Latest News from the GA DNR, Wildlife Division



SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (August 18, 2016) – Hunters, be sure to get online soon and get your quota application submitted for a Georgia deer hunt! An online quota application must be received before midnight September 1, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Some of the best deer hunts in the state are on Georgia’s well-managed public lands,” said John Bowers, chief of Game Management. “To have a chance at one of these outstanding opportunities, you better get that application in before the deadline.”

Deer quota opportunities include hunts on wildlife management areas and state park lands, dog-deer hunting and adult/child hunting opportunities.

How to Apply

To apply, go to The quota hunt system allows applicants to sign up for a chance at a quota hunt using their existing license purchase account. If you don’t have an existing account, you can create one. Those applying should be sure to keep their email and mailing address current in order to receive quota updates, confirmations and any notices about quota hunts.

For more information on the upcoming deer season, hunters can review the 2016-2017 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide, available at .

For more information, visit .




SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA (Aug. 18, 2016) – So, you completed the Hunter Education course – now what? Take your knowledge to the next level by attending a Hunter Education Field Day. These “hands-on” learning experiences give students a chance to build on the knowledge and skills gained in their initial hunter education course.

“While all of the hunter education courses available to Georgia students provide a beginning knowledge of hunting safety, firearms and other equipment, it is not usually a field experience,” says Walter Lane, hunter development program manager for the Wildlife Resources Division. “Field Days allow the student to handle a bow, a muzzleloader, rifle or shotgun and to test out safe ways to access a tree stand or to navigate in the woods – it really solidifies the experience much more than the course alone and is a great compliment to the initial instruction.”

Field Days include a live fire opportunity and field exercise and are designed for students who have completed and passed a hunter education course. Potential Instruction sessions include a combination of two of the following activities: rifle, archery, muzzleloading, orienteering, wildlife identification and tree stand safety.

Hunter Education Field Days typically take two hours and are available across the state. The Field Day events are free of charge. However, it is possible that the venue for the event may have a parking or usage fee.

For more information, visit .


SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (August 17, 2016) – Gather friends and family and get ready to head to the dove fields for the opening day of dove season. Who will be with you? The Georgia dove hunting season opens at noon on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.

“Hunting for doves brings a lot of joy to families that are anxious to kick off the fall hunting season,” said John W. Bowers, chief of Game Management. “Georgia has a great choice of fields to choose from with approximately 40 state public dove fields, plus opportunities on private land available to the public through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program called the Voluntary Public Access (VPA)/Habitat Incentive Program.”

The official 2016-2017 dove seasons are Sept. 3-18, Oct. 8-Oct. 28 and Nov. 24 – Jan. 15. Shooting hours are noon until sunset on opening day (Sept. 3) and one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the season dates. Sunrise and sunset times are available on the Outdoors GA app (available free on ITunes or in the Google Play store) or at .

Many WMA public dove fields are reserved solely for quota hunts on opening day, so be sure to review dove hunting rules and regulations to ensure the availability of the field you plan to visit.
Want to know what a field is expected to look like before you head that way to hunt? You are in luck! Each year, WRD biologists and technicians prepare a dove field forecast for wildlife management areas and some additional fields identifying available crops and anticipating the conditions for opening day. This forecast is available at

Regulations quick review: The daily bag limit is 15 doves per hunter. Collared doves may be taken, but do not affect the count of your daily limit. Any autoloading or other repeating shotgun must be plugged to hold no more than three shotshells while hunting doves. And, as always, hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private property.

Dove hunters 16 years of age and older must possess a Georgia hunting license and a free Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit. HIP provides biologists with needed information to ensure conservation of migratory bird populations while providing quality hunting opportunities. When hunting on a WMA, you also must possess a WMA license. Hunters may purchase licenses online at, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at license vendor locations (list of vendors available online).

Updated and accurate harvest rate estimates facilitate the successful management of doves. In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Research Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with several states, including Georgia, initiated an ongoing dove banding project. Hunters can participate in this conservation effort by examining harvested doves for leg bands and reporting band numbers to the USFWS at or by calling 1-800-327-BAND.

Planning on dove hunting at a private field? Be sure that field is legal. How to know? Check out the online brochure, “Dove Hunting and Agricultural Practices in Georgia,” available at .

For more information, visit




SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (August 17, 2016) – Hunters in need of the Georgia hunter education course have two options – completely online or a classroom course, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Our customers can now take the hunter education course completely online,” says Walter Lane, hunter development program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division. “This allows students to complete the course at THEIR convenience. We also continue to offer the more traditional classroom course.”

The available online courses each require a fee (from $9.95 – $24.95), but all are “pass or don’t pay” courses. Fees for these courses are charged by and collected by the independent course developer. If the online course vendor fees are an obstacle, students can obtain a free CD-ROM by contacting their local DNR law enforcement office or the Hunter Development Office (770-761-3010). Additionally, the 8-hour classroom course is free of charge.

Completion of a hunter education course is required for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, who:
· purchases a season hunting license in Georgia.
· is at least 12 years old and hunts without adult supervision.
· hunts big game (deer, turkey, bear) on a wildlife management area.

The only exceptions include any person who:
· purchases a short-term hunting license, such as the Apprentice License or the 3-day Hunting and Fishing Combo License (as opposed to a season license).
· is hunting on his or her own land, or that of his or her parents or legal guardians.

For more information, go to or call 770-761-3010.

Leave a comment

Back to Top