5 Reasons Georgia Is the Ideal Spot for Deer Hunting in America

GA Deer Hunting
© A-Z-Animals.com/AZ Animals

Written by Justin Sexton

Published: November 27, 2023

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Georgia is one of those deep-southern states in America that’s wonderful for hunting. Their hunting season usually begins on October 14th and continues through January 14th. People can hunt wildlife in Georiga outside deer, such as hogs and turkeys. In that same season, hunters can also hunt duck, quail, alligators, geese, and rabbits. Georgia is an ideal spot for deer hunting in the United States for several reasons.

Large white-tailed deer buck in woods

Large white-tailed deer buck in the woods in Tennessee.

©EEI_Tony/iStock via Getty Images

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1. The Hunting Season Length

Georgia’s normal general hunting season spans from October to January. However, for deer, the hunting season starts a little earlier. It starts as early as September 9th, and the latest deer hunting season ends on January 31st (for statewide archery). For firearms, the hunting season ends on January 14th.

2. The Weather

Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division suggests that hunters should dress for the weather. The early fall weather can still be warm, so hunters should dress lightly. However, temperatures drop in late November to early December.

What are the recommended outfits for hunting season in Georgia? A hunter has to wear orange that makes their upper body visible. A head covering can count toward that 500-inch square minimum. Camouflage is recommended. Hunters wear camouflage to blend in and be less visible to deer and other animals. Most hunters have better hunting experiences early in the morning, between 5 am and 9 am. Temperatures can drop in the lower twenties during the middle of the winter season in most areas.

3. Georgia Hunting Regulations

The state regulations allow for the harvest of 10 antlerless deers, including button bucks (male deer whose antlers are starting to form and appear as buttons) and does (females). Thanks to the overabundance of deer, it is important to check the regulations for each county. Does can be harvested more in Georgia as their removal helps maintain carrying capacity in the state.

During hunting season, one must get an annual Georgia hunting and big game license to hunt white-tail deer. A harvest record is required. The harvest records are free. A harvest record reports the number and types of deer hunted by the hunter.

An annual hunting license costs $15 for adult Georiga and $7 for seniors older than 65. The annual hunting license for non-residents is $100. An annual big game license costs $25 for in-residents and $225 for non-residents. One-day passes are way cheaper, $5 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

In the state of Georiga, people can hunt deer using these weapons: shotguns, rifles, handguns, crossbows, longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows. There are no magazine capacity restrictions for modern rifles. The preferred shotgun for hunting in Georgia is a 20 gauge or larger loaded with slugs or buckshot. It is not required to have a plug in the shotgun’s magazine. There is no magazine capacity restriction either for hunting season. The legal muzzleloaders are shotguns 20 gauge or larger and rifles chambered in .44 caliber or larger. Regarding archery, crossbows, longbows, and recurve bows all may be used. The arrows must be tipped with a broadhead.

Most deer harvested in Georiga are shot with a firearm less than 100 yards away. For crossbows, they’re shot less than 25 yards away. Aim for broadside and quartering away shots for the best ethically possible shot.

Additional Information On Primitive Weapons

Some examples of primitive weapons include air rifles, muzzleloaders, and archery equipment. Muzzleloaders are firearms that you load through the end of the barrel. People cannot use firearms that are loaded from the back of the barrel. It is good to go if the firearms are a .30 caliber or more. The muzzleloading shotguns must be at least .20 gauge or larger and use slugs or buckshot. Air rifles must be .30 or larger.

Can You Use Hunting Dogs?

Hunting dogs are not allowed unless there is a special permit. This unique permit has certain restrictions, such as location and area size. The application is only available for select counties on specific dates.

What About Bait?

Hunters cannot use bait for hunting deer. This includes wheat, salts, apples, corn, grain, or any other feed type deer may eat. One can leave food for deer to eat. However, the bait must be removed from the area for ten days before one can hunt there.

4. Hunting Locations

The best possible hunting locations in Georiga are in private and public lands. Nowadays, hunters need permission from private landowners to hunt on their land. The permission must be in writing and includes regular landowners and hunting clubs. Some people prefer to hunt on private land because private landowners give hunters more opportunities than hunting on public land.

The WMA has plenty of public land hunting opportunities. You can access the map with the different hunting lands if you click here. The different hunting locations circle the state’s perimeter, with abundant hunting sites close to the Tennessee and South Carolina borders.

5. Deer Types In Georgia

White-tailed Deer

Two white-tailed deer in a green field.

©Christopher Roth/iStock via Getty Images

The Statesboro Herald said that there are approximately 1.3 million deer in Georiga. It’s lower than in the past, as the nineties recorded 1.9 million deer. Nowadays, the most common deer type in Georgia is the white-tailed deer. The white-tailed deer can run up to 30 miles per hour. What people may not know is that these deers are fantastic swimmers. They can swim up to 13 mph in lakes and creeks. Nowadays, there are up to 26 different subspecies of white-tailed deer. These deer live all over Georgia, from the mountains to the coastlines. They live in oak and hickory forests. However, they are in different areas, including suburbs, rural farmlands, swamps, and marshlands.

Fallow deer are also another common deer type in Georgia. Fallow deer has the most variation in its coat than any other deer type. Some are white, and some are black, but many have menil coloration. What is menil coloration? It means their spots stand out more and more than the color of their coating, and their tails aren’t black. This type of deer originates in Europe and Asia, but their population has stretched to many countries in Africa and North America. These deer are nocturnal and are most active between sunset and sunrise.

Additional Information On Hunting Deer In Georgia

People must avoid common fines and infractions in the area while hunting. Hunting outside legal hours can result in a $500 fine and jail time of up to 12 months. Georgia is a part of the Wildlife Violator Compact (WVC), which allows non-residents to hunt in the area. If any convictions occur while they hunt in Georiga, it can affect their hunting privileges in their home state and if they visit other states.

When you successfully harvest a deer, it should be field-dressed where it was harvested. To check the deer in, one can go on the Go Outdoors GA App on a smartphone, online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661 before they move the deer from the area. If that’s not possible immediately after, record the harvest number in the harvest record and check it into the system within 24 hours. Please take note of the confirmation number and then record it in the harvest record book. The deer can be transferred to someone else for processing. Ensure you have the confirmation number, deer type, deer sex, name, and date. Don’t forget to add the county where the deer was harvested. The season bag limit for deer is ten antlerless deer and two antlered deer. One of the antler deer must at least have four points.

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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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