Black powder rifles, and bows and arrows. These are the weapons of choice during the week-long primitive weapons deer hunting season beginning Saturday, Oct. 11. Over 48,000 hunters participated in last year’s primitive weapons season, bringing in over 11,000 deer with black powder rifles.
“The primitive weapons deer season provides hunters an opportunity to be one of the first ones in the woods with a firearm, and currently, we encourage hunters to seek out oak trees in particular, as Georgia’s acorn crop looks quite good and will draw deer close to these areas,” said John W. Bowers, chief of the Game Management Section. “We also want hunters to go ahead and check out the newly updated rut map available on our website, it is a great tool for helping plan your hunting season.”
More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Many of these areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are available in the 2014-2015 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. An online copy of the Regulations guidebook and WMA maps can be found at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations.
During the primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, muzzleloading shotguns (20 gauge and larger) and muzzleloading firearms (.44 caliber or larger). Youth under 16 years of age, however, may hunt deer with any legal deer firearm, including during any wildlife management area primitive weapons hunts.
The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the antlered deer must have at least four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas. Counties in the Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties) offer either-sex archery deer hunting Sept. 13-Jan. 31.
All deer hunters, including archers, are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during primitive weapons season. Scopes and other optical sighting devices are legal for muzzleloading firearms and archery equipment.
Thank you for buying a hunting license! State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Restoration Program. Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must 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, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
Get a preview of what to expect during deer season with a brand, new video. Go to www.youtube.com/georgiawildlife and click on “Georgia Deer Season 2014-2015: Firearms and Primitive Weapons Preview.”