Everything You Need to Know About Deer Hunting in Georgia
It's that time of year to head outdoors and set up a deer stand. The Fall hunting season for big game, including bear and deer, officially started on Sept. 10. More importantly, firearm deer hunting season starts this Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. Georgia has different hunting seasons for different animals and different hunting weapons. Before loading up your ammo and trudging through the woods, read through this step-by-step guide on getting started with hunting.
Getting a Deer Hunting License
Before you can get out in the woods to sight your first deer, you have to be legally licensed to hunt big game in the State of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division offers 3 ways to obtain a license — applying online, locating an agent or by phone. A standard hunting license will cost you $10 for a 1-year license. However, to hunt big game, like deer or bear, you must pay an additional $9 fee for a Big Game License. It’s important to note that a standard hunting license is only available to Georgia residents and the price for a Big Game License is significantly different for non-Georgia residents. In order to be considered a Georgia resident, you must have lived in the state for a period of 3 months or longer.
If you want to know more about pricing or other types of hunting and fishing licenses, Georgia Wildlife has all of the information you need on their License, Permits and Passes page.
If you lost a valid license and need to reprint it, you can search for your license and print it for free on your own.
Disability Hunting License
In Georgia, if you are deemed completely disabled without the ability to be gainfully employed, you are eligible for an honorary hunting or fishing license. You must be able to either provide certification of your disability from the Social Security Office, Veterans Office, Railroad Retirement Board or any other government office; or provide a Certification of Total Blindness. Disability licenses are issued for free but you must meet all of the requirements to be eligible. The application for a Disability License has outlined everything you need to apply.
When to Hunt Deer
Species and weapon type will determine when you are allowed to hunt in Georgia. The 2016 dates for deer hunting with a firearm are Oct. 22 through Jan. 8. [2017 firearm deer hunting begins Oct. 21, 2017.] Dates for hunting other species are outlined by Georgia Wildlife’s Hunting Season Dates.
Where to Hunt Deer
There are very specific restrictions on where you can hunt deer in Georgia. In addition to where you can hunt, there are also restrictions on where you can hunt deer with certain types of weapons. Firearm deer hunting is not allowed in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, parts of Fulton and the part of Glynn County lying within Jekyll Island.
Not only are certain places in Georgia considered off-limits when it comes to deer hunting, but some places only allow you to take antlered bucks. Counties like Hancock, Harris, Meriwether, Montgomery, Randolf, Talbot and Troup, only allow antlered bucks with 4 points. Dooly and Macon Counties only allow antlered bucks that have a minimum of a 15-inch outside spread, meaning its antlers must be at least 15-inches or more when measured from outermost point antler-to-antler.
Georgia puts a limit on how many deer you are allowed to take in a single season statewide. One person is only allowed a total of 12 deer. Of those 12, you can only take up to 10 without antlers and no more than 2 with antlers. Of the antlered deer, one of them must have at least 4 points, 1-inch or longer, on 1 side of the antlers.
Deer hunting is a popular hobby for many Georgia residents. If you’re a first-time deer hunter, our advice is to go with an experienced friend. Let them show you the ins and outs of staking out a good spot and how to sight your first deer. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with gun safety, too! You can find the when, where and limits of deer hunting on the Georgia Wildlife Hunting Seasons and Regulations page.
Last updated July 17, 2017.