Hunting is a popular sport in Georgia, with deer at the top of most hunter’s lists. Turkey, dove, quail, rabbit and squirrels can also be found as well as waterfowl such as ducks and geese.
Nearly 600,000 Georgians take part in this pastime every year – racking up an impressive 10 million days spent out in nature annually. They’re lucky to have so much opportunity with 104 different Wildlife Management Areas scattered throughout the state – it makes for a great spot for any outdoor enthusiast looking to get their hunting license put into use.
With all the biological diversity that Georgia has on offer – there’s no better place than here if you’ve been considering taking up hunting. In this detailed guide, we will cover everything you need to know about hunting in Georgia whether the types of animals you can hunt, the best places to hunt, and license information.
What Can You Hunt in Georgia?
If you’re looking to go big game hunting, Georgia’s got you covered. From white-tailed deer and wild turkeys to waterfowl like ducks, geese, and woodcock – there are plenty of options in the Peach State for experienced or novice hunters alike.
And if small game is more your thing? No problem! Rabbits, squirrels, quail, and doves can all be hunted with a shotgun or bow during designated seasons. So no matter what type of hunt you’re after – come explore the diverse wildlife found in Georgia.
Are you ready to have the hunt of a lifetime? Georgia is the perfect place for deer hunting. Whether you’re an experienced bowhunter looking for some backwoods action, or a rifle hunter eager to stalk open fields – this state has it all.
With plenty of whitetail and sika deer roaming around, plus expansive public lands and even private properties available with proper licensing and permits – your dream hunt awaits. But that’s not all! Outfitters across Georgia offer guided hunts with knowledgeable staff who can help make sure you get the most out of your trip.
The White-Tailed Deer is the most commonly found species of deer in Georgia. They inhabit various parts of the state, from coastal marshes to forests.
During summer, these creatures are easily distinguished by their reddish-brown coat while in winter it shifts to a more greyish hue with one exception: a white underside on their tail which they use as an alarm signal when there’s danger about.
When faced with predators, these agile animals can reach speeds up to 40 mph and jump over 9 feet high—a truly impressive feat.
Deer Season in Georgia
|Extended Archery||Sep 09 – Jan 31||Only for Selected Counties|
|Archery (Either Sex)||Sep 09 – Oct 13||Statewide|
|Primitive Weapons & Youth Only||Oct 14 – Oct 20||Statewide|
|Firearms (Buck only)||Oct 21 – Jan 14||Statewide|
|Extended Firearms||Oct 21 – Jan 15||Only for Selected Counties|
Georgia has an impressive bear population with three distinct groups. The largest, the North Georgia bears, have a sprawling season with over 3,000 of them in their habitat.
In contrast to that is the Central Georgia group – only 300 strong and given one day to enjoy life outdoors. Last but not least comes South Georgia’s 800-strong community which gets four short windows for fresh air each year.
All these populations are unique and special in their own way – making sure there’s always something new to explore when it comes to wildlife.
Bear Season Georgia
|Archery (Bag Limit 2)||Sep 09 – Oct 13||Northern Zone|
|Primitive Weapons (Bag Limit 2)||Oct 14 – Oct 20||Northern Zone|
|Firearms (Bag Limit 2)||Oct 21 – Jan 14||Northern Zone|
|Firearms (Bag Limit 2)||Dec 16 – Dec 31||Central Zone|
|Firearms (Bag Limit 2)||Sep 21 – 23 Sep, Sep 28 – Sep 30||Southern Zone|
|Firearms (Bag Limit 2)||Oct 05 – Oct 07, Oct 12 – Oct 14||Southern Zone|
Georgia is home to an abundance of American alligators, and they make for some of the most thrilling hunting opportunities in the area. Alligator hunts can be quite a challenge since these formidable predators require skill and caution to take down, but you’ll find them in many places throughout the state.
