Many Georgia hunters eagerly await the opening day of firearms deer hunting season each year. Luckily, that wait is almost over as the statewide deer hunting firearms season opens Sat., Oct. 21 and continues through Jan. 14, 2024.
“The deer hunting firearms season is right around the corner, and I am expecting a fantastic season ahead,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division. “We also want to remind those that hunt deer out-of-state to be aware of laws in place to help prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease to Georgia.”
During the 2022-23 firearms deer season, nearly 200,000 hunters harvested around 210,000 deer in the state. Regulated deer hunting ensures that Georgia’s deer population continues to be healthy and strong and is an excellent way to fill your freezer with a sustainable, healthy local meat.
Over one million acres of public hunting land is available in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). Find season hunting dates and information about WMAs in the 2023-2024 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide.
- Dates/Harvest Limit: State law allows hunters to harvest up to 10 antlerless deer, and no more than 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 or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread). For most hunters in the state, the deer season ends on Jan. 14. For counties with extended firearms or archery season, review the Georgia Hunting Regulations 2023-24 guidebook. Deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment on private land during the primitive weapons and firearms deer season.
- Licenses: Georgia deer hunters must have a hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. All are available online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661, or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
- Report Harvest: All harvested deer must be reported through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours. 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.
- Wear Your Orange: All deer hunters, including archers, are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during primitive weapons season.
“We also want to remind hunters that they are the first line of defense in protecting the Georgia deer herd from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal disease affecting deer. This disease has not been detected in our state and you can be instrumental in keeping it out,” says Killmaster. “Do not bring whole carcasses or heads into Georgia and know what parts you can bring back from an out-of-state hunt. Please report deer with any disease symptoms. You can find more info at GeorgiaWildlife.com/cwd.”
For more on deer hunting, including finding a meat processor, reviewing regulations, and maps (either sex day or the rut map), visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/deer-info.
“Actt”: Four Simple Fireams Safety Rules To Remember
Hunting repeatedly shows itself as a safe sport. With thousands of participating Georgia hunters, statistics show that only a small percentage are ever involved in any type of firearms incident, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). For example, with well over half a million participating hunters during the last deer season, Georgia reported only 15 firearms hunting incidents.
One of the ways hunters stay safe is by reviewing and adhering to safety precautions, like the ‘Four Primary Rules of Firearms Safety.’ This safety checklist, comprised of only four items, is covered in all hunter education courses and can be easily remembered with the acronym ACTT:
- A – Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
- C – Control the muzzle of the firearm at all times.
- T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
- T – Keep your finger outside of the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
For more information on firearms safety, visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/hunting/huntereducation or contact the Wildlife Resources Division Hunter Education office at 706-557-3355.