Last Updated on September 11, 2022 by Brian Grossman
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to Georgia hog hunting, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I break down when and where you can hunt feral hogs in Georgia, what licenses you need, what weapons are legal, and which Georgia wildlife management areas (WMAs) offer you the best chance of putting fresh pork in the freezer.
The first thing you need to know about Georgia hog hunting is that the season dates and regulations are much different on Georgia public lands than they are on private land. So much so, that for each section of this article, I break down the information for each separately. If you still have questions after reading the article, feel free to drop them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Georgia Hog Hunting License Requirements
Despite their nuisance status, Georgia hog hunters are still required to purchase a hunting license. That’s going to set you back $15 if you’re a Georgia resident or $100 if you’re a nonresident. If you’re a nonresident but only plan on hunting for a short period of time, you can purchase a one-day hunting license for $20 and add additional days for $6 each.
The good news is a hunting license is all you need to hunt hogs in Georgia, regardless of whether you’re hunting public or private land. There is no separate permit required for hunting on Georgia’s WMAs or national forests.
To get your Georgia hunting license, head over to the Georgia DNR’s website.
Georgia Hog Hunting Season Dates
On private land, there is no closed season on hogs. You can hunt them year-round.
Georgia public land hog hunting is much more restrictive. Aside from a short hog/coyote season on many WMAs that runs May 16-31, hogs can only be hunted on Georgia public lands when something else is in season. And you can only use weapons legal for whatever is in season at that time. For example, if squirrel season is open on a WMA, you can hunt hogs on that WMA using small game legal weapons. If archery deer season is open on a WMA, then you can hog hunt on that WMA using archery equipment. The same holds true on Georgia’s national forests as well.
It’s also worth noting that no night hunting or baiting is allowed on Georgia’s WMAs or national forests. Electronic calls may be used. Hunter orange is required when hog hunting during firearms and primitive weapons deer and bear hunts.
Ossabaw Island WMA offers two unique quota hog hunts on one of Georgia’s beautiful barrier islands. This is a great opportunity with high odds of killing several feral hogs in a really cool island setting. Each hunt is limited to 100 hunters, and it currently takes around 6 preference points to draw the January hunt and at least 4 preference points to draw the February hunt. Drawn hunters must provide their own boat transportation to and from the island. There is no public ferry.
Legal Georgia Hog Hunting Hours
On private land, hogs can be hunted in Georgia at any time, 24 hours a day. Hunting at night with night vision optics is very popular on private land, especially in South Georgia where the terrain is flat, and the hogs often congregate in agricultural fields to feed.
On Georgia’s public lands, hog hunting can only be done during daylight hours from one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset.
How to Hunt Wild Hogs
On private lands in Georgia, most hog hunting is done with the aid of bait. Corn piles or feeders are put out with stands placed in close proximity. A trail camera on the bait will give you excellent intel about if and when the hogs are using it. Once the hogs are feeding on a regular pattern, it’s time to get in there and shoot some.
Another popular method of hunting hogs on private land is with the use of night vision equipment. This can be done over bait as described above, or on some of the large agricultural fields of South Georgia.
Hunting over bait or night hunting are not options for Georgia public land hog hunters. On public land, most hog hunters simply get out in areas where hogs are likely to be — along waterways and in thick cutovers — and simply ease their way through the area looking for fresh sign along the way. You’ll often hear hogs well before you see them, so staying alert and keeping a constant lookout for fresh sign and movement is key.
Another option on public land is to hunt them like deer. That means scouting for the freshest sign and, once you find it, hanging a stand or setting up on the ground and waiting for the hogs to come to you.
Obviously the spot and stalk or set up over fresh sign methods will work on private lands to, but most hog hunters forgo that for the ease of using bait.
Best Places to Hunt Hogs in Georgia
According to the USDA, feral hogs exist in all but a few counties in Georgia. It’s no surprise that those counties make up the metro Atlanta area. What that means is there are hog hunting opportunities across the entire state. However, that doesn’t mean that every Georgia county is overrun with feral hogs.
Feral hogs are often pretty spotty across the landscape, with an affinity for traveling major waterways, like the Chattahoochee, Oconee, Flint and Ocmulgee rivers. Keep in mind that while one landowner may not have a hog on his property, another one two miles down the road may be covered up with them. And the guy that’s covered up with them today may not have any a few weeks from now. Feral hogs cover a lot of ground and respond quickly to hunting pressure.
If you’re planning on hunting private land, the best thing to do is scout for recent sign – rooting in particular – and hang trail cameras when you find it. If there are hogs in the area, then you can put out a corn pile or a feeder to see if you can get them coming in regularly.
Best Public Lands for Georgia Hog Hunting
If you’re looking to hunt hogs on public land in Georgia, then you have plenty of options. There are probably more WMAs that have hogs than those that don’t. But there are certainly WMAs that will provide you with a much higher chance of hog hunting success than others. Here are a few of the better known WMAs for finding hogs in Georgia:
- Cohutta WMA (northwest)
- Pine Log WMA (northwest)
- Swallow Creek WMA (northeast)
- Tuckahoe WMA (east-central)
- Di-Lane WMA (east-central)
- Oaky Woods WMA (central)
- Ocmulgee WMA (central)
- Chickasawhatchee WMA (southwest)
- Flint River WMA (southwest)
- Beaverdam WMA (south-central)
- Big Hammock WMA (south-central)
- Altamaha WMA (southeast)
- Townsend WMA (southeast)
Do I need a license to hunt hogs in Georgia?
Yes. All hog hunters age 16 and over are required to have a Georgia hunting license.
Can you hunt hogs year round in Georgia?
On private lands, you can hunt hogs year-round in Georgia. There is no closed season. On Georgia public lands, you can only hunt hogs during an open small game or big game hunting season using whatever weapon is legal for that particular season.
What weapons are legal for Georgia hog hunting?
On private land, there are no weapon restrictions for hog hunting. On Georgia public lands, you must use whatever weapon is legal for the small game or big game hunting season that is open at that particular time.
Can I hunt hogs over bait in Georgia?
On private land you can hunt hogs by any means necessary, including over bait. However, you cannot hunt hogs or any other animal over bait on Georgia’s public lands.
Georgia hog hunting can be challenging, but very fun and rewarding as well. It’s a great way to spend time during the off-season, as well as a great way to sharpen your spot-and-stalk skills.
With a little research and scouting, you should be able to locate some areas that hold feral hogs that will provide you excellent odds of success.