To hunt safely, it’s best done at night when they are more active so remember to get your license first. Alligators play a critical role in their local environment too – not only do they keep fish populations healthy by preying on smaller species, but also help provide protection from coyotes or other predators that could harm livestock. So not only does this create an exciting experience for hunters, but it helps maintain balance in our ecosystem as well.
Alligator Season in Georgia
|Alligator||Aug 18 – Oct 02||Limited by zones.|
Fox hunting in Georgia is a thrilling experience due to its lush forests and stunning terrain. You can track down foxes while taking in the sights of rolling hills and majestic trees. The adrenaline rush you get when you set eyes on one is truly unmatched.
To be successful, it’s important to understand how foxes behave. They typically come out during twilight hours and tend to seek refuge in hollowed-out trees or dens – so make sure you know where they could be hiding before setting out on your hunt. Also, keep an eye out for open areas as these are usually places that they avoid.
Finally, remember that fox hunting is a regulated activity within the state of Georgia; therefore, make sure all permits have been obtained prior to beginning your adventure.
|Fox||Dec 01 – Feb 29||No Limit. Statewide|
Hunting feral hogs in Georgia is a challenging pursuit. These animals have razor-sharp tusks, claws, a strong sense of smell and hearing – making them difficult to approach.
To be successful when hunting these impressive creatures, you must come equipped with the right strategy and tactics; this includes wearing protective clothing such as long pants and sleeves, having enough bait like corn or sweet fruits nearby to attract them into range for your weapon, plus arming yourself with a reliable firearm that can take down the hog easily.
Once you’ve got everything ready, it’s time to locate signs of activity in the area – look out for tracks on mud or freshly disturbed earth which could indicate recent visits from hogs.
Set up baits strategically around the chosen location then wait until conditions are favorable before taking aim at your target. With luck you will be able to land yourself some exciting game – but remember safety always comes first.
Feral Hog Season Georgia
|Hogs (Public Land)||May 16 – May 31||Statewide|
|Hogs (Private Land)||Jan 01 – Dec 31||Statewide|
Georgia is a great place for turkey hunting. Successful turkey hunting in Georgia is all about knowing their habits and habitats. To get close to your target, look for wooded areas with open fields or meadows – these are prime spots.
During mating season, males are known to strut around while the females watch from nearby trees or brushy cover. Be sure you have the right gear for a successful hunt: camouflage clothing, face masks to disguise your scent, and decoys can help draw turkeys closer. And of course, don’t forget hunter orange as well as safe gun practices when out in the field.
|Private Land||Mar 30 – May 15||Statewide|
|Public Land||Apr 06 – May 15||Statewide|
|Youth/Special Season||Mar 23 – Mar 24||Statewide|
Hunting coyotes in The Peach State is an exciting and rewarding challenge, but it’s important to know the laws, regulations and behavior of these wily predators before taking on such a pursuit.
Optics are essential for scouting out your quarry, while decoys can help lure them closer – not forgetting camouflage clothing which will keep you hidden from view. Also, adding calls that mimic prey animals like rabbits or mice will increase your chances of success when hunting coyotes.
Above all else though, safety must be at the forefront of your mind; never take a shot unless you’re 100% certain of what lies beyond your target animal. If there’s any doubt whatsoever then it’s best to err on the side of caution and hold off until further confirmation has been made.
With this knowledge under your belt, you’ll have everything necessary for a successful hunt – now get out there and make those furry critters wish they’d stayed far away!
|Coyote||Jan 01 – Dec 31||Statewide|
Bobcats, a wild species native to Georgia, inhabit various landscapes across the state. Their home range is affected by gender and environmental quality. Though they may venture near human activity in search of food, bobcats rarely cause any trouble or put livestock at risk.
These felines are often misunderstood; however, with their diverse diet and remarkable adaptability, they can thrive in many different habitats – from forests to agricultural regions with plenty of early successional stages. You can hunt them in Georgia but only during a specific timeframe.
Bobcat Season in Georgia
|Bobcat||Dec 01 – Feb 29||No Limit|
Geogia’s mild climate provides ideal conditions for rabbits, making them plentiful and easily found. Rabbits tend to stay close to thick brush or areas with plenty of cover, so it’s important to know where they like to hide.
When scouting for rabbits, keep an eye out for their telltale signs: tracks, droppings, and their characteristic hopping gait. It’s also helpful to look for areas with plenty of grasses and weeds that provide food sources as well as cover.
Once you’ve located your quarry, it’s time to set up your hunt. In Georgia, you can use shotguns or .22 rifles when hunting rabbits – both are effective tools for taking down these small game animals.
Be sure to practice safety at all times by wearing bright orange clothing and keeping your gun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot.
|Rabbit||Nov 18 – Feb 29||Statewide|
Hunting raccoons in Georgia requires some essential gear and the right timing. For nighttime hunts, it’s best to have a flashlight or headlamp for navigating in the dark; while during daylight hours, spotlights or night vision equipment can be used instead.
A rifle or shotgun with a non-toxic shot is recommended since these critters are notoriously difficult to take down with just a bow and arrow. Some bait such as canned cat food, marshmallows, etc., should also be brought along to help lure them out of their hiding spots.
Raccoons are abundant across most of Georgia but they’re especially common near wooded areas and water sources – so those should definitely be your hunting grounds.
|Raccoon||Aug 15 – Feb 29||Public Land|
|Raccoon||Jan 01 – Dec 31||Private Land|
|Squirrel||Aug 15 – Feb 29||12 per hunter|
|Opossum||Aug 15 – Feb 29||Public Land|
|Opossum||Jan 01 – Dec 31||Private Land|
|Grouse||Oct 15 – Feb 29||——-|
|Crow||Nov 04 – Feb 01||No Limit|
|Quail||Nov 18 – Feb 29||——-|
|Duck||Nov 18 – Nov 26||6 per day. Early Season|
|Duck||Dec 09 – Jan 28||6 per day. Late Season|
|Sea Duck||Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28||5 per day|
|Woodcock||Dec 09 – Jan 22||3 per day|
|Merganser||Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28||5 per day|
|Coot||Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28||15 per day|
|Teal||Sep 09 – Sep 22||6 per day|
|Snipe||Nov 18 – Nov 28||8 per day|
|Galinule||Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 – Jan 28||15 per day|
|Mourning Dove||Sep 02 – Oct 08, Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 19 – Jan 31||15 per day|
|Early Canada Geese||Sep 02 – Sep 24||5 per day|
|Canada Geese||Oct 14 – Oct 29, Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 -Jan 28||5 per day|
|White-fronted Geese||Oct 14 – Oct 29, Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 -Jan 28||5 per day|
|Snow Geese||Oct 07 – Oct 22, Nov 18 – Nov 26, Dec 09 -Jan 28||5 per day|
|Falconry||Sep 02 – Sep 24, Oct 07 – Oct 22, Nov 11 – Nov 12||3 per day|
|Falconry||Nov 18 – Dec 02, Dec 09 – Jan 28||3 per day|
Georgia Hunting License Information
If you’re looking to hunt in Georgia, make sure you have the proper licenses before setting out. There’s a basic hunting license for those residing in Georgia that costs only $15 and grants access to small game like squirrels, rabbits, doves, and quail. For larger animals such as deer, turkey, bear, or wild hogs however additional permits may be required – these cost around $100 if you don’t live there.
Residents aged 16-64 can get a discounted youth/senior license for just $5 while non-residents of the same age pay $20.
It’s important to purchase a WMA permit ($19 for residents/$50 for non-residents) which allows access to specific areas where hunting is allowed plus an extra Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (costing another $5) if you are planning on targeting ducks or geese too.
You can also buy a lifetime license if you are interested in hunting in Georgia. For more information about licenses, kindly refer to the official Georgia Wildlife site.
