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Commissioner's Message

Commissioner Mark Williams after a successful deer hunt.

As Georgians, we are privileged to live in a state where the natural resources are plentiful and awe-inspiring. Every year, I have the pleasure of connecting with the sportsmen and sportswomen of Georgia through this publication and it goes without saying that the 2020 hunting season was unprecedented. Despite the uncertainties last year brought, we still saw a tremendous increase in Georgians taking advantage of the state’s natural resources. You escaped to the outdoors for safe distancing and adventure, and many of you gave hunting a shot for the very first time. Wherever you are in your journey, we are glad to have you and thankful for your contribution to conservation.

As a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman, I believe it is key to share the values of our natural resources with our families. This past year, I have been fortunate to spend precious time with my own family outdoors. I am “Pop Pop” to four grandbabies and I look forward to showing them the importance of hunting, fishing and conservation as they grow. As the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, it is also an honor and blessing to be in a position that allows me to connect with so many of you who share that same passion.

Each time you purchase sporting goods or hunting licenses, you directly contribute to the planting of food plots, renovations at wildlife management areas, educational facilities and programs, shooting ranges and wildlife law enforcement. 100% of your license dollars secure federal funding for the state of Georgia and annually, we can accomplish more because of you.

The DNR family works tirelessly toward the mission of enhancing wildlife conservation and associated hunting opportunities. While hunting is great for sport, it is equally important to understand that conservation plays a crucial role in guaranteeing healthy wildlife populations for future generations. Hunting is also a great way to put good and nutritious food on the table. Whether gathered around a table or sitting in a tree stand, there is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy nature.

The family and network that sportsmen and sportswomen have built here is extraordinary. You have shown great commitment and flexibility in embracing and using the new Game Check reporting program, resulting in record participation for 2020-2021! I also want to thank you for your involvement and attention given to the issue of Georgia’s declining turkey population. The voices of thousands of Georgia hunters were heard as DNR diligently considered new actions to address this issue.

Hunting has instilled irreplaceable values in me and a passion for the outdoors. It is our responsibility to contribute to this legacy and I hope it becomes a tradition you pass down to your family and friends for generations to come. In the year ahead, I challenge you to introduce someone new to hunting and encourage you to get your families involved in enjoying everything that the great outdoors has to offer.

Mark Williams
Commissioner, Georgia Department of Natural Resources