The author's daughter with her first squirrel.

Georgia Youth Hunting Opportunities and Requirements

JUMP TO: License and Education Requirements | Under 12 Years Old | Ages 12-15 | Ages 16 & Up | Private Land Hunts | Public Land Hunts

Georgia is a very youth-friendly state when it comes to hunting, keeping the expense and requirements very low. The Peach State also provides its fair share of youth hunting opportunities on both public and private land. 

In this article, we break down exactly what licenses and permits a youth hunter needs based on their age. We also dive into the variety of specific hunting seasons and opportunities for young hunters.

The author and his young daughter with a deer taken on a Georgia WMA.

License and Hunter Education Requirements

License/PermitUnder 12Age 12-15Age 16 and Up
Hunting LicenseNot requiredNot requiredRequired
Big Game PermitNot requiredNot requiredRequired
Deer/Turkey Harvest LogRequiredRequiredRequired
Migratory Bird PermitNot requiredNot requiredRequired
Federal Duck StampNot requiredNot requiredRequired
Hunter EducationNot requiredOnly required if hunting unsupervisedRequired

Under 12 Years Old

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 or at any license vendor.

Ages 12-15

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

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.

Optional Youth Sportsman’s License

If you have a child between 12 and 15 years old, it would be a great idea to get them the 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 past Facebook post, John Bowers of the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, explained the benefits of the 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. Finally, for the first time ever, it will also provide a minimum estimate of youth hunters to aid is assessing recruitment of new hunters.”

John Bowers, Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division

Georgia Youth Hunting Opportunities

Young Georgia deer hunter with a buck from Cohutta WMA.

Private Land Hunts

Deer: During Georgia’s primitive weapons deer season, October 14-20, 2023, youth hunters under the age of 16 can use any legal deer firearm.

Turkey: The weekend prior to Georgia’s statewide turkey season is a special opportunity season for hunters 16 years of age and under, as well as mobility impaired persons. For 2024, that season is March 23-24. The special opportunity season only applies to private land.

Waterfowl: Georgia offers a youth, active duty military and veterans waterfowl hunt November 11-12, 2023. The hunt is open to youth 16 years of age or younger. An adult must accompany the youth but may not hunt.

Public Land Hunts

Georgia offers plenty of public land hunting opportunities dedicated to youth hunters. These include hunts for deer, bear, turkey, dove, small game and waterfowl. Some of these are quota hunts that require applying in advance and being drawn, but many are open to anyone who shows up and signs in.

We’ve provided a comprehensive list below provided by the Georgia DNR. Just click on the various panes to see a full list of public land youth hunts for each species.

One adult may supervise one child. Youth under 16 must bring supervising adult. Only the youth may hunt (age 16 years or younger).

