Two pieces of data in last month’s GON Rate Your Season Survey suggest that Georgia deer hunting could be on the rebound.
First off, of the 1,868 ballots sent to GON, 17.3 percent of respondents ranked their deer season as “Excellent,” which is the second-highest percentage of excellent rankings GON has on record since the 2003 deer hunting season.
Secondly, only 17.8 percent of hunters rated their deer seasons as “Poor.” On the surface 17.8 percent may sound like bad news, but this is the lowest percentage of hunters ranking their season as poor since 2000.
In addition to the Rate Your Season Survey, readers also could answer two additional questions.
For each county you will see a letter and number, which shows the number of season ratings for that county (e-excellent, g-good, etc.).
Appling Co. E-1, F-1, P-1
Excellent: I killed my best two bucks to date, one opening day of gun season. Killed the other Oct. 25 and two does during bow season. I had nice bucks on camera all season, but my hunting was over pretty quick, so not many sightings. My wife killed her first ever deer, an 8-point.
Fair: Unseasonably warm.
Atkinson Co. G-3, F-2
Good: The last Saturday of November, I killed a nice 6-point north of Axson. The buck was in very good shape.
Fair: I didn’t hunt much this year. Saw deer when I did go, but no shooters.
Fair: Saw many deer during bow season but less during gun season.
Bacon Co. P-1
Poor: Too much night hunting, too many people killing deer for sale, too many people killing deer out of season.
Baldwin Co. E-1, G-11, F-3, P-5
Excellent: Killed the nicest buck of my life and another nice buck. Also took a doe and saw a lot of deer in my food plot.
Good: Plenty of deer at club. Low pressure and few deer killed makes it a great season.
Good: We killed a few but not as many as usual.
Good: Saw a lot of deer this year and several nice bucks, but I just trophy hunt, and the buck I was hunting was nocturnal, and I never saw him in the daylight.
Good: As a meat eater, I had more than ample opportunities to fill the freezer.
Good: Saw deer almost every hunt, including lots of does and yearlings, plus multiple 2.5- and 3.5-year-old bucks that have a lot of potential to make someone very happy within the next year or so.
Good: More decent bucks than in previous years.
Good: Could have been better if the cold temperatures occurred earlier in the season rather than late in the season.
Good: Saw a decent amount of deer.
Good: Harvested four deer. Hunted suburban deer just north of Milledgeville. Didn’t make a dent in the deer population.
Good: I killed a very decent 9-point, 130-class buck.
Fair: Only saw one deer in three trips.
Fair: Just saw limited activity.
Fair: Have seen fewer deer overall and fewer larger bucks and had fewer on trail cams.
Poor: Despite a lot of hours in the woods, I did not see many deer. Typically, I will see several bucks through the season and six to eight does per hunt. So far, I have seen only six bucks and have not seen a deer in the last six hunts.
Poor: Two deer total seen while hunting this year. Four deer total killed on our lease all season. Coyote numbers way up. They are really putting a hurting on our deer herd.
Poor: No sign of a rut.
Poor: The landowner sold the timber on our lease, and the timber company started cutting the week before gun season. We have not killed the first deer. However, the club across the creek did not have a good season either. They have passed up smaller bucks but have not seen a shooter. They have only taken three does to date.
Baker Co. G-2, F-1
Good; Saw lots of deer but not the trophy I was looking for. Still have a few days to get it done. Usually get our best bucks after Christmas.
Good: I have seen a lot of deer, but with the rut starting a bit later in the season, it did not make for easy hunting near the beginning of the season. But we all have those seasons that are better than others.
Fair: On this property, we always have some 4- and a couple 5-year-old bucks show up during the rut. This year only a couple of 3-year-olds showed up. The deer activity here is mostly controlled by the decisions of the hunters on two sides. On one side, we have our normal straight meat hunter. On side two, we got some new neighbors that are on the second year of seeing just how many they can kill. During Christmas, we had what bucks we have chasing does almost on a daily basis only to watch these hunters loading these does on trucks when we leave. This place has managed to produce nice bucks. We run cameras year-round, and I have in the past managed to follow bucks up to 4 and 5 years old if we will give them a chance.
Banks Co. E-3, G-2, F-2, P-8
Excellent: I have a really good deer population.
Excellent: Son killed his first doe and buck this season.
Good: Saw lots of deer and passed on several nice bucks.
Good: Decent amount of deer seen on stand. Had opportunities at multiple bucks.
Fair: Does not seem to be as many deer as there were a few years ago.
