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Hunting Regulations
Protected Species: It is unlawful to take non-game wildlife except fiddler crabs, coyotes, armadillos, groundhogs, beavers, starlings, English sparrows, pigeons, and venomous snakes. Additionally, rats, mice, frogs, spring lizards, freshwater crayfish, freshwater turtles, and freshwater mussels may be taken except for species on Georgiaís Protected Species List. The taking of freshwater mussels requires a Fishing License or Commercial Fishing License. For more information on the commercial taking of freshwater mussels, consult your local state fisheries office.

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Unlawful Activities:

For unlawful actions when hunting on a wildlife management area, see WMA Regulations.
It is unlawful to:

  • Import any whole cervid (deer) carcass or cervid carcass part from any state having a documented case of cervid infected with CWD, except that the following may be imported: 1)boned-out meat; 2) commercially processed cuts of meat; 2) meat with no part of the spinal cord or head attached; 4) clean skull plates with antlers attached; 5) clean antlers; 6) finished taxidermy heads; 7) clean upper canines (buglers, whistlers, ivories).
  • Hunt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Use any pitfall, deadfall, snare, catch, trap, net, exposed salt or minerals, live decoy, or baited hook to take game species
  • Hunt within 200 yards of bait
  • Hunt within sight of bait, regardless of distance
  • Hunt or shoot from or across a public road
  • Discharge a firearm within 50 yards of a public road
  • Hunt from a vehicle, plane, or boat under power
  • Hunt without landowners' permission including power line, gas line, railroad and other rights-of-way.
  • Written permission must be obtained if land is so posted
  • Use drugs, poisons, chemicals, smoke, gas, explosives, or electronically-amplified sounds to hunt any game species
  • Use electronic communications equipment to aid in the pursuit of game
  • Use of a computer or any other device to remotely discharge a firearm for the purpose of hunting
  • Sell or purchase any game species or parts thereof, except antlers, hides, and tails of legally taken deer and tails of legally taken squirrels, and legally taken alligator products
  • Disturb wildlife dens, holes, or homes, or drive wildlife, except poisonous snakes, from their dens, holes, or homes
  • Blind wildlife with lights
  • Kill or cripple game without reasonable efforts to retrieve
  • Hold, release, or import wildlife without a permit from the DNR
  • Conceal taking or possession of wildlife (or parts) which the person in possession reasonably should have known was obtained illegally

Training Dogs: There is no closed season on training dogs on private lands. On National Forest Lands, dogs may not be trained from June 1 - Aug. 14, or as otherwise provided, and pen raised birds may not be used at any time. It is unlawful to run deer with dogs, except during open seasons for hunting deer with dogs, or to take game by any means while training hunting dogs, except during open seasons for such game. It is unlawful to possess firearms (except handguns with blank or shot cartridges), axes, climbers, or other equipment for taking game while training hunting dogs except that shotguns with number six or smaller shot may be used while training pointing, flushing, and retrieving dogs using pen raised quail and pigeons provided that the dog trainer maintains proof of purchase of pen raised quail. Persons training dogs for hunting must have a valid Hunting License unless they are on their own land or land of an immediate relative.

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Required Clothing: Anyone (including archery hunters) hunting deer, bear or feral hog during the firearms/ primitive weapons deer or bear seasons, or anyone accompanying such person must at all times wear at least 500 square inches of hunter orange as an outer garment above the waist. Hunter orange is not required on WMA or Corps of Engineers (COE) tracts designated archery-only, unless otherwise indicated.

Legal Hours: For hunting are 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset, except that alligators, raccoons, opossums, foxes, coyotes, bobcats and feral hogs may be hunted at night. However, only battery powered lights not exceeding 6 volts (12 volts for alligators) or fuel type lanterns may be carried by hunters for locating these animals. Legal hours for migratory bird hunting conform to federal regulations.

Closed Areas: Hunting for all species of wildlife is prohibited on that portion of Morgan Falls Lake (Bull Sluice) lying within Fulton Co. and in Willeo Creek. Counties or parts of counties not specifically open by law or regulation are closed to hunting. Counties open for hunting do not include lands lying within WMAs, PFAs, State Parks, or other State and Federal lands except when such lands are specifically opened.

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Special Deer Regulations

Dogs
Deer may be hunted with dogs only during authorized seasons and localities. Additionally, deer may be hunted with dogs only on properties of at least 1000 contiguous acres or privately owned properties of at least 250 contiguous acres that are properly permitted by the DNR. Permits are specific to a piece of property. Only one annual permit application per property should be submitted. Applications for a permit must be made at least 30 days prior to hunting deer with dogs. Applicants wishing to hunt on opening day must submit an application by September 19, 2008. Applications for a permit may be obtained by contacting any WRD office. There is no application fee. However, to legally hunt deer with dogs, each hunter 16 years and older must possess a deer dog hunting license in addition to all other required licenses and permits.The fee for this license is $5 except that Honorary, Sportsmen’s and Lifetime license holders may obtain the license at no charge. Dogs used for hunting deer on such properties must be marked with the assigned permit number during a hunt. The permit number also must be clearly displayed on all vehicles being used during a dog deer hunt. For more information call 770/761-3044

DEER HUNTING REGULATIONS

LAKES, STREAMS & PONDS: It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond.

RECORDING DEER HARVEST: Except for WMA and National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) hunts requiring hunter checkout of harvested deer, hunters may not remove a deer from the place of kill until the deer harvest record (attached to the hunterís license) has been permanently marked. Hunters may not possess or use multiple Big Game Licenses or deer harvest records. Landowners and Honorary or Lifetime License holders must obtain a deer harvest record and must record all deer harvest information. The deer harvest record must remain with the license.

TRANSPORTING DEER HARVESTED BY ANOTHER HUNTER: Persons transporting deer harvested by another hunter must possess, in writing, the complete name, address, telephone and hunting license number of the person who harvested the deer.

COOLER LOCKERS: Whole or field dressed deer received by a cold storage or processing facility must be marked by the facility operator with hunterís name, county of kill, sex of deer, and date of kill.

HEAD OF DEER: It is unlawful to remove the head of a deer until the deer is self processed or surrendered to a storage facility for storage or processing.

ANTLERS: It is unlawful to kill a deer unless it has antlers (bone) visible above the hair, except during either-sex or antlerless seasons or hunts.

RIGHTS-OF-WAY/TRANSMISSION TOWERS: Transmission towers are property of the utility company. Hunting from a stand or platform attached to a transmission tower is trespassing and is prohibited. Written permission must be obtained from the landowner to hunt on power line, gas line, railroad, or other rights-of-way.

SEASON LIMIT is 10 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer. One of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of 4 points, 1 inch or longer, on one side of the antlers. There are no antler restrictions for the other antlered buck except in counties with special antler restrictions. Deer killed on WMAs or NWRs requiring check-out of harvested deer will be tagged with a special WMA/NWR tag and do not count toward the season limit. Deer killed on WMA sign-in hunts and all other deer killed in Georgia must be recorded on the hunterís deer harvest record and counted toward the hunterís season limit.

ARCHERY-ONLY COUNTIES: Deer may be hunted ONLY with legal archery equipment in Clayton, Cobb, & DeKalb counties, and that portion of Fulton Co. lying north of GA Hwy 92. Hunter orange is not required in archery-only counties.

COUNTY-WIDE ANTLER RESTRICTIONS: Antlered bucks may be harvested in Dooly and Macon counties only if they have a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches. In Hancock, Harris, Meriwether, Montgomery, Randolph, Talbot, and Troup counties, antlered bucks may be taken only if they have a minimum of 4 antler points, 1 inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.

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For More Information

You can purchase hunting and fishing licenses and renew boat registrations by phone by calling 1-888-748-6887.

Hunting regulations are set by the Board of Natural Resources, acting on the recommendations of the Department's wildlife biologists and other field personnel. Laws are set by the General Assembly. The Wildlife Resources Division designed this guide to help you understand seasons and regulations for hunting in Georgia. For complete rules and the exact wording, refer to the Game and Fish Code and the current copy of the Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division's regulations on file with the Secretary of State.

For Additional Information...

Hunting Information (770) 918-6416
Hunting Licenses (770) 414-3333
Fishing Information (770) 918-6418
Vessel Registration (770) 414-3337

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