Firearms Deer Hunting Season Opens Oct. 22


SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (October 14, 2016) ­– If you have never had that pre-opening day of firearms deer hunting season feeling, let this be the year you experience it!  Firearms deer hunters can take to the woods beginning Sat., Oct. 22 and continue through Jan. 8, 2017 statewide.

“Hunters already know the benefits of having a few deer in the freezer,” said John W. Bowers, chief of game management for the Wildlife Resources Division. “However, we hope that people interested in providing healthier, organic meals for their families take an interest in the pursuit of their own meat. Venison is a healthier alternative to most domestic meat, and hunting is an excellent way to enjoy the ‘field to fork’ experience.”

During firearms deer season last year, over 302,000 hunters harvested almost 300,000 deer in the state. The use of regulated deer hunting ensures that Georgia’s deer population continues to be healthy and strong.

NEW: Either Sex Day Map: A new interactive map has been created for Georgia hunters allowing hunters to see the opportunities available for the counties they hunt. More info at

NEW: Georgia Game Check: While deer hunters have utilized a deer harvest record in the past (to record the date and county of kill), beginning this deer season, all hunters on both public and private lands must record their deer on the harvest record AND report their harvest using Georgia Game Check. All deer must be reported within 72 hours of harvest. However, deer taken to processors/coolers must be reported before the deer can be left at the place of business.  More info

Georgia hunters have access to more than one million acres of public hunting land across the state, including over 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. In addition to traditional hunts, a number of special hunts are offered, including ladies-only and adult/child hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts, as well as WMA maps, can be found in the 2016-2017 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide at

Hunters are allowed a harvest of 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).

To pursue deer in Georgia, all hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required. Licenses can be purchased online at, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).

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.

Georgia’s deer rut map can be found at .  For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps,




 SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (October 14, 2016) – While only a small fraction of hunters are ever involved in a hunting incident, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) encourages everyone to review the ‘Four Primary Rules of Firearms Safety’ before heading to the woods.

“You cannot over-emphasize safety enough when you are handling a firearm,” said Jennifer Pittman, WRD’s Hunting and Shooting Education Supervisor. “Not only are you protecting yourself, but you also are looking out for all other hunters and you potentially are providing an example of firearms respect to younger hunters.”

During the most recent hunting season, Georgia reported 42 hunting incidents, 20 of which involved firearms.

The following 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.
  1. T – Be certain of the Target and what is in front of it and beyond it.
  1. T – Keep your finger outside of the Trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

For more information on firearms safety, visit or contact the Wildlife Resources Division Hunter Education office at 770-761-3010.

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