AllatoonaDeer/BearOct. 21-22*, Oct. 23-Nov. 1
ArrowheadDeer/BearSept. 9-Oct. 31
Balls Ferry State ParkDeerOct. 14-20
BeaverdamDeerSept. 16-22*
Berry CollegeDeer/BearJan. 6-7* B
Big Lazer CreekDeerSept. 23-24
Nov. 17-19* Quality Buck
Blanton CreekDeerOct. 7-8* Quality Buck
Buck ShoalsDeer/BearNov. 18-19 Q, B
Dec. 2-3 Q, B
Bullard CreekDeerOct. 27-29*
Carters LakeDeer/BearNov. 11 Q,B
Cedar CreekDeerNov. 21-26*
Cedar Creek
Little River Area
DeerOct. 14-20
Chattahoochee Fall Line
Fort Perry Tract
DeerSept. 24-25 Q
Chattahoochee Fall Line
DeerNov. 11-12 Q
ChickasawhatcheeDeerNov. 19-25
Dec. 22-27
Clayhole SwampDeerSept. 15-17
ClybelDeerSept. 30-Oct. 5
Nov. 21-26*
Coopers CreekDeer/BearOct. 6-8 B
CoosawatteeDeer/BearOct. 20-22* B
Crockford – Pigeon MtnDeer/BearOct. 21-22* B
Dawson ForestDeer/BearOct. 13-15* B, Quality Buck
Dukes Creek – SWSPDeer/BearOct. 13-15*
Flint RiverDeerOct. 7-15* Quality Buck
GaitherDeerDec. 25-31 Q
Grand BayDeerSept. 30-Oct. 1
Griffin RidgeDeerOct. 27-29
Horse CreekDeerSept. 30-Oct. 1*
J. L. LesterDeer/BearOct. 7-8 Q, B
Jan. 13-14 Q, B
Lake RussellDeer/BearOct. 6-8* B
Nov. 3-5 B
LanahasseeDeerDec. 24-30*
Oaky WoodsDeerOct. 14-20
OcmulgeeDeerSept. 30-Oct. 6
Ossabaw IslandDeerNov. 23-25 Q, B
Paulding ForestDeer/BearOct. 14-15* B
Paulks PastureDeerSept. 15-17
Penholoway SwampDeerSept. 22-24
Pleasant ValleyDeer/BearSept. 9-Oct. 19 Archery
Pleasant ValleyDeer/BearOct. 20-Nov. 10
River BendDeerOct. 20-22*
River CreekDeerDec. 18-20 Q, Quality Buck
Rum CreekDeerOct. 2-8*
SansavillaDeerSept. 22-24
Sapelo IslandDeerOct. 6-8 B
Tallapoosa River VPADeer/BearOct. 6-8
Nov. 24-26
Jan. 12-14
TuckahoeDeerSept. 15-17*
West PointDeerOct. 13-15* Q, Quality Buck
*These hunts are Specialty Hunts (Returning Georgia Veterans, Honorary License holders, Ladies and Youth)
Q – Quota Hunts
B – Bonus deer hunts (deer are tagged by DNR and do not count against your statewide limit
Quality – Quality buck antler restrictions in place
Albany NurseryApr. 6-10 Q
Apr. 20-24 Q
ArrowheadApr. 13-19
B. F. GrantApr. 6-12
Balls Ferry State ParkApr. 6-14
Buck ShoalsApr. 20-21 Q
May 4-5 Q
Chattahoochee Fall Line
Fort Perry Area
Apr. 20-22 Q
ClybelApr. 6-10 Q
Apr. 20-24 Q
Di-Lane PlantationApr. 6-12 Q
Dodge CountyApr. 20-21 Q
Apr. 27-28 Q
Doerun Pitcherplant BogApr. 6-7 Q
Apr. 13-14 Q
Flat CreekApril 6-14
Grand BayApr. 6-7
Apr. 20-21
Griffin RidgeApr. 6-12 Q
Hugh GillisApr. 19-20 Q
May 3-4 Q
Moody ForestApr. 6-7
Pleasant ValleyApr. 6-May 15
River CreekApr. 6-9 Q
Apr. 12-15 Q
Rum CreekApr. 6-10 Q
Apr. 20-24 Q
May 4-8
Silver LakeApr. 18-22
Standing Boy CreekApr. 12-14 Q
Apr. 19-21 Q
Tallapoosa RiverApr. 6-May 15*
West Point – Dixie Creek TractApr. 6-12
West Point – Glovers CreekApr. 6-12
Q – Quota Hunt

One adult may supervise two children. For designated quota hunts, group applications with up to three children allowed. Youth under 16 must bring supervising adult.

Appling County Dove FieldSept. 2
Buck ShoalsSept. 2, 9 Q
Chattahoochee Fall Line – HilliardSept. 2, 9 Q
Di-Lane PlantationSept. 2, Field 2 Q
Flat CreekSept. 2, 9, 16, 23
Flint RiverSept. 2
Indian Ford Farm Dove FieldsSept. 9 Q
J. L. LesterSept. 2, 9
ParadiseSept. 2
RedlandsSept. 2 Q
River CreekSept. 2, 9 Q
WaltonSept. 2 Q
Wilson ShoalsSept. 2 Q
Wayne State Farm VPASept. 2, 16, 30 Q
Q – Quota Hunt

One adult may supervise two children. For designated quota hunts, group applications with up to three children allowed. Selected child may bring one other child and must bring only one supervising adult. Both the youth (age 16 years and younger) and the supervising adult may hunt.

Albany NurseryQuailNov. 18, Dec. 2 Q
Altamaha – Butler RefugeRabbitJan. 20-21. Archery only
ArrowheadSmall GameJan. 15-Feb. 29
Buck ShoalsSmall GameJan. 6-14, 20-28 Q
ChickasawhatcheeQuailNov. 18, Dec. 2, 30, Jan. 13, 20, 24 Q
Di-Lane PlantationQuailFeb. 3 Q
River CreekQuailJan. 27 Q
Silver LakeQuailNov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, Jan. 13, 20, 27 Q
Q – Quota Hunt

One adult may supervise two children. For designated quota hunts, no group applications allowed. Selected child may bring one other child and must bring only one supervising adult.

Altamaha – ChampneyNov. 18-19 (only Youth and Veterans may apply) Q
ConasaugaNov. 11, 18, 25
Cordele Fish HatcheryDec. 2, Jan. 13 Q
Lula BridgeNov. 11-12
Mead FarmNov. 11, Nov. 18, Nov. 25
Oconee – Dan DentonPond 1 & Pond 3 Nov. 11, 25 Q
Phinizy SwampNov. 11
Pleasant Valley VPASaturdays only during season
River CreekDec. 23 Jan. 6, 13 Q
Rum Creek (MARSH Pond)Dec. 16, Jan. 13 Q
TallapoosaState Season, See Federal Area Regulations
West Point – Glovers CreekNov. 11
Q – Quota Hunt

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