New Program at GaDNR – Urban Wildlife Program


Urban Wildlife Program

What is Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division’s mission?

Conserve and promote fishing, hunting and wildlife resources through management, education and scientific research. 

What is the Urban Wildlife Program? 

Wildlife Resources Division has started the Urban Wildlife Program to better service Atlanta residents by providing dedicated staff to assist in mitigating human-wildlife conflict and proactive education and outreach about urban wildlife. 

What is considered “normal” wildlife behavior?

Wildlife behavior changes throughout the year based on what is happening in that animal’s life cycle. For example, animals that are considered more nocturnal can be seen more often during the day while raising young. This is because of the extra amount of time it takes for animals to feed themselves and their young. Wildlife can also change their behavior to adapt to living in urban environments. For example, raccoons may become more active during the day because that is when the neighborhood is the quietest and least active.

How can people avoid conflicts with wildlife? 

The number one cause for human-wildlife conflicts is a human provided food source, like trash, bird seed or pet food. The best way to avoid bringing unwanted wildlife into your yard is to eliminate any easy food sources. Then give the animal 2-3 weeks to figure out that food source is no longer available. 

What other ways can people discourage wildlife from being present in their yard?

Wildlife are naturally wary of people but can lose that fear of people over time when living in urban environments. Wildlife work on a dominance system, whoever is the most dominant animal owns the space. People can assert their dominance and reinforce wildlife’s natural fear of people by scaring wildlife out of their yard. You can do this by banging pots and pans, using an airhorn or spraying the animal with a water hose, if you are in a secure location. 

Where can people get more information on wildlife in Georgia?

For more information on wildlife in your backyard, visit and search living with wildlife. 

Two Important Announcements From Georgia DNR

Announcements, Outdoors





MANSFIELD, Ga. (Aug. 19, 2019) – Ladies, have you ever wanted to head out to go backpacking or fishing or shooting, but not sure where to start? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division can help! The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Workshop, scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, provides a practical introduction to a wide variety of outdoor recreational skills and activities.  


“BOW workshops focus on learning outdoor skills in a safe and structured environment, giving women from all backgrounds the chance to learn outdoor skills in a positive, non-competitive atmosphere where they can feel confident and have fun,” said Katie McCollum, BOW coordinator. “Available class activities will include shooting, fishing, camping, photography, wilderness survival and more!”


BOW is an educational program offering hands-on workshops to women (18 or older) of all physical ability levels and aims to break down barriers to female participation in outdoor activities by providing a safe and supportive learning environment.  


Weekend workshops begin on Friday morning and end on Sunday. Between meals and special presentations and events, participants can choose from about 20 professionally-led classes, ranging from such topics as firearms, wilderness survival, fishing, orienteering, outdoor cooking, nature photography, astronomy and hunting. Sessions range in intensity from leisurely to rugged (strenuous).


“Although classes are designed with beginners and those with little to no experience in mind, more seasoned participants will benefit from the opportunity to hone their existing skills and try out new activities,” says McCollum. “All participants will receive enough instruction to pursue their outdoor interests further when the workshop is complete.”


Registration for BOW is now open. Participants can choose to bring their own tents and gear, or stay at the lodge at Charlie Elliott, part of a popular complex including a wildlife management and public fishing area. Cost per person, which includes food and programming, ranges from $220-265 (dependent on lodging choice).


For more information, including registration details and a complete listing of classes offered, visit or call (770) 784-3059.









SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (August 19, 2019) – Outreach and involvement helped secure Game Warden Josh Cockrell of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Law Enforcement Division as the Hunter Education Instructor of the Year, according to the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.  


This award is presented annually in recognition of an instructor who displays outstanding efforts in educating sportsmen and women on wildlife conservation, and the importance of safety while hunting. 


“Teaching students to be safe, responsible, ethical hunters is the goal for all instructors” says Jennifer Pittman, hunter development program manager.  “Game Warden Cockrell is an exceptional example of the type of instructor that can encourage and inspire young hunters.” 




Game Warden Josh Cockrell: Some of the highlights of Game Warden Cockrell’s hunter education efforts include his involvement with several events. The annual Wilkinson County Quail Hunt targets new hunters that recently completed their hunter education class. Josh actively recruited new kids to attend, solicited donations, and was responsible for event set up, and coordination of the event. In February, Game Warden Cockrell assisted with the annual Squirrel hunt at a Lake Oconee Georgia Power campground, escorting two new hunters throughout the event. In addition to these, Josh worked at both the FFA convention in Macon and the Buckarama in Perry. These events see a steady flow of the public, and rangers have to be prepared to answer almost any kind of question. Game Warden Cockrell showed good knowledge about a variety of topics, including multiple hunter education questions.


For more information about hunter education, call the WRD Hunter Development Program Office at (706) 557-3355 or visit    





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