With the fall and winter hunting seasons ending, we turn our attention to addressing policy changes to the regulations and implementing management efforts to enhance the quality of your recreational experiences for turkey season, spring and summer fishing, and hunting seasons next fall and winter.
If you are aware of any issues in the regulation that are confusing or conflict with anything elsewhere in the regulation, please bring those issues to our attention so appropriate changes can be made. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org highlighting specific items.
Additionally, the commanding general’s advisory council on natural resources will begin addressing comments related to existing programs and initiatives to determine if some of those can be modified to improve recreational opportunities. As always, the council meetings are open to all Fort Benning sportsmen and are held in the conference room in Building 5888 at the Conservation Branch on First Division Road in Harmony Church. Future dates and times will be published soon.
We will follow our typical routine of managing all the growing season wildlife openings, which includes designated dove fields, and intensively manage seven of our recreational fish ponds.
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We will begin plowing and harrowing the dove fields and summer openings in the coming weeks. Usually, we turn the soil under on those fields, allow the weeds to sprout and treat them with herbicides prior to planting. This technique allows us to reduce competition from undesirable weeds with the agricultural crops we plant. If we can establish a good stand of crops and provide them with a head start before the weeds sprout again, the overall yield on the fields increases substantially.
As many of you are well aware, the feral swine on post pose a significant threat to these fields in late summer when the planted grains start to put on seed. Given an opportunity, the pigs will consume all available resources and severely restrict forage availability for the game species many hunters are after. Hunters can help by systematically targeting their pig-hunting activity around those areas now and through the summer. As prohibited by the regulation, do not drive on the planted fields, and remember, hunting feral swine with firearms during turkey season is not permitted.
With the acquisition of our new electro-fishing boat, the intensity of management on Kings, Weems, Twilight and Headley’s ponds will increase significantly. The stocking efforts from 2009-2011 have been instrumental in re-establishing a productive and healthy bream population.
We will now focus on removal of stunted largemouth bass and tracking densities of all species to restore ponds to a balanced condition. Once restored, we will likely do some supplemental stocking with more aggressive feeding — hybrid strains of largemouth bass, which should increase overall bass fishing success in the future.