The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division has named John W. Bowers as the new chief of the Game Management Section. He fills the position left vacant by Mark Whitney, who recently was promoted to assistant director of the agency. Bowers previously held the position of assistant chief of game management.
“I look forward to John’s contributions in this new position,” said Dan Forster, director of the Wildlife Resources Division. “His extensive work with statewide projects and his eighteen years of experience with the agency will continue to be a tremendous benefit as we move ahead.”
As chief of game management, Bowers will direct all section regional supervisors and assistant chiefs in coordinating and directing the statewide wildlife program, development of the statewide game management budget and oversight of federal Wildlife Restoration funding. He will supervise the statewide wildlife management area program and statewide research and survey efforts. In addition, he will oversee the drafting of hunting and land use regulations and technical advice on wildlife provided to private, corporate and municipal landowners.
Bowers began his career at Wildlife Resources Division in 1996 as island manager and wildlife biologist for Sapelo Island. Later in his career, he held the position of special projects biologist where he administered a variety of statewide projects, including developing, editing and publishing the annual Hunting Seasons and Regulations booklet, the Georgia Deer Management Plan, the Ossabaw Island Comprehensive Management Plan and directing the quota hunt program.
As assistant chief of the Game Management Section, Bowers directed the development of hunting regulations, the Georgia Urban Deer Management Plan and the Alligator Management Plan. He was key to the implementation of the Georgia Deer Management Plan. He worked to help restructure and transition the quota hunt system and also develop an innovative partnership to publish the annual hunting guide, ultimately saving sportsmen tens of thousands of dollars. Through his work as assistant chief, he additionally helped increase the expansion of hunting opportunities on public lands.
Bowers has a master’s degree in Wildlife Science from Auburn University and lives in Conyers with his wife, Catherine, and their son and twin daughters.