Hunters look forward to the opening day of deer firearms season much like a kid eagerly awaits Christmas morning. The wait is almost over because the Georgia deer firearms season opens Sat., Oct. 16 and continues through Jan. 9, 2022 statewide.
“With some awesome bucks already taken in archery season, I think we are in for an excellent firearms season!” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division. “The 2020 deer season had one of the highest ratings for hunter satisfaction on record and I expect 2021 to be no different.”
During firearms deer season last year, about 187,000 hunters harvested over 190,000 deer in the state. Regulated deer hunting ensures that Georgia’s deer population continues to be healthy and strong.
Over one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Many areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons and modern firearms hunts. Dates and locations for hunts available in the 2021-2022 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide found at http://www.eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/.
State law allows hunters to harvest up to 10 antlerless deer, and no more than two antlered deer (with one of the two antlered deer having a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers) or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. Licenses can be purchased online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
All deer hunters must report their harvest using Georgia Game Check within 24 hours of harvest. Deer can be reported on the Outdoors GA app (which works regardless of cell service), at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661.
For more on deer hunting, including finding a game processor, reviewing regulations, viewing maps (either sex day or the rut map), visit https://georgiawildlife.com/deer-info.
ACTT: 4 Simple Firearms Safety Rules for Deer Season and Beyond
Hunting repeatedly shows itself as a safe sport with only a small percentage of the hunting population ever involved in any type of incident. Know how hunters stay safe?
They review and adhere to safety precautions, like the ‘Four Primary Rules of Firearms Safety’, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
With over half a million hunters afield, Georgia reported only 25 hunting incidents in 2020, and 11 of those were tree stand use related.
The following firearms safety checklist, comprised of only four items, is covered in all hunter education courses and easily can be remembered with the acronym ACTT:
1. A – Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
2. C – Control the muzzle of the firearm at all times.
3. T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
4. T – Keep your finger outside of the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
For more information on firearms safety, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/huntereducation or contact the Wildlife Resources Division Hunter Education office at 706-557-3355.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources