks and 689 does). Only 42 were shot with muzzle- loaders. As one might ex- pect, the vast majority were dropped with modern rifles and shotguns. Archers took home 201 deer. During the 2017-18, hunting season the average deer hunter bagged 1.09 deer. In spite of the fact that Georgians could bag 12 white- tails per year, only 13.9 percent of all hunters took home two deer. On the other end of the spec- trum, a meager 0.9 percent of Georgia's deer hunters reported harvesting more than seven deer. It is interesting to compare the number of days the average hunter spent hunt- ing to the number of days it took to kill a deer. Last year deer hunters spent an average of 20.89 days in the woods In It takes Georgia hunters an average of almost three weeks of hunt- ina to kill a whlt~t,~fl A,~,~r (Photo/Ga. Wildlife Resources Division) comparison, it took them an average of 19.17 days of hunting to bag a whitetail. When you compare the number of deer harvested within the state's phys- iographic regions, it is evident far more deer were taken in the Piedmont (which includes Monroe County) than anywhere else. The men and women that hunted this region bagged 75,371 bucks and 94,779 does. Here are the harvest figures for the rest of the state: Blue Ridge - 3,579 bucks, 4,666 does; Ridge and Valley - 12,430 bucks, 13,520 does; Upper Coastal Plain - 44,438 bucks, 79,553 does; and Lower Coastal Plain - 24,402 bucks, 28,912 does. Since most of us have a limited amount of time to go deer hunting, it is help- ful to know when we stand the best chance of success. Experienced deer hunters know that this special time of the year is during the rut. During this brief period, deer are more vulnerable because bucks are far less cautious and are roaming over a larger area in hopes of finding does. Realizing the importance of the timing of the rut, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division biologists teamed up with researchers from the University of Georgia and calculated the peak of the rut for all of Georgia's 159 Counties. These figures are based on the correla- tion between the peak occurrences of deer-vehicle collisions, deer conception rates, and movement rates of deer. When the data were crunched, it turns out the peak of the rut in Mon- roe County ranges from Oct. 27 through Nov. 12. In summary; ffwe fi- nally leave hot, dry weather behind us, the 2018-19 Firearms Deer Hunting Season should be a win- ner. Chances are good you will bag a deer. However, since it looks like it might take you about three weeks to bag a whitetail, you will have to work at it. Perhaps work is the wrong term to use to describe going deer hunting. Spending quality time in the county's beauti- ful woodlands far from the stress of life can hardly be called work. I hope you have a pro- ductive and safe hunting season! 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 tjwood- duck@bellsouth.net. Faith Ann Rezier, No. 12, was escorted by her mother Aleah Hayman, No. 18, was escorted by her parents' Destiny Middleton, No. 28, was escorted by her parents Heidi Moon, stepfather Dave Moon, sisters Jordan Rozier, Creed and Maria Hayman, sister Emmalee Hayman and Hollis and Tamitha Middleton and MP coaches Hannah Alissa Rozier and Halle Rozier and MP coaches Hannah MP coaches Hannah Grossman and Jan Collins. Hayman Grossman and Jan Collins. Middleton has lettered in Grossman and Jan Collins. Rozier has lettered in softball has lettered in softball for two years. She plans to join the softball for four yearL She plans to attend the University of for four years. She plans to attend college and major in U.S. military. North Carolina, where she will play softball and major in business, exercise science. LADY DOGS Continued from Front hits. Sophomore Karsin Bass also had a big game Offensively, going 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Junior Mallory Turner recorded the win in Game 1, striking out five batters in five innings. In Game 2, MP's bats exploded for five runs in the first and 10 runs in the second, led by sophomore Alissa Rozier, who had two doubles and a home nm while driving in six runs. Seniors Destiny Middleton and Aleah Hayrnan each had a pair of hits, including a double, while sophomore Emmalee Hayman added a home run and three RBIs. Junior Lauren DeFore picked up the win in Game 2, pitching all three innings for the Lady Dogs. MP head coach Hannah Grossman said she was concerned about facing the Lady Huskies coming into the series because by rain. The Bulldogs honored their three seniors, Aleah Hayman, Middleton and Faith Ann Rozier following Wednesday's win. Middleton started on the mound against Jackson for the first time in her illustri- ous four-year varsity career, and she didn't disappoint, striking out the first batter she faced. But two batters later, Grossman slid Middleton back to her customary third base role and brought in normal starter Lauren DeFore. The move proved prescient as DeFore in- duced