Like many of you, I have always loved the outdoors and appreciated Georgia’s diverse natural resources. Growing up in North Georgia, I spent most of my free time fishing in trout streams and hunting deer and turkey. From a young age, I became determined to hunt all of Georgia’s game animals. When I became Commissioner in 2011, I applied for my first alligator quota hunt permit and was greatly disappointed when I was not selected. Each year I continued to enter the selection process, building up my preference points. After waiting four long years, I was finally selected.
Even though the selection process took four years, the wait was certainly worth it. A few friends and I went out with our guide and I harvested my first alligator in October 2015. It was a proud moment for me, but getting to share the thrill of the hunt with friends is what being a sportsman is about. I was excited to shoot an alligator, but even more eager to share the enthusiasm with my friends and family.
In Georgia, sportsmen and women are more than just a group of hobbyists; we are a community focused on appreciating and preserving our state’s natural resources for generations of hunters and anglers to come. Sportsmen and women are the original conservationists. Hunters and anglers spend more time, money and effort on wildlife conservation than any other group in society. Your license purchases, which fund wildlife conservation efforts, make you a partner in all the efforts of this agency. You contribute through the purchase of firearms, ammunition and other sporting supplies as a percentage of those sales are dedicated to wildlife conservation.
Thank you for continuing to support our wildlife and conservation efforts here in Georgia. I encourage each of you to take advantage of the diversity our state offers. From the Appalachian Mountains to the Golden Isles, there is an experience for everyone just waiting to happen.
Commissioner, Georgia Department of Natural Resources