Firearms deer hunters take to the woods beginning Oct. 22, continuing through Jan. 8, 2017 statewide. During firearms deer season last year, over 302,000 hunters harvested almost 300,000 deer.
Georgia hunters have access to more than one million acres of public hunting land, including over 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Special hunts are offered, including ladies-only and adult/child hunts.
Dates and locations for these hunts, as well as regulations and WMA maps, can be found online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations.
Hunters are allowed a harvest of up to 10 antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer (with one of the two antlered deer having a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers).
All deer hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of fluorescent orange above the waist to legally hunt during firearms season except on archery-only areas; hunters must also have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record.
If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required. Licenses can be purchased online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes
New—Either Sex Day Map: A new interactive map has been created for Georgia hunters allowing hunters to see the opportunities available for the counties they hunt. Find more information at www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/deer-opportunities.
New—Georgia Game Check: While deer hunters have utilized a deer harvest record in the past, beginning this deer season, all hunters on public and private lands must record their deer on the harvest record and report the harvest within 72 hours, using Georgia Game Check. Deer taken to processors or coolers must be reported before the deer can be left at the place of business. See more at www.georgiawildlife.com/HarvestRecordGeorgiaGameCheck.
“Hunters already know the benefits of having a few deer in the freezer,” said John W. Bowers, chief of game management for the Wildlife Resources Division. “However, we hope people interested in providing healthier, organic meals for their families take an interest in the pursuit of their own meat. Venison is a healthier alternative to most domestic meat, and hunting is an excellent way to enjoy the field to fork experience.”
Georgia’s deer rut map can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/rut-map