SOCIAL CIRCLE — More than 300,000 hunters pursue the white-tailed deer in Georgia. As a reminder to hunters, there were regulation changes in the number of available days to take deer of either sex, depending on the type of equipment used and the area of the hunt, beginning today.
Through Dec. 25, hunters should make special note of the following regulations:
• Archery equipment may be used for either sex statewide.
• Firearms and primitive weapons may be used for deer of either sex in counties with antler restrictions (including Dooly, Hancock, Harris, Macon, Meriwether, Montgomery, Randolph, Talbot and Troup counties) and certain metro-Atlanta counties (including Forsyth north of Highway 20, Fulton south of Highway 92, Gwinnett and Rockdale).
• Archery, shotguns and muzzle-loading firearms may be used for deer of either sex in that portion of Forsyth County lying south of Highway 20.
• Hunters using firearms or muzzle-loaders in areas not detailed above may take bucks only.
A few factors went into the decision to reduce firearms either-sex days, including the decline in the number of fawns that survive into fall and an increase in doe harvest rates. These factors warranted regulatory changes to reduce the doe harvest. For more information on this change, go to www.eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/why-fewer-either-sex-days/.
Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife-management areas for the public’s use. State-managed public hunting lands 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, 1-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) offer either-sex archery deer hunting Sept. 14-Jan. 31.
To pursue deer in Georgia, a hunter must have a valid hunting license, big-game license and a 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 from the online list.
For more information, go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting.