Nearly half of Georgia’s deer hunters will have to check for antlers before they pull the trigger when firearms season begins this Saturday, Oct. 17. Verifying that a deer has some headgear on opening day is something many hunters haven’t had to do in a number of years.
WRD cut the number of either-sex deer hunting days, and moved either-sex days away from opening weekend, in a number of Georgia counties in response to lower deer populations. Fawn survival rates are significantly lower than they used to be Georgia, primarily due to predation by coyotes.
In large portions of north and central Georgia (orange on the map), hunters will not have an either-sex hunting opportunity on private hunting lands until a stretch of days from Oct. 31-Nov. 15. Then, they’ll experience a short break, and either-sex hunting will continue from Nov. 23-Jan. 1. The last 10 days of the season, Jan. 2-10, 2016, will be buck-only in those counties.
In a large swath of southeast, Georgia counties (yellow on the map), hunters can only shoot an antlered buck for the first nine days of gun season, which includes the first two weekends of the season. Those hunters will then be able to shoot antlerless deer from Oct. 26-Jan. 10.
Hunters in some metro Atlanta counties, along with those hunting in southwest Georgia and some who hunt in eastern-central Georgia will enjoy either-sex hunting all season long. This is a change from last year, when a large majority of all Georgia counties were closed to antlerless hunting for much of December.