SOCIAL CIRCLE — Deer-hunting season opens Saturday statewide.
Last year, 113,566 archery hunters harvested more than 60,190 deer. Statewide, archery season runs through Oct. 11, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire deer season (Jan. 1 in Northern Zone and Jan. 15 in the Southern Zone).
“Spring and summer seasons with abundant rainfall, like Georgia has experienced this year, generally produce abundant natural foods,” said John W. Bowers, chief of game management in the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “These conditions often contribute to an increase in deer quality, but can also make it a challenging year to hunt deer.”
Beginning this season, the number of firearms either-sex days is reduced in most counties. A few factors went into this decision, including the decline in the number of fawns that survive into fall and an increase in doe harvest rates.
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 2013-14 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife-management areas 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, 1 inch or longer, on one side of the antlers).
Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas. Counties in metro Atlanta (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale) offer either-sex archery deer hunting Sept. 14-Jan. 31.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big-game license and current deer-harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required.
Licenses can be purchased online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents is available online).
For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting.