I'm from SW Mississippi and I'll agree that our deer are smaller than northern deer; however, I disagree with your statement that they are the size of dogs. Now, either you folks up north have some pretty big dogs or what you have been seeing are yearlings.Not if you like hunting deer. Southern deer are the size of dogs.
I found the following on Georgia's Wildlife and Fisheries site: "Georgia's firearms hunting season opens statewide on Oct. 16 with a 12-deer limit, only two of which may be antlered. Heading into this season, hunters should be pleased to learn that the deer population is estimated at 1.2 to 1.3 million animals. The season runs through Jan. 1 in the Northern Zone and through Jan. 9 in the Southern Zone. From the looks of things, it will be another good year for Georgia deer hunters."
A twelve deer limit tells me that Georgia may have an overpopulation problem and that will certainly result in smaller deer. If you are on a military installation, hunting is probably restricted or prohibited resulting in a severe overpopulation problem in that area. It never ceases to amaze me how deer find those safe areas so quickly and seem to understand the bounderies of those areas. Our club has an old dairy barn next to a club members house that is used as a sign in and sign out point. One of the largest bucks ever sign on our lease bedded in a pine thicket within 50-75 yards of that man's house for years and never moved until after dark. Several club members saw him after shooting hours. If we attempted to jump him, he always headed straight for that house and always managed to escape. He was finally killed during the rut and weighed 238 lbs. which is a nice southern buck. I know we had a similiar situation here in SW Mississippi about 15-29 years ago. At that time it wasn't unusual to see 20-25 does in one afternoon. Then the Wildlife and Fisheries folks started to encourage the killing of more does and even opened up more areas to unlimited doe hunting. This has made for a vast improvement not only in deer body weight but the quality of the mature bucks killed.
Anyway, welcome to the forum and I wish you luck during deer season. If nothing else, with a limit like that you should fill your freezer with deer sausage.