Georgia Bow Season Opens Sept. 8

For most hunters in Georgia, the deer season is the most anticipated time of the year and this season archers get first draw when the season opens Sept. 8.

Last year, 118,500 archery hunters killed more than 68,000 deer, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. Statewide archery season runs through Oct. 12, although hunters may hunt deer with archery equipment through the entire deer season.

“Archery season in the Peach State offers excellent deer hunting opportunities and a chance to bag a quality buck,” said John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management.  “Georgia has more than 1 million acres of public land and has had 460 Georgia bucks accepted into the Pope and Young Club. This makes it a top destination for
non-resident hunters.”

In fact, Georgia ranks No. 1 in the nation for attracting out-of-state hunters, according to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Hunters account for $679 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.1 billion ripple effect.

Many public lands offer specialty hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2012-13 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide.

Georgia offers more than 90 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use. These areas are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ Wildlife Restoration Program.

Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and 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).  Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license also is required.

All deer hunters, including big game license holders, honorary and lifetime license holders, hunters under 16 years of age and landowners, should obtain a new deer harvest record.  Deer harvest records are required for any person hunting deer, regardless of age, are free of charge and available at or at any retail license agent.

Hunters must complete a deer harvest record before moving a deer from the site of a kill, except when participating in a wildlife management area or national wildlife refuge hunt that requires hunters to check out harvested deer. Hunters may not possess or use multiple big game licenses or deer harvest records and should keep harvest records with
hunting licenses.

For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and
WMA maps, visit