It is finally that time of the year again for Georgia hunters. Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Oct. 17 and lasts through Jan. 1 in the Northern Zone and in the Southern Zone, through Jan. 15. `Regulated hunting is the most cost effective and efficient means of managing the deer herd,` says John Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management for the Wildlife Resources Division. `In fact, regulated deer hunting has successfully reduced the statewide deer population from 1.4 million in the 1990s to close to one million today. Georgia’s deer season and regulations provide flexibility to landowners and deer managers to meet their individual management objectives.`

More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas where special hunts are offered throughout the season, including ladies-only hunts and adult/child hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are available in the 2009-2010 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide, and WMA maps are available at .

During the 2008-2009 firearms deer season, nearly 289,000 licensed hunters harvested over 320,000 deer in Georgia.

Hunters are allowed a season total of ten 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).

A valid hunting license is required to hunt deer during firearms season, as is a big game license and a deer harvest record. In most cases, a separate WMA license is required to hunt on a WMA. All deer hunters must wear at least 500 square-inches of fluorescent orange above the waist to legally hunt during firearms season, except in areas designated archery-only.

Georgia is considered the top destination in the country for non-resident hunters and continues to draw tens of thousands of deer hunters from across the country each year. The state’s quality deer herd and the more than one million available acres of public hunting land serve as the main appeal.


Coosa Valley News