Nice Georgia buck shot on Cedar Creek WMA

Georgia Deer Hunting FAQs

If you have questions about Georgia deer hunting, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we cover some of the most frequently asked questions in detail. These cover when you can deer hunting in Georgia, what you can deer hunt with, what licenses and permits you’ll need, how many deer you can kill, and much more.

We hope this helps you have a successful Georgia deer season this fall!

When can you deer hunt in Georgia?

Deer can be hunted during Georgia’s deer season by licensed deer hunters. Georgia’s archery deer season begins the second Saturday in September and runs through the second Sunday in January; Georgia’s primitive weapons deer season begins the first Saturday after Oct. 8 and runs through the following Friday; and Georgia’s firearms deer season begins the first Saturday after Oct. 15 and continues through the second Sunday in January.

See Georgia’s 2022-2023 deer season dates.

Is deer hunting good in Georgia?

As a whole, deer hunting in Georgia is excellent. Georgia hunters killed over 150,000 antlerless deer during the 2020-2021 deer season and nearly 115,000 antlered bucks. That’s 74 does per 100 deer hunters (third most in the nation) and 55 bucks per 100 deer hunters (fifth most in the nation). Only 24% of the antlered buck harvest was yearling bucks, and 41% were 3.5 years old or older. That’s not a bad buck harvest age structure for a southern state!

That’s not to say deer hunting is great in every part of the state. Deer numbers and deer harvest has declined dramatically in the North Georgia mountains over the last 30+ years. That’s likely the result of several factors, the foremost being lack of timber harvest in much of the national forest land that spans much of North Georgia. Couple that with increasing predators like coyotes and bears, you have a recipe for fewer deer.

Does Georgia have big deer?

Compared to Florida, yes! Body-wise, deer are generally larger the further north you go. So as far as white-tailed deer go, Georgia deer are on the smaller end of the spectrum compared to deer in the midwest and northeast. 

Antlers are a little different story. Antler size is tightly correlated to age, nutrition, and to a lesser extent, genetics. When comparing same-aged deer, it’s typically nutrition that separates big buck states like Iowa, Kansas and Illinois from states like Georgia. 

That’s not to say some great bucks with large antlers aren’t killed every year in Georgia, because they are. Georgia produces some very respectable bucks, just not as frequently as the big buck states of the Midwest.

Do I need a hunting license to hunt my own land in Georgia?

If you’re a Georgia resident, the answer is no, you do not need a hunting license to hunt your own property in Georgia. However, you do need a free big game harvest log to record any deer harvested, and all deer taken on your property must still be checked in using the Georgia DNR’s game check system. 

Keep in mind you must still adhere to Georgia’s season bag limit of two bucks and 10 antlerless deer. One of your two bucks must have at least four points on one side.

What weapons are legal for deer hunting in Georgia?

We have an article on this website that covers legal weapons for Georgia deer hunting in detail, but any archery equipment or crossbow is legal during the archery, primitive weapons and firearms deer seasons. The only restrictions on archery equipment is that you must use a broadhead.

During the primitive weapons season, hunters can use archery equipment, air bows, .30-cal. or larger air rifles and muzzleloaders or muzzleloading shotguns. Scopes are legal.

During the firearms deer season, hunters can use any of the weapons discussed above, plus:

Modern Rifles and Handguns: Centerfire only, .22-cal. or larger with expanding bullets. There is no restriction on magazine capacity for rifles.

Shotguns: 20-gauge or larger loaded with slugs or buckshot.

Air Guns: Any air rifle of at least .30 caliber or air bow utilizing unignited compressed gas or air is legal during primitive weapons and firearms seasons.

What licenses do I need to deer hunt in Georgia?

Georgia deer hunters need a hunting license, big game permit, and the free big game harvest log. A sportsman’s license includes the hunting license and big game permit, but you’ll still need to print out a big game harvest log.

What do I need to deer hunt Georgia public land?

The same hunting license, big game permit, and big game harvest record that’s required for private land are all you need to hunt Georgia wildlife management areas (WMAs) as well. There is no special permit required. However, it’s important to keep in mind that season dates and regulations differ on each WMA, so be sure to check Georgia DNR’s hunting regulations booklet for specific WMA information before heading afield.

Where is the best place to deer hunt in Georgia?

That depends on your deer hunting goals. If you’re after a great buck, then the Piedmont Region of Georgia will give you your best odds of success. If you’re just after meat for the freezer, then South Georgia, particularly the Coastal Region, will provide a more target-rich environment. Having said that, there are plenty of great deer hunting opportunities across the state of Georgia.

Is CWD in Georgia?

Thankfully, no. At the time of this writing — July 2022 — there have been no cases of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in the state of Georgia. It has been confirmed in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, so it’s slowly working this way, but it’s not here yet.

How many deer can I kill in a day in Georgia?

There is no daily bag limit for deer in Georgia. So theoretically you could kill all 12 of your season bag limit — two bucks and 10 antlerless deer — on the same day if you want to.

How many deer tags can you get in Georgia?

The season bag limit for deer in Georgia is 12 deer. That’s two antlered deer and ten antlerless deer. One of the two antlered deer must have at least four points (one inch or longer) on one side.

Can you bait deer in Georgia?

In short, yes. Baiting for deer is legal in Georgia. We have an entire article covering that on this website.

Can you deer hunt with an AR 15 in Georgia?

In short, yes. You can deer hunt with any centerfire rifle or handgun in Georgia, so the AR15 would be perfectly legal. We have an entire article on our website discussing legal weapons for Georgia deer hunting.

Can you hunt deer year-round on your own property in Georgia?

No. Even on your own property, you still have to abide by Georgia’s deer season dates, bag limits and regulations. The only perk is that you won’t need to purchase a hunting license or big game permit to do so. You only need the free big game harvest record.

Are there any other questions you’d like us to answer about Georgia deer hunting? If so, drop them in the comments section below, and we may add them to this article.

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