It is finally that time of the year again for Georgia hunters. Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Oct. 22 and lasts through Jan. 1, 2012 in the Northern Zone and in the Southern Zone, through Jan. 15, 2012.
“Regulated hunting is the most cost effective and efficient means of managing the deer herd,” says John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management for the Wildlife Resources Division. “In addition, sportsmen and women provide more than $30 million each year to fund wildlife conservation in the state through license fees and self-imposed excise taxes collected on the purchase of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and fishing equipment.” .
More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. In addition to traditional hunters, many special hunts are offered, including ladies-only and adult/child hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts, as well as WMA maps, are available in the 2011-2012 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations .
During the 2010-2011 firearms deer season, 299,894 licensed hunters harvested more than 386,050 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 on archery-only areas. Where can you get a license? Buy it online or find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/recreational-licenses or buy it by phone at 1.800.366.2661.
Georgia is considered the top destination in the country for non-resident hunters and continues to draw tens of thousands of hunters from across the country each year. The state’s quality hunting opportunities and the availability of vast acres of public hunting land serve as the main appeal.
For more information on deer hunting seasons and regulations, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations .