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Georgia Hunting Guide

georgia hunting

Georgia offers some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation. With a diverse natural landscape that supports many healthy populations of game species, Georgia has become one of the most popular hunting destinations for outdoors enthusiasts.

What to Hunt


Georgia’s landscape offers a variety of big and small game species for hunters to enjoy.

Whitetail Deer

Deer

Georgia is home to a healthy population of about 1.2 million whitetail deer, and these are Georgia’s most popular game species. Trophy bucks are commonly taken across the state. The entire state has significant populations of whitetail, with hunting opportunities in nearly all regions in Georgia. Georgia’s deer season typically runs from October to January. Some counties only allow archery hunting, and others have extended archery seasons. Georgia has a season limit of 10 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer.

Black Bear

Bear

Limited bear hunting opportunities exist in both North and South Georgia. It is prohibited to take female bears who are accompanied by cubs. Bag limits are two per season, but only one may be harvested from the southern/central bear zones. Bear season runs from September through January, depending on the zone and type of weapon used.

Waterfowl

Waterfowl

Hunters may not use a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless it is permanently plugged with a one-piece filler. Game birds may only be taken by a shotgun, and cannot be shot at from a car or other moving vehicle. Georgia does not permit live decoys, baiting, or recordings of bird calls.

Turkey

Turkey

Georgia has significant turkey hunting opportunities throughout the state. Hunters are limited to three gobblers per year per license. The state also provides one of the nation’s longest spring turkey seasons. No fall season is offered in Georgia. There are special opportunity seasons for turkey for youth 16 and under and individuals with mobility impairment.

Other Georgia game species include: Alligator, Crow, Dove, Fox and Bobcat, Grouse, Sora and Rails, Opossum, Quail, Rabbit, Raccoon, Snipe, Squirrel, Woodcock, Canada Goose, Wilson's Snipe, Coots, Ducks, Gallinules, King & Clapper Rail, Mergansers, Mourning Dove, Sea Ducks, Snow & White-fronted Geese, Teal, etc. found in the "Hunt Seasons" section at bottom of the page

Where to Hunt


Georgia has large amounts of public and private lands that are available to be used by hunters.

Wildlife Management Area

Georgia has dozens of designated Wildlife Management Areas across the state. Most notably, these can be found in the northern and southern parts of Georgia. Wildlife Management Areas are generally open for hunting but also provide recreational opportunities including fishing, bird watching, bike riding, hiking, and camping.

Natural Areas

Georgia maintains natural areas for the well-being and conservation of certain wildlife species. These areas may or may not be open to use by hunters. It is important to check with the management office of the specific Natural Area before planning a trip.

Federal Land

Georgia is home to many areas that are managed by federal authorities. Each of these refuges are subject to their own individual regulations.

Private Land Hunting

The vast majority of forested areas in Georgia are privately owned. Hunters can obtain access to this land by general hunting permission, formal lease contracts, or by joining a preexisting hunting club.

Licensing Fees


All Georgia residents ages 16 to 64 must have a resident hunting license in order to take any animals. All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1961 must complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license.

License Resident Nonresident
​Annual Hunting License (Residents 16-64; All non-residents) ​$15.00 ​$100.00
​One-Day Combo Hunting & Fishing License (Residents 16-64; All non-residents) ​$5.00 ​$30.00
​Additional Day Combo Hunting & Fishing License (Residents 16-64; All non-residents) ​$1.00 ​$10.00
​Annual Big Game License ​$25.00 ​$225.00
​One-Day Big Game License ​$10.00 ​$130.00
​Additional Day Big Game License ​$2.00 ​$8.00

Hunter Education


Any person (resident or non) born after January 1, 1961 is required to complete a hunter education course prior to purchasing a hunting license.

This does not apply to hunters under 12 years old. However, these hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult while hunting.

All other hunters must possess a hunter’s education certificate to be eligible for a hunting license. However, hunters over the age of 25 do not need to present this certificate.

Youth Hunting


The regulations for youth hunting in Georgia vary based on the age of the child.

Under 12

Children under 12 do not need any type of license or hunter’s education to hunt, but they must be accompanied by a licensed adult while hunting.

Ages 12-15

Children between the ages of 12 and 15 are not required to have a hunting license if hunting under the supervision of a licensed adult. They must have a license if hunting without supervision.

Ages 16 & Up

Youth 16 and up are required to have a hunting license and must follow all adult hunting regulations.

Trapping


The follow animals are considered furbearing mammals for the purposes of trapping in Georgia: mink, otter, raccoon, fox, opossum, muskrat, skunk, bobcat, and weasel. A trapping license is required for trapping and selling the fur, hides, and pelts of these species.

No wildlife except those listed above may be taken by means of a trap. The trapping season for qualified animals is December 1–February 28. There is no closed season for the trapping of beaver or coyote in the state of Georgia.

Hunting Seasons

Game Season
Deer* Sep 10 2022 - Jan 31 2023
Bear* Sep 10 2022 - Jan 8 2023
Turkey Apr 1 2023 - May 15 2023
Alligator Aug 19 2022 - Oct 3 2022
Crow Nov 4 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Dove Sep 3 2022 - Oct 9 2022
Nov 19 2022 - Nov 27 2022
Dec 19 2022 - Jan 31 2023
Fox and Bobcat Dec 1 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Grouse Oct 15 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Sora and Rails Oct 8 2022 - Oct 28 2022
Nov 8 2022 - Dec 26 2022
Opossum Aug 15 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Quail Nov 12 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Rabbit Nov 12 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Raccoon Aug 15 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Woodcock Dec 10 2022 - Jan 23 2023
Canada Goose Sep 3 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Common (Wilson's) Snipe Nov 15 2022 - Feb 28 2023
Coots Nov 19 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Ducks Nov 19 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Gallinules Nov 19 2022 - Jan 29 2023
King & Clapper Rails Oct 8 2022 - Dec 26 2022
Mergansers Nov 19 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Mourning Dove Sep 3 2022 - Jan 31 2023
Sea Ducks Nov 19 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Snow & White-fronted Geese Oct 8 2022 - Jan 29 2023
Teal Sep 10 2022 - Sep 23 2022
Woodcock Dec 10 2022 - Jan 23 2023

*Hunting dates for this species may vary by zone, method of take, or subspecies of animal. Visit the state’s websites https://georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/wrd/pdf/hunting/2022-23%20Season%20Dates.pdf and https://georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/wrd/pdf/hunting/Migratory%20Bird%20Season%20Dates.pdf to find out more.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information.