Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
Resident hunters age 16 years old or older are required to have a hunting license, except when hunting on land owned by them or their immediate family, blood or dependent relationship, residing in the same household. A valid hunting license is required for all non-resident hunters, except non-resident small game hunters under age 16. Other licenses may be required depending on the type of game hunted.
Click here for a list of current license fees.
It depends on the species you are interested in hunting. A basic hunting license is required for all hunting. Then, if you were interested in pursuing deer, wild turkey or bear, a Big Game License also is required. If you are hunting ducks and other waterfowl, a Georgia Waterfowl License is needed in addition to the basic hunting license. There are several licenses that cover multiple requirements. For example, the Sportsman's License, which is annual, covers all hunting and fishing license requirements in the state, except for the Federal Duck Stamp. If you are in doubt about which licenses you need to possess before hunting, contact a WRD Game Management or Law Enforcement Office.
Hunting seasons depend on the species. A current listing of seasons is available here .
It is a federal law passed in 1937 that placed an excise tax on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and handguns. The income from this tax is apportioned to the states using a formula based on land area and number of hunters. The funds must be used for wildlife conservation. Georgia receives approximately $4 million annually from the tax. The funds are used to conduct wildlife research and surveys, operate wildlife management areas, teach hunter education, build and operate public shooting ranges and purchase land.
Resident hunting licenses are required for all resident hunters 16 years old or older, except when hunting on land owned by them or their immediate family (blood or dependent relationship) residing in the same household.
In Georgia, there has been average of 66 hunting incidents and an average of six fatalities each year since 1981. More than 481,000 people hunt in Georgia each year and on average 0.01% (or 1/100th of a percent) of these hunters are involved in a hunting incident each year. According to U.S. National Safety Council statistics, people are 20 times more likely to die in a car accident than while hunting. Compared to other outdoor recreational activities, hunting ranks incredibly low; lower than playing golf. Hunting is a very safe activity, probably because hunting, like driving a car, demands safety and hunters do not take that issue lightly.
A popular survey found the following: 64 percent of Americans feel that a lot of hunters violate hunting laws or practice unsafe behavior while hunting; 49 percent of hunters feel the same way; and 74 percent of Americans felt that hunters know the laws but violate them anyway. Is this perception reality or is it unfounded?
During the 2000-2001 hunting season, Georgia had approximately 300,000 hunters. On a state and national level, deer hunters make up the highest proportion of hunters. Between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2001, Georgia had a total of 11,826 game violations (warnings and cases). If we assume a different hunter commits each violation, then only about 4 percent of Georgia's hunters are caught violating game laws. Of course, not all violators are caught, but those that were provide a sample of Georgia's hunter population. The top five violations were hunting deer without fluorescent orange, hunting big game over bait, hunting without permission, possession of illegally taken wildlife and hunting without a license.
So, the truth is most hunters do not violate hunting laws. In fact, most hunters are ethical, law-abiding citizens.