SOCIAL CIRCLE – Hunters utilizing archery equipment will get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 9, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Last year, 139,043 archery hunters harvested just over 50,000 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2017-2018 deer season.
“Archery season is an excellent time to get an early start on putting some venison in the freezer,” said state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster. “Although it’s still warm this time of year, it’s the easiest part of the season to pattern deer. Just don’t forget to report your kill to Georgia Game Check!”
Georgia hunters can check out an interactive map that allows them to see the best opportunities available for the counties they hunt at http://georgiawildlife.com/rut-map.
All hunters must report their deer harvest through Georgia Game Check, including hunters under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime, and sportsman license holders. Hunters will need to obtain a free deer harvest record each season. Before moving a harvested deer, hunters are required to immediately enter the date and county on the harvest record, and within 72 hours, must complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check (https://gooutdoorsgeorgia.com) OR hunters can go “paperless” and report through the free Go Outdoors GA app (you can report through the app even with no connection. Once your phone gets a signal, it will automatically sync your information).
State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program. Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.
Many public lands offer specialty deer hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2017-2018 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use.
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. Counties in the Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties) offer either-sex archery deer hunting through Jan. 31. Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time during the deer season on private land.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license and a big game license. Licenses can be purchased online at http://georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.