two straight ground ball outs to Middleton to end the first inning. Middleton then ignited MP's offense in the bottom of the inning, leading off with a double to right-center. She then scored the game's first run on an RBI groundout by another senior, Faith Ann Rozier. After the rain delay, MP added to its lead in the bottom of the second on another double to right-cen- Howard had played well against MP this ter by Middleton, driving in Victoria year. She said she never imagined that her Vining. squad would dominate the series like it The Lady Red Devils finally got on did. "We came ready to play" MP head coach Hannah Grossman said. "It started off with good defense in the first inning. And we've been working on hitting and discipline at the plate, and it showed tonight." The Lady Dogs extended their winning streak to seven games with a 15-4 home victory over Perry on Thursday. Alissa Rozier led MP with three hits, including a double and a homer. Middleton, Bass and Faith Ann Rozier also contributed two hits apiece. Turner recorded the victory on the mound for MP. Thursday's victory improved MP's final regular season Region 2-AAAA record to 8-2, giving the Lady Dogs a second-place regular season finish behind No. i seed West Laurens. One night earlier, MP outlasted rival Jackson 7-4 in a non-region region home contest on Wednesday that was delayed in the early innings for more than a half-hour the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning when Chelsea Gotel scored on a fielder's choice ground ball. However, DeFore got Jackson's Shermayah Webb, who led Jackson with two hits and two RBIs, to ground back to the mound for the third OUt, stranding the tying run on third base. The Lady Dogs then day. (Photo/Richard Dumas) seized firm control of the game in the then capped off an outstanding Senior Night effort with a line-drive double to left-center, plating her younger sister for MP's final run. Jackson scored three runs of its own in the top of the seventh offMP reliever Turner, but the Lady Dogs pre- MP pitcher Lauren DeFore tossed a three-inning shutout in Game 2 of the Lady Dogs' series sweep of Howard on Mon- vailed 7-4 when shortstop Alissa Rozier got the final out by tagging a nmner, who was trying to advance from second to third. Middleton had two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Lady Dogs' offense while Faith Ann Rozier added a double and two RBIs. The team's other senior, Aleah Hayman also had a solid night, starting in left field and contributing an RBI and an excellent catch. "I'm very proud of them" Grossman said of her three seniors. "It just shows you how much they work for it. They work tre- bottom of the fifth inning when Middleton scored her second run of the game on a miscue by Jackson pitcher Mallory Watson offthe bat ofAleah Hayman, Nazari Jack- son then added to MP's lead on a two-run single up the middle, scoring Alissa Rozier and Faith Ann RoZier to give MP a 5-1 advantage. MP then added one more in the inning on an RBI single by Emmalee Hayman to put the Lady Dogs ahead 6-1. MP then scored one more run in the bottom of the sixth when Alissa Rozier reached on a two-out double down the leftfield line. Her older sister Faith Ann mendously. I had them in seventh grade, and then I started back with them their freshman year, so I've had them all the way. And just to watch them grow as play- ers and as individuals, it makes me happy ' knowing the people that they are and who they've become. And I can't wait to see what they've got coming." Middleton, whose bat has heated up as the season has gone on, said she was thrilled to take an unexpected star turn in the pitching circle on Senior Night. "Yes, it was so exciting,' Mid- dleton said of pitching for the first time. "I was kind of scared at first, but when I got in the game and started doing good, I kind of relaxed a little. But it was fun and funny. I always play around with Coach Grossman when I ask to pitch. And when she finally put me in, I was like, 'Oh my gosh" It was tim" One nightprior to the Jackson win, on Tuesday; Sept. 25, MP outscored Spalding 12-7 in a cru- cial region road contest. Alissa Rozier led the Lady Dogs' offense with three hits, including a triple, while Aleah Hayman contrib- uted a pair of doubles. The Mary Persons softball team will next travel to West Laurens to face the Lady Raiders in the Best-of-3 Region 2-AAAA champion- ship series beginning with a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. An if necessary Game 3 would be played at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Also, the MP JV Lady Dogs lost 7-1 at home to Jackson in four innings on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Monroe County Middle School softball team will next travel to Clifton Ridge for a road contest at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The C-Team Lady Dogs will then face Lamar County on the road at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.