For most hunters in Georgia, the deer season is the most anticipated time of the year, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. This year archers get first draw as archery season started on Saturday, September 8.
Last year, 118,500 archery hunters harvested more than 68,000 deer. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 12, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire deer season.
“Archery season in the Peach State offers excellent deer hunting opportunities and a chance to bag a ‘quality buck,’” said John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management. “Georgia has more than one million acres of public land and has had 460 Georgia bucks accepted into the Pope and Young Club. This makes it a top destination for non-resident hunters.”
In fact, Georgia ranks #1 in the nation for attracting out-of-state hunters, according to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Hunters account for $679 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.1 billion ripple effect.
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 2012-2013 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use. These areas are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Restoration Program.
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.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license also is required.