The Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a branch of the federal government with sections in many states. The Georgia
Department of Natural Resources controls Georgia’s WMA which includes Berry College’s section. The state of Georgia’s WMA is composed of more than ninety separate pieces of property. The pieces of property are strategically located throughout the state so that Georgia residents have an equal opportunity to access the property. The WMA organizes many hunts throughout the year for different animals; some hunts allow all residents to participate, while other hunts are designated for women or children only. The WMA organizes the specialized hunts in order to introduce and encourage women and children to recreation. Many regulatory procedures are in place to protect the state and federal property of the WMA (“Georgia Department of Natural Resources”). Some of these procedures include, but are not limited to, motor vehicle maps and vandalism watches.

History of Berry's Land

The amount of land owned by Berry College has changed over time, as gifts have been given to the college and land has been sold to better the community. Even though the amount of land has fluctuated, Berry is still known as, “the largest campus in the world” (“Berry Landholdings” 1). Berry College initially started out with eighty-three acres that its founder, Martha Berry, used to establish her schools on in 1902 (“Berry Landholdings” 2). The land began to increase as the school expanded into an agricultural school, as gifts of land were presented to Martha Berry, resulting in nearly 27,500 acres (“Berry Landholdings” 2). Parcels of Berry’s land since then has been sold to companies such as Georgia Power Company and community businesses to better the city of Rome (“Berry Landholdings” 2). This, however, has not diminished Berry’s title as the largest campus in the world with 27,000 acres left.

Berry College Section of the WMA

The Berry College section of the WMA is composed of 15,029 acres. Most of the hunts organized at Berry are considered quota hunts, which means only a certain amount of hunters are permitted to participate. Quota hunts are helpful to the WMA because they help protect the resources, increase the features of the hunt, and encourage safe hunting methods. At Berry, quotas are placed on firearm hunts for both sexes of deer and firearm hunts for bears. Residents who wish to participate in guided hunts at Berry College must apply through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in order to attain approval.

There is a wide variety of game in the WMA organized hunts at Berry College. Hunts include deer, bear, turkey, small game, and dove
(“Public Land Hunts”). These are all fairly prosperous game to hunt in that there are enough of them per square feet (Trammell). The high deer population especially results in hunter success, as there are about thirty-eight deer per square mile (Trammell). One of the animals not permitted for hunting are raccoons (Trammell). There are both archery or firearm options for deer and bear hunts (“Public Land Hunts”). The Berry WMA is composed of a rugged terrain and numerous large hard woods and pines. Hunters can enjoy primitive camping areas and the ease of accessibility through gravel and paved roads located on the WMA (“Public Land Hunts”).

Susan Trammell was once in charge of most aspects of the wildlife management refuge (Hyche). Her duties included maintaining the upkeep of hunting areas and refuge land, and also the equipment that is property of the Berry College WMA. Trammell also was considered to be in law enforcement because part of her job required her to make sure every hunter on the property was properly licensed and armed with legal weapons.

The Berry College WMA is owned by Berry College, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, and Inland-Rome (Trammell). The Area owned by Oglethorpe Power is a no hunting zone, as its habitat is made up of ridges and valleys (Trammell). About 21,000 acres of its land is forested, while the other 4,000 are used for agricultural purposes (Trammell). Other uses for the Oglethorpe Power zone are two camping areas (Trammell). The forested areas are made up of mostly Yellow Pine, at seventy-five percent, but there are trees such as Pine-Hardwood, Upland Hardwood, and Bottomland Hardwood (Trammel).

Safety and Regulation

Many regulatory and safety procedures are installed by the WMA at Berry College in addition to quota hunts. Hunters participating in the guided hunts are not allowed to use Main Campus for hunting. The reason for this restriction is for the safety of the students. The horse-back riding trails, walking trails, and bicycle trails are closed during the course of firearm season and closed during select times during archery and turkey season for safety reasons. Also, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are prohibited at all times. Berry regulates the days of the season in which hunting is allowed. There are only twelve days of firearm season to ensure safety of students and keep the deer population from becoming endangered.

Georgia residents and non-residents who wish to hunt in the state of Georgia must complete the hunter’s safety education course and pass the test to obtain a seasonal hunting license if they were born on or after January 1, 1961. The hunting licenses do not last forever; hunters must renew their license every season in which they wish to hunt. Children under the age of 16 do not have to complete hunter’s safety education. If they do not have a hunting license, they must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times when hunting (“Georgia Outdoors”). These rules and regulations are created and enforced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in order to protect hunters and preserve the property and resources.

marthapaedia picture.jpeg

Works Cited

"Berry College Wildlife Management Area." Public Land Hunts. World Press, n.d. Web. 26 Oct 2012.

“Berry Landholdings.” March 1977: P 1-4. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

"Hunting in Georgia." Georgia Outdoors, n.d. Web. 26 Oct 2012.

Hyche, Doug. "Trammell works for furthering wildlife education." Campus Carrier, Mount Berry, Ga. 24 Sept 1992. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

Trammell, Susan. Berry College Wildlife Management Area Map. Mount Berry: Berry College, n.d. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.

"Wildlife Management Area System." Georgia Department of Natural Resources, n.d. Web. 30 Sept 2012.