If you’re looking for information on Georgia deer hunting, you’ve come to the right place! This page will cover all of the license requirements, the most current Georgia deer season dates — including those important either-sex days, and we’ll look at where to hunt in Georgia, from private leases to over 1 million acres of public land. If you don’t find what you need here, don’t hesitate to contact us via the website or head on over to our Facebook page and send us a message.
Georgia Deer Hunting License Requirements
As of July 1, 2017 Georgia’s resident hunting and fishing licenses saw their first price increase in 25 years. As part of this price increase, there was some simplification of the license requirements which resulted in the elimination of the WMA Permit. Georgia deer hunters now only need a hunting license ($15 for residents, $100 for non-residents) and a big game permit ($25 for residents, $225 for non-residents) to hunt deer, regardless of whether they are hunting on private land or on one of the state’s many Wildlife Management Areas. For more information on license fees, check out our article Georgia Hunting License Fees.
Georgia Deer Hunting Season Dates
|Archery, Either Sex|
|September 8, 2018 - January 13, 2019|
Either Sex (only for
Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb,
Gwinnett & Rockdale)
|September 8, 2018 - January 31, 2019|
|Primitive Weapons||October 13, 2018 - January 13, 2019|
|Firearms*||October 20, 2018 - January 13, 2019|
Twelve (12) per season, Statewide. No more than ten (10) may be antlerless and no more than two (2) may be antlered. One of the antlered deer must have at least 4 points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.
*Either Sex deer dates are available at: http://georgiaafield.com/2018-2019-either-sex-deer-hunting-dates/
Firearms deer hunting is not allowed in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton (north of GA Hwy. 92), and the portion of Glynn County lying within Jekyll Island. In the portion of Forsyth County south of Ga Hwy. 20, only archery, shotguns, and muzzleloaders may be used (no other firearms allowed). In Hancock, Harris, Meriwether, Montgomery, Randolf, Talbot and Troup Counties, only antlered bucks with at least 4 points on either side are legal. In Dooly and Macon Counties, antlered bucks must have a minimum 15-inch outside spread.
Where to Hunt Deer in Georgia
Georgia deer hunters are fortunate enough to have access to over 1 million acres of public land. Many of these acres are in the form of state-managed Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), while other opportunities include national forests, national wildlife refuges and a few military bases. Some of the state’s public lands offer excellent deer hunting, but many have seasons that differ from the statewide deer season, with limited archery and firearms dates. You can find the area-specific dates and information for Georgia’s WMAs as well as the various federally-owned properties at the links below.
While there are plenty of great public land hunting opportunities in Georgia, the vast majority of the state is private land. Unless you own your own land, your options are to get free access to a piece of private property, lease a tract of land, or join an existing club. Below is a breakdown of each along with the Georgia DNR’s recommendations on gaining access to these private-land options.
Gaining General Hunting Permission
Private individuals and families own 13.6 million acres of Georgia forestland. Tract sizes range from very large to smaller woodlots and are well dispersed throughout the state. Asking permission to access these properties for hunting is almost a lost art, compared to a few decades ago. However, with some preparation, practice and determination, you might open some new doors to excellent hunting sites. Kip Adams, QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach, provides some suggestions in this article: 10 Tips on Asking for Permission to Hunt.
Forest corporations own about 2.5 million acres of Georgia forestland. Most operate recreational access (hunting lease) programs as a formal part of their business model. These programs started 4-5 decades ago and have now evolved into web-based solutions that are easily accessible and simple to operate. Large providers specific to Georgia include Weyerhaeuser, Westervelt, CatchMark, and Rayonier. Their websites provide information on lands available for lease and hunting clubs seeking members.
Joining a Preexisting Hunting Club
Joining a well-established hunting club is another viable option. Many longstanding clubs have secured substantial lease lands over time, or own property outright – that is available exclusively to their membership. When members turn over, spots are often available in these clubs. Benefits of this option include the ability to network with other hunters, food plots already in place, and possibly even camper hook-ups or a cabin to stay in. Recognize that hunting clubs take on a wide variety of styles and organizational structures; plus, prices can vary widely. You should always do your homework before joining a club to make sure you pick the one best for you.
Hunting club openings can be found in newspaper classified ads, via word of mouth and, thanks to modern technology, through online resources.
Georgia’s Quota Deer Hunts
If you really want to take advantage of the best public land deer hunting Georgia has to offer, you may want to consider applying for one of the state’s many quota deer hunts. These are hunts you must apply and be drawn for in order to participate. Because they limit both the time the area is hunted and the number of hunters utilizing the property, these quota hunts often provide a more quality experience. Some hunts are much more difficult to draw than others. We have articles on this website about the available quota hunts for 2017-18 as well as one that discusses approximately how many preference points it should take to draw any of Georgia’s quota deer hunts.
Want to learn everything you can about deer hunting in Georgia? Don’t forget to check out all of our great — and free — deer hunting content. Also, you can always head over to our Georgia Deer Hunting Facebook group to discuss anything related to hunting in the Peach State!