Do you hunt? Will you take advantage of the upcoming week-long primitive weapons deer hunting season opening Saturday, Oct. 15?
Last year, more than 5,000 deer were harvested by nearly 25,000 hunters, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“Primitive weapons season is a great way to get a jump on deer season,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division Game Management Section. “Only a fraction of Georgia deer hunters takes advantage of this season, but it provides you with an early ‘shot’ at a successful harvest before the pressure of the firearms season begins.”
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 hunts. Hunt dates and locations available in the 2022-2023 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/.
Introducing a young person to hunting this year? A hunter under 16 years of age may hunt deer with any legal deer firearm during Primitive Weapons Season, including during any wildlife management area primitive weapons hunts.
During the primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, air bows, muzzleloading shotguns — 20 gauge and larger — and air rifles and muzzleloading firearms that are .30 caliber or larger.
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 — or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread.
All deer hunters, including archers, are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during primitive weapons season. Scopes and other optical sighting devices are legal for muzzleloading firearms and archery equipment.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record (free). Licenses can be purchased online at 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 within 24 hours of harvest. Deer can be reported on the Outdoors GA app (which works regardless of cell service), 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 GeorgiaWildlife.com/deer-info.