Archers will get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 12, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Last year, 128,545 archery hunters harvested more than 64,695 deer. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 9, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire 2015-2016 deer season.
“Early archery season is an excellent time to pattern deer before home ranges shift towards fall food sources,” said Charlie Killmaster, Georgia’s state deer biologist. “Mature bucks often haven’t adjusted to hunting pressure yet and may be more active during daylight.”
Many public lands offer specialty hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2015-2016 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers 111 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use.
State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 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.
Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of 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 Jan. 2-31. Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time during the deer season on private land.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record (which is free). 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).
For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting .