Firearms Deer Season Kicks Off in Georgia with High Expectations
GEORGIA RADIO - As Georgia's firearms deer season for 2023-2024 gets underway, hunters across the state are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting and productive season. According to a recent news release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, with last year's statistics showing around 200,000 hunters harvesting approximately 210,000 deer, this regulated hunting season plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy and robust deer population while providing hunters with a source of sustainable, local, and healthy meat.
Charlie Killmaster, the state deer biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division, expressed his optimism about the upcoming season, stating, "I am expecting a fantastic season ahead." Killmaster also emphasized the importance of hunters being aware of the laws in place to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) to Georgia.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal illness that affects deer, and to date, it has not been detected in Georgia. To ensure it stays that way, hunters are being encouraged not to bring whole carcasses or heads into the state. Additionally, they are advised to be aware of the regulations governing the transportation of deer parts from out-of-state hunts. More information on these precautions and CWD can be found at GeorgiaWildlife.com/cwd.
For the 2023-2024 season, Georgia offers over one million acres of public hunting land, including more than 100 state-operated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs). This vast and diverse landscape provides ample opportunities for hunters to pursue their passion and make the most of their hunting experience.
Here are some key hunting basics for those participating in this year's firearms deer season:
Dates and Harvest Limits: According to state law, hunters can harvest up to 10 antlerless deer and no more than 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 or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread. For most hunters in the state, the deer season ends on January 14. However, for counties with extended firearms or archery seasons, it's important to review the Georgia Hunting Regulations 2023-24 guidebook. Deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment on private land during the primitive weapons and firearms deer season.
Licenses: Georgia deer hunters must possess a hunting license, a big game license, and a current deer harvest record. All of these licenses and records are available online at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, over the phone at 1-800-366-2661, or through a license agent (a list of agents is available online).
Report Harvest: It is mandatory for all harvested deer to be reported through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours. This can be done using the Outdoors GA app (which works regardless of cell service), at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661.
Wear Your Orange: All deer hunters, including archers, are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during the primitive weapons season.
With these guidelines and regulations in place, Georgia hunters can look forward to an enjoyable and productive firearms deer season while helping to protect the state's deer population from the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease. As they venture into the wilderness, they play a crucial role in preserving the beauty and diversity of Georgia's natural landscape while enjoying the rewards of responsible hunting.