SOCIAL CIRCLE -- If you are looking to stock up that freezer with one of the healthiest meats available -- your time is here! The Georgia deer firearms season opens Saturday and continues through Jan. 12, 2020, statewide.
“We are shaping up for yet another excellent deer season,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division. “Through reductions in doe harvest, deer population goals have been met for most of Georgia and the population is stable. Let’s all do our part to maintain this wonderful tradition, and introduce a new hunter, youth or adult, to share our passion!”
During firearms deer season last year, more than 185,000 hunters harvested almost 170,000 deer in the state. The use of regulated deer hunting ensures that Georgia’s deer population continues to be healthy and strong.
Over one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Many areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons and modern firearms hunts. Dates and locations for hunts are available in the 2019-2020 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide (http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations).
“Oh, and with all the media coverage on deer diseases lately, let’s cut through the confusion and talk facts,” said Killmaster. “To date, neither chronic wasting disease (CWD) or tuberculosis (TB) have been detected in Georgia deer. However, there are circumstances where wildlife biologists rely on the public to notify them of sick animals in order to monitor disease issues. Visit our website at https://georgiawildlife.com/deer-info to view the top five reasons to call.”
The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the antlered deer must have at least four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. Licenses can be purchased online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
Once you harvest a deer, you must report it through Georgia Game Check. Deer can be checked on the Outdoors GA app (useable with or without cell service), at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661. Reminder that if you have the Outdoors GA app, always be sure to update the app so you have the most current version.
For more information, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.