Where Can You Hunt in Georgia?
Georgia is a prime destination for hunters from across the country. With its expansive Chattahoochee National Forest, spanning over 750,000 acres of diverse terrain and wildlife, it’s no surprise why hunting enthusiasts have made this their go-to spot.
Deer, turkey, bear–the forest has them all. Plus with designated areas specifically for waterfowlers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
For those looking to take their hunt up a notch, there are also several Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) scattered throughout the state that offer specialized hunts like quail and dove as well as bowhunting and trapping opportunities.
Public Hunting Places in Georgia
Chattahoochee National Forest
Chattahoochee National Forest offers some of the best hunting in Georgia. With over 750,000 acres of untouched wilderness, it’s home to a wide variety of game – from white-tailed deer and wild turkey to black bears and bobcats.
The terrain is varied enough for any style of hunter; still-hunting or stalking from a distance are both viable options. Plus, there’s plenty of open space and vegetation that makes finding great spots easy.
But be sure you’re familiar with all laws and regulations set forth by state and federal government before heading out into Chattahoochee – they take their hunting restrictions seriously here.
Whether you’re an experienced hunter looking for new challenges or just getting started on your outdoor journey, this forest should not be missed if you want an unforgettable experience filled with adventure.
Oconee National Forest
Oconee National Forest in Georgia offers a hunting paradise for all levels of outdoorsmen. From flat bottomlands to rolling hills and mountains, this forest provides plenty of cover for deer, turkey, small game, and more.
You can also test your angling skills on the many streams and rivers here. With over 100 miles of trails at your disposal, there’s no shortage of exploration opportunities either.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape or an extended hunting trip – Oconee National Forest has something to offer everyone year-round. Plus with camping spots available, you can extend that experience even further.
Crockford-Pigeon Mountain WMA
Crockford-Pigeon Mountain WMA is tucked away in northwest Georgia, spanning 8,000 acres of land. This expanse has it all – a variety of wildlife and myriad outdoor activities. From deer to turkey, quail to rabbits; the possibilities for hunting are endless.
There are also plenty of trails for hikers and bikers alike to explore. The terrain ranges from rolling hills to steep slopes with various habitats including hardwood forests, pine plantations, and open fields providing perfect cover for hunters looking for their next trophy animal. Not only that but streams and ponds are plentiful too – an ideal habitat for waterfowl.
Alapaha River WMA
Alapaha River WMA is renowned for its exceptional hunting and diverse wildlife. Located in south-central Georgia, this 30,000-acre sanctuary hosts an array of habitats from bottomland hardwoods to wetlands.
Here you can track deer, turkey, hog, and small game while also having the chance to observe otters, bobcats, beavers, coyotes, raccoons, quail and wild turkeys.
Hunting is allowed daily from pre-dawn till post sunset with a few exceptions during holidays when it’s closed off. If you’re experienced or just starting out there are check stations that provide necessary licenses/permits as well as accessible camping sites for overnighters.
And if you’re looking for some extra help – professional guides are available who can offer tips on how to spot game animals quickly & correctly field dress after harvesting.
Canoochee Sandhills WMA
Canoochee Sandhills WMA offers something for every hunter in southeast Georgia. Here, you can hunt white-tailed deer, wild turkey and small game with traditional still hunting techniques or enjoy a day of duck hunting during the winter months.
The terrain provides plenty of cover with rolling hills and open areas interspersed throughout – perfect for setting up blinds or stands. There are even wetlands that attract waterfowl species at certain times.
Private Hunting Places in Georgia
If you are looking for a more intimate hunting experience, then look no further than Georgia’s private reserves. Offering access to wild, untamed areas, these private hunting places in Georgia come with experienced guides that will help you find and successfully harvest game animals like deer, turkey, quail, and dove.
With their expertise in tracking wildlife and navigating through nature’s terrain – your hunt is sure to be successful.