Fair: The coyotes are out of control. We saw coyotes on almost every hunt and saw them chasing deer seven or eight different times. We kill as many as possible, but they just keep coming back.
Poor: Was unable to hunt many days this season. Was only able to go four times total.
Poor: There are not any good bucks. Need to shorten gun season to give bucks time to grow and mature.
Poor: Poor deer movement and sightings.
Poor: Very few deer and no keeper bucks.
Poor: Didn’t even see but a handful of deer all season. Public lands in north Georgia are horrible for the population of deer. Never see more than one or two at a time if you see any at all.
Barrow Co. E-1, G-2, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Killed a pretty buck.
Good: Got to hunt more.
Fair: Our 10-doe limit I believe is hurting our population. Too many doe days equals less deer over time. Honestly, I still hear people talk about “filling the freezer!” Really? Beef isn’t that expensive. I also live near Fort Yargo State Park. In year’s past, you usually would see deer several times a week, now maybe once a month. Too much hunting pressure. I wonder… do we have the insurance companies/regulators to thank for our increased deer hunts days/doe limits?
Fair: There was mild weather opening of gun season just like last year. The rut started a little earlier than expected, and home/subdivision development really affected the pattern of shooter bucks in the area. Although the quantity of bucks was up a lot from last year, they were not mature bucks ready for harvest.
Poor: I had little to no deer movement on my property once the season began. I went 15 days between pictures on a trail camera.
Bartow Co. E-2, G-7, F-7, P-5
Excellent: Saw a good number of deer, all appeared to be healthy. Killed a nice 9-pointer, passed up a number of smaller bucks and had some other nice bucks on camera.
Good: Saw a reasonable amount of deer.
Good: Saw more deer than the last couple of seasons. Also noticed the rut seemed to be much stronger than past several years.
Good: I enjoyed hunting. Saw deer.
Good: Saw plenty of wildlife.
Good: I saw a lot of deer and did harvest one nice buck and one doe. I also harvested two bears.
Good: Was able to kill a nice 8-point. Saw a good many deer.
Good: Killed a mature 10-point and passed up or saw a few other good bucks. Killed a doe as well and saw good many deer.
Fair: Saw three deer.
Fair: Good. Saw a good many deer.
Fair: Not enough available land. Too many guys in the woods.
Fair: A lot of activity but small bucks. Sporadic rut. Weather was hot until late season.
Fair: Much fewer deer seen this year.
Poor: I didn’t harvest any deer. Went out four times and didn’t see a single deer. But it more than likely had to do mostly with me.
Poor: I hunt Allatoona and Pine Log WMAs, and there are just too many people out there that ruin your hunt.
Poor: Deer population is really down.
Poor: Saw very few deer.
Ben Hill Co. E-1, G-4, F-2
Excellent: Heavy fawn recruitment this season. Lots of 2- to 3-year-old bucks showing great potential for trophy size in the next couple years. Club had great success harvesting deer early in the season and very prominent rut activity in early November.
Good: Saw more fawns than last year, lots more does.
Good: Saw plenty of deer but no big bucks.
Good: Put a 5-acre field in, planted in soybeans, saw more deer than ever before.
Good: Saw a lot of deer. Took out two cull bucks and let some 3.5-year-old deer go.
Fair: No harvests, not much time to hunt due to work.
Berrien Co. E-2, G-2, F-1
Excellent: Had a great season with my family. I harvested a good 10-point, my wife shot a great 11-point, and my youngest daughter took her first deer. Have seen plenty of deer from bow season up to late season. Saw rut action this year with the crazy weather. I’m one who puts in the work in the off season to ensure my season and deer herd are in great shape come September.
Good: Was able to pass on lots of deer that I didn’t want to shoot.
Bibb Co. G-1, F-2, P-2
Good: Saw a lot of deer. Two trophy-class deer killed on our lease this year.
Fair: Lack of food for deer.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of deer.
Poor: After opening of gun season, saw no more deer and hunted hard. Hogs turned up in our area and devastated the food plots. Hogs are worse that coyotes now.
Poor: I did not see a lot of deer movement. Huge lack of mature bucks on a club I joined this past season.
Bleckley Co. E-1, G-2, F-2
Excellent: We harvested four big deer off land. Grandson killed first buck with me. Feeding deer really helps.
Good: Saw many 6- and 8-point bucks. Not many does.
Fair: Only shot one deer.
Fair: Only killed three deer.
Brantley Co. P-1
Poor: No time to hunt.
