Deer Hunting in Georgia

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  • B
  • 1,000,000

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 250,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • $42.50

    It's $25 for a big-game license.

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $327.50

    It's $327.50 for a big-game license.

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 191 4/8"

    Taken by Buck Ashe in Monroe County in 1962.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 183

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 249 5/8"

    Taken by Billy Padgett in 1998 in Telfair County.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 56

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

John Bailey with a fine Georgia buck. (John Bailey photo)

Season Dates (2021):

Statewide archery season is September 11 to January 9. There is an extended archery season that runs until January 31 for Barrow, Bibb, Chatham, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Decatur, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Muscogee, Paulding, Rockdale and Seminole counties. Primitive weapons season is October 9 to January 9. Firearms season runs October 16 to January 9. Please check the Georgia DNR website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Georgia is riding a long trend of improvement to its deer program. Better management practices coupled with selective hunter harvest have helped increase the buck age class structure. In fact, according to harvest data, the buck quality has been steadily increasing since the 1990s. Back then, bucks aged 1 ½ were a large component of the overall harvest. The numbers of 1 ½-year-old bucks in the annual harvest has decreased greatly, and now there are many more bucks in the 2 ½- and 3 ½-year-old age ranges being tagged.

Georgia is certainly known for its liberal bag limits. You can take 12 deer per season (statewide). No more than 10 may be antlerless and no more than two may be antlered. So far, Georgia is free of chronic wasting disease (CWD), too, and hunters hope to keep it that way.

According to Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the good old days of deer hunting are right now.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

The Peach State certainly has bigger deer than its neighbors to the east and west. According to the GDNR, trophy buck hunting has been fairly stable over the past five to 10 years. Some of the best areas for a trophy buck are located in southwestern Georgia and along the Flint River Basin. This part of the state has good genetics and agricultural areas. An overlooked area for big bucks is the metro Atlanta area, too. This urban/suburban landscape with lower hunting pressure lets bucks get older. Some of the top counties for bucks over 125 inches include Colquitt, Dooly, Dougherty, Fulton, Macon, Worth, and 15 to 20 other counties sprinkled throughout the state.

Trying to find a public property to hunt on? Use GDNR’s interactive public lands map, which shows its wildlife management areas (WMAs), public fishing areas, and more. According to Killmaster, all of the WMAs in the Piedmont area have the best average of deer numbers and quality bucks. Find a good spot here, pattern the deer, and fill that tag.

Georgia Harvests

  • Amy Kennelly

    Laurens County, Georgia

  • Carson Etheridge

    Barrow, Georgia

From the Realtree Trophy Den