Opening Day of Archery Deer Season is Saturday, 9/10


SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2016) – Archers will get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 10, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.


Last year, 132,641 archery hunters harvested more than 66,039 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2016-2017 deer season (ending Jan. 8, 2017).


“The early part of archery season occurs before mature bucks shift into their fall movement patterns,” said state deer program coordinator Charlie Killmaster.  “With their home range near its smallest at this time of year, hunters should concentrate on food sources closest to thick cover for the best chance at an early-season buck.”


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


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. More info at


State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program.  Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.


Many public lands offer specialty hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2016-2017 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use.


Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and 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).  Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.  Counties in the Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties) offer either-sex archery deer hunting through Jan. 31.  Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time during the deer season on private land.


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


For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit .









SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2016) – Ever had an accident while hunting in a tree stand? You are not alone.  Statistics each year reveal that almost half of all hunting incidents are due to falls or other safety issues with tree stands, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.


Following are recommended tips for keeping you safe while utilizing tree stands for hunting:


  • When using a non-climbing portable or ladder stand, hunters should securely fasten the stand to the tree and install ladders or steps according to the manufacturer’s directions.


  • Hunters should ALWAYS wear a Fall-Arrest System (FAS)/Full Body Harness during ascent and descent.  Be aware that single strap belts and chest harnesses are no longer recommended and should not be used.  Failure to use a FAS could result in serious injury or death.


  • Hunters should ALWAYS attach their FAS in the manner described by the manufacturer.  Failure to do so may result in suspension without the ability to recover into the tree stand.  Be aware of the hazards associated with full body harnesses and the fact that prolonged suspension in a harness may also be fatal.


  • Have in place a plan for rescue, including the use of cell phones or signal devices that may be easily reached and used while suspended.  If rescue personnel cannot be notified, you must have an alternate plan for recovery or escape.  If you have to hang suspended for a period of time before help arrives, exercise your legs by pushing against the tree or doing any other form of continuous motion or use your suspension relief device.


  • Consider your personal physical condition before going out. If you do not have the ability to recover or escape from a FAS, it is recommended that you hunt only from the ground.


  • Hunters should ALWAYS use a haul line to pull their gear and unloaded firearm or bow into their tree stand.  Never climb with anything in your hands or on your back.  Prior to descending, lower equipment to the ground on the opposite side of the tree.


  • Staying awake and alert is important. Hunters should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness prior to hunting.  Also, never use alcohol or drugs before or while hunting.


  • Hunters should always inform someone of where they are hunting and what time they expect to return.


For more information on tree stands or hunting-related safety, call 770-761-3010 or visit








SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2016) – Headed to the woods for deer season?  Hunters will have something new to remember, the reporting of all harvested deer, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.


All deer hunters, including those under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime, and sportsman license holders, must obtain a free harvest record each season.  While a harvest record (where hunters immediately record the date and county of kill before moving the deer) has been required of hunters in years past, this year, they must additionally complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check.


“The reporting of harvests on the Georgia Game Check system will provide nearly instant access to basic harvest information during and after the hunting season,” said Tina Johannsen, Program Operations Manager with Game Management of the Wildlife Resources Division.  “This data will provide county level information for hunters and land managers, assist conservation rangers in enforcing game laws, and informs management decisions made by professional biologists.”


Georgia Game Check: Step by Step


  • Download your harvest record at or through the GA Outdoors App (available for free through both Android and iOS).
  • To Cell or Not to Cell:

o    Cell service available? Great! Enter the harvest date and county before moving your deer.

o    No cell service? No problem. Write the harvest date and county on your paper copy of the harvest record.

  • Report your harvest at Georgia Game Check (either online at or through the GA Outdoors App). Write down the confirmation number on your paper Harvest Record.  If completed via the App, the confirmation number will automatically be added.


It is important to note that deer processors will not accept any deer without a Georgia Game Check confirmation number, so be sure to report your deer and give the processor your confirmation number before you leave.


For more information on the harvest record or the Georgia Game Check System, visit





Melissa Cummings
Communications and Outreach Specialist

Wildlife Resources Division
(706) 557-3326 | M: (404) 323-9724

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