The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has announced its hunting dates for the 2012-13 season.
• The Suwannee Canal Recreation Area (Eastside) will be held from 5:30 a.m.-noon Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27. A total of 40 permits will be awarded for this hunt, 10 of which will be reserved for disabled hunters in wheelchairs. The hunt is for deer (either sex, limit two per day) and feral hogs (either sex, no limit). Hunters are required to use shotgun slugs or muzzleloaders only. Use of buckshot is not permitted. Deer taken do not count against the state limit, and a special refuge tag will be provided upon check-out for each deer taken. All hunters must possess a valid Georgia hunting license.
Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Check-in at the Okefenokee Shop Area commences at 5 a.m. each day of the hunt. Hunters may line up for check-in no earlier than 4 a.m. and vehicles may not be left unattended. Stand-by hunters may be selected on the second day of the hunt when first-day selected hunters do not return and/or check-in by 5:30 a.m. Hunters must be prepared to pay $12.50 for a hunt permit. Checks, money-orders or cash will be accepted.
More information is available at www.fws.gov/okefenokee or by calling 912-496-7836 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday–Monday.
• The free, archery-only pocket hunt will take place Sept. 8–Oct. 12 at the Pocket Unit near Fargo. All hunters must sign in and out at the west entrance kiosk and possess a valid Georgia hunting license and refuge entrance pass. All stands must be removed daily. Park private vehicles on the shoulder of the road. ATVs are prohibited. Call 912-637-5274 for an early exit to the hunt area if you are staying in the park overnight. For more information, go to www.fws.gov/okefenokee.
• The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is managing deer, feral hog, small game and turkey hunts on Cowhouse Island in conjunction with its Dixon Memorial Forest hunts. Hunters on this portion of the refuge are limited to foot traffic only. Hunters must sign in and sign out and possess a valid Georgia hunting license. Regulations and information may be obtained by calling 229-426-5267 or by going to www.gohuntgeorgia.com and www.fws.gov/okefenokee.