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2017-2018 Hunting Seasons: Deer, Turkey, Bear, and More

July 25, 2017

Are you ready to grab your tree stand and ammo and hit the road? It’s almost time!

But first, make sure you know the legal dates and limits.

The hunting season start and end dates vary by animal, weapon, and sometimes location. Check out a few of the most popular seasons and regulations here, and learn more with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division.

2017-2018 Hunting Season Dates

Deer Season

Sept. 9-Jan. 14

Extended to Jan. 31 in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale Counties.

Primitive Weapons:
Oct. 14-Jan. 14

Oct. 21-Jan. 14

Not permitted in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton Counties (north of Highway 92), and the part of Glynn County that’s on Jekyll Island.

Hunters are limited to 12 deer per season, with antler and other restrictions. In certain counties and on private property with the landowner’s written permission, deer can be hunted with bait. Just be careful to follow the restrictions; Illegal baiting is subject to a fine of $5,000 and up to 12-month imprisonment.

Turkey Season

March 24 - May 15 (2018)

Hunters are limited to 3 gobblers per season.

Bear Season

Sept. 9 - Jan. 14
Northern Zone only.

Primitive Weapons:
Oct. 14-Jan. 14
Northern Zone only.

Sept. 21-23
Sept. 28-30
Oct. 5-7
Oct. 12-14
Southern Zone

Oct. 21-Jan. 14
Northern Zone

Jan. 13
Central Zone

Hunters are limited to 2 bears per season, with only 1 from the Southern and Central Bear Zones. You cannot kill a female bear with cubs or any bears under 75 pounds.

Bear Hunting Zones

Northern Zone: All counties north of and including Carroll, Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Walton, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, and Hart Counties.

Central Zone: Bibb, Houston, and Twiggs Counties

Southern Zone: Lowndes, Lanier, Echols, Clinch, Ware, Charlton, and Brantley Counties

Alligator, Small Game, and Migratory Bird Seasons

Other animals have varying start dates in Georgia. You can find hunting dates, alligator regulations, small game regulations, and migratory bird regulations on the Wildlife Resources Division website.

The next hunting seasons coming up are for squirrels (starting Aug. 15) and alligators (starting Aug. 18 at sunset). Note: To hunt for alligators in 2017, hunters must have applied for an alligator quota hunt by Monday, July 31.

Reporting Your Deer, Turkey, and Bear Harvest

State law requires that you report your deer and turkey harvests within 72 hours through Georgia Game Check. If you have a smartphone and service while hunting, enter the harvest date and county through the Outdoors Georgia mobile app or report it online before moving the turkey. If you don’t have service, log the date and county on your paper Harvest Record, then report the kill within 72 hours online or by calling 1-800-366-2661. Copy your confirmation number onto your paper Harvest Record.

You also need to report your bear harvest. Bear reporting guidelines vary by zone.

Where Should I Hunt?

If you’re hunting for deer or turkeys, you can find where in Georgia other hunters harvested them for the current and previous 2 seasons. You can also find basic deer movement and population information on the Deer Management Q&A page.

Specifically, you can hunt at publicly-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and some privately-owned land. Just make sure to research your options so you know when you need a license and other instructions.

Related Links


Last updated Aug. 1, 2017.

Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

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