The time is almost here! Archery hunters will get to hit the woods beginning Saturday, Sept. 14 for their chance at bringing home some venison, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).
Last year, 80,000 archery hunters harvested almost 48,000 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2019-2020 deer season.
“It’s hard to believe that deer season is almost here. Let’s hope we get another nice cold snap on September 14th,” said state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster. “A Georgia deer can yield anywhere from 20 to 60 pounds of excellent quality meat, and archery season brings our first crack at stocking up the freezer. Keep in mind, especially if we don’t get a cold snap, that it is important to get early season deer field dressed as quickly as possible to maintain the integrity and best flavor of venison.”
Georgia WRD operates more than 100 public wildlife management areas (WMAs). These areas offer hunting dates throughout deer season, and even some specialty deer hunts, including youth, ladies, seniors, and disability and returning veterans license holders. Maps, dates and more info can be found at https://georgiawildlife.com/locations/hunting.
Hunters can find additional opportunity on Voluntary Public Access, or VPA, properties. A USDA grant allows for the arrangement of temporary agreements with private landowners for public hunting opportunities.
State law allows hunters to harvest up to 10 antlerless deer, and no more than two antlered deer (with one of the two antlered deer having a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). Certain metro counties (Bibb, Chatham, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale) offer either-sex archery deer hunting through Jan. 31. Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time on private land during the deer season.
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).
All deer hunters must report their harvest using Georgia Game Check. Deer can be reported on the Outdoors GA app (which now works whether you have cell service or not), at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, or by calling 1-800-366-2661.
For more on deer hunting, including finding a game processor, reviewing regulations, viewing maps (either sex day or the rut map), visit https://georgiawildlife.com/deer-info.