Brooks Co. E-3, G-3
Excellent: Given the fact loggers moved in after the opening weekend, I’ve been blessed with an excellent season. I was able to harvest two does and a mature buck. The weather this year really helped out our deer movement.
Excellent: Killed two over 140.
Excellent: Killed a couple and saw a lot. Overall, a good year.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Got all the meat I needed.
Good: In terms of seeing deer, it has been slow, perhaps one of the leanest years in awhile for me personally. However, I lost access to a premium property I’d hunted for years and not as much deer activity where I hunted this year. The weather played spoiler with some of my hunting, also. That being said, just being out in the woods is good and is a large part of why I hunt. I never get enough of that.
Fair: Our deer numbers are still very low. It would be great to see more deer per hunt.
Bryan Co. G-1, F-2, P-3
Fair: Too many restrictions
Poor: Did not kill a deer.
Poor: Was not able to hunt because of back surgery, but what few times I got to go, I had fun.
Bulloch Co. E-3, G-2, F-2, P-1
Excellent: More buck sightings. Only one trip that I did not see a deer.
Excellent: We saw lots of deer. Harvested two mature bucks and six does. Saw lots of young bucks that have lots of future potential.
Good: I was blessed to have some encounters with two nice 3-year-old 8-points during the rut, I saw several deer during the rifle season and had some great shooters on camera.
Fair. Did not hunt much. Did not see any mature bucks.
Fair: Started out good with lots of bucks I let walk. Around mid November until now, I haven’t seen but a couple bucks while hunting. I only have them on camera at night.
Poor: Deer population down. Deer/dog hunters along with farmers with permits are having a significant impact on an already below-average population. Sat 11 times, saw 0 deer. Cameras have much fewer deer on them year after year.
Burke Co. E-7, G-6, F-4, P-1
Excellent: Saw lots of deer while hunting. Got two little bucks in one hunt. Got some nice 7- and 8-points on the cams, also a nice 10.
Excellent: Lot of deer, nice bucks and large does.
Excellent: I harvested two 9-point bucks and three slickheads. Now I have enough meat to last me till 2018 deer season.
Excellent: Trapping over the last two years has really paid dividends. Seeing large numbers of deer at different age classes.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Population looks very strong in our area. Not many mature bucks, though. I think we have too many does on our lease. Still a good hunting season.
Good: I have seen some nice herds of deer of all ages. A couple of nice bucks but no 8-pointers of full size and over 3 years old and no 10-pointers.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Lots of deer on our property. Let a lot of young bucks walk. Killed a mature 6-point and mature doe for meat. If we keep managing, we will have some nice deer coming on if they stay around.
Good: Deer population was good in our area.
Fair: Nocturnal animals.
Fair: Unusual weather and acorn crop this year.
Fair: Not enough time in woods.
Fair: Deer activity on land that I have had for 10 years seemed average.
Fair: Didn’t get to hunt much, health issues.
Poor: No time to hunt and few deer when I could.
Butts Co. G-1, F-4, P-1
Fair: I think coyotes are still a problem. I also get photos of my neighbor’s dogs on my property, and I’m pretty sure they run deer.
Fair: I didn’t get a deer this year, but it was still a good season.
Fair: Did not see deer like I think we should, but we just got lease two years ago. The club before us lost lease, so I think they killed everything they could before leaving. It has gotten better every year so far. I also hunt in Clayton County, and the hunting there is awesome.
Calhoun Co. G-6
Good: Saw a lot of deer and had some great deer on camera.
Good: Was able to harvest a nice buck. Mid-season hot weather made it difficult to enjoy it as much as I prefer.
Good: I saw more than 30 deer and killed two, one buck and one doe.
Camden Co. G-1, P-1
Poor: Didn’t see anything to shoot, and all the pictures on my game cam were all at night, just my luck.
Candler Co. E-2, G-1, F-3
Excellent: Very pleased with season. Seeing lots of quality deer. Don’t change a thing.
Excellent: Best deer season in years. Quality buck and two big does in freezer by Nov. 1. Saw deer on almost every hunt. Was really worried about four years ago, but herd is thriving.
Fair: Full moon and hot during rut.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer, just no shooter bucks.
Fair: We seem to have less deer than we have had in the past.
Carroll Co. E-5, G-4, F-6, P-6
Excellent: I saw a lot of deer, killed a nice 8-pointer. I believe the Coyote Cull is biggest factor.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and took two very nice 8-points and let so many smaller ones go that I’ll have some huge deer to hunt next year.
Excellent: I’ve seen numerous deer on most of my outings throughout the entire season. I’ve taken four as of now and have passed on numerous other opportunities to take deer. I have not encountered any mature bucks, but the consistency at which I have encountered deer ranks this season as excellent.
Good: Saw a few deer. One buck.
Good: I’m a bow-only hunter and harvested six and could have taken many more but chose not too. I’ve witnessed more deer and more rut activity but in a much shorter period. Also seen a abundance of persimmons and acorns.
Good: Average deer seen.
Fair: Not many does, and bucks were young.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of deer.
Fair: Didn’t see any bucks more than 100 inches and heard coyotes every evening.
Fair: Not a ton of deer movement. Lots of small bucks chasing during peak rut. Due to the overwhelming number of bucks killed compared to does, I feel as if people who do not bowhunt and get their meat early get very itchy trigger fingers and shoot what ever they see since Carroll County doe days do not open until after Thanksgiving with a gun.
Fair: Just a normal season. I saw lots of deer early in the season but less as the season has gotten later in the year.
Fair: Deer numbers are down somewhat.
Poor: Only got to hunt twice.
Poor: Very few deer seen.
Poor: Saw very few deer, not even on cameras.
Poor: One fawn on game camera, numerous coyotes. Small tracts of property can’t hold deer compared to large tracts with large food plots and supplemental feeding. Neighbors shoot firearms day and night, including rapid fire, like it was a range, not just preseason sighting in.
Poor: Less deer seen in the woods.
Catoosa Co. E-1, F-1, P-1
Fair: Deer sightings in the areas I hunt are down. For the second year in a row, I could have but chose not to take a deer.
Charlton Co. F-1
Fair: Some nice deer, just to much pressure in the area where I hunt.
Chatham Co. E-1, G-1, P-1
Excellent: Saw numerous deer and several great bucks.
Good: Season produced the amount of deer that we would expect for the amount of time spent hunting.
Chattahoochee Co. E-1, F-1, P-1
Excellent: My wife and son both killed their largest bucks.
Poor: I saw few deer compared to the last few. I did harvest a fat young 6-pointer for the freezer, but he was one I would normally let walk.
Chattooga Co. G-3, F-3, P-1
Good: Doe population down, buck population up.
Good: Didn’t hunt as much as usual, but when I did, I took two mature bucks
Good: Saw plenty of deer, just nothing I wanted to drag out of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Chattooga County.
Fair: Didn’t see many deer.
Poor: Didn’t even see deer. Even hunted about 30 days this season.
Cherokee Co. E-6, G-10, F-3, P-1
Excellent: Saw deer on every hunt. Just extremely picky about shooting.
Excellent: If there was a box to check better than excellent I would have check that.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer movement and some nice bucks.
Excellent: I killed two nice bucks in only four days of hunting.
Good: I saw deer regularly while hunting.
Good: My own work with putting in feeders and low hunting pressure allowed better deer sightings.
Good: I hunted every Saturday during the season and saw deer every hunt.
Good: My kids were able to harvest deer.
Good: Daylight movement was slow to begin the season. Once pre rut and the rut hit, we saw a lot of deer and a lot of bucks.
Good: Deer numbers are up and two great acorn years in a row.
Good: Although my stand time was limited this year, I saw deer almost every sit.
Good: Didn’t get to hunt as much as usual because of work.
Fair: Had a few good deer on camera but lots of nighttime movement.
Fair: No harvest, but saw deer and let walk.
Fair: We can’t bait, so I need to take the deer that come by instead of what might come by.
Poor: Saw very few deer. I hunt public land.
Clarke Co. E-2, G-1
Excellent: I was able to harvest my first deer with a bow (a doe) on opening day in Georgia. I was also blessed to travel some for hunting and harvested three additional deer out of state, including my first buck with a bow in Kentucky.
Excellent: Harvested a great buck with archery equipment and saw some other nice bucks and does. Season was great to me.
Clay Co. E-2, G-2, F-1, P-1
Excellent: Long-term herd management efforts continue to pay dividends. This year I harvested a nice 138-inch 10-pointer.
Good: Saw deer all year long. Just not the big buck I wanted.
Good: Good deer numbers Buck age seems to be getting better.
Fair: Lost one lease and clearcut another. It was just an off year. Still saw good number of deer, just no mature bucks.
Clinch Co. E-1, G-5, F-1, P-2
Good: Good deer movement.
Good: Deer herd seems to be back on the rise to where it once was.
Fair: Had very few deer sightings in the stand and little to no buck activity.
Poor: Dogs running deer on my leased property. Has been getting worse last few years.
Poor: No deer. Spraying of herbