Georgia Youth Hunting Requirements

My son is 12. What does he need to go deer hunting with me?

I see these types of questions all the time on social media and wanted to do a post to clarify what licenses, permits and training kids need to hunt in Georgia. Fortunately, Georgia is a very kid-friendly state when it comes to hunting, keeping the expense and requirements very low. Here’s what you need to know based on the youth’s age.


Under 12

License/Permits – None
Deer/Turkey Harvest Log – Yes, if deer or turkey hunting
Migratory Bird Permit – Not Required
Hunter Education – Not Required

Kids under 12 who reside in Georgia do not need any type of license or permit to hunt. They are not required to take a hunter education course, although it’s not a bad idea to have them complete it when you think they are old enough to understand all the concepts.

Kids under 12 ARE REQUIRED to be under the “direct supervision” of an adult. By definition, direct supervision means uninterrupted, unaided visual contact and auditory communication with the child by an adult. In other words, an adult needs to be able to see and talk to the child without using binoculars or a two-way radio. If the youth is deer or turkey hunting, they will also need the FREE deer and turkey harvest log. You can pick one up online at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com or at any license vendor.


Ages 12-15

License/Permits – None required, but you can purchase the optional youth sportsman’s license (more on that below)
Deer/Turkey Harvest Log – Yes, if deer or turkey hunting
Migratory Bird Permit – Not Required
Hunter Education – only required if hunting unsupervised

Kids age 12 to 15 have the same requirements as those under 12, EXCEPT that they will need to complete a hunter education course IF they will be hunting unsupervised. If they will be under the “direct supervision” of an adult, then hunter education is NOT required.


Ages 16 & Up

Licenses/Permits – Same as adult
Deer/Turkey Harvest Log – Yes, if deer or turkey hunting
Migratory Bird Permit – Yes, if hunting dove or waterfowl
Hunter Education – Yes, required if born after January 1, 1961

Youth ages 16 and 17 are treated the same as adults and must have all applicable licenses and permits. They are also required to have completed a hunter education course and must carry their hunter education card with them while hunting.


New Optional Youth Sportsman’s License

If you have a child between 12 and 15 years old, it would be a great time to pick them up the new optional $15 youth sportsman’s license. Even though they don’t need any type of license until they turn 16, when you purchase them a youth sportsman’s license it is good until they turn 17. So you are basically buying them a sportsman’s license in advance for when they turn 16. But, instead of paying $65, you are only paying $15. And not only will you and your child benefit from the $50 savings, but the Georgia DNR benefits as well. In a recent Facebook post, John Bowers, Chief of Game Management for the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, explained the benefits of the new license.

“The youth license is optional but it saves the parent or the youth money because it is valid until they turn 17,” said Bowers. “Additionally, because it is a paid license it becomes eligible for WSFR (Pittman Robertson federal funds) and the Georgia DNR gets to count them as a certified license from age 12 through 17 (5 years). This brings about $50 in federal funds to your wildlife agency for each of those 5 years. It is a win-win for wildlife, hunters and your agency. Finally, for the first time ever, it will also provide a minimum estimate of youth hunters to aid is assessing recruitment of new hunters.”


To discuss youth license fees or anything else pertaining to hunting in Georgia, check out our Georgia Deer Hunting Discussion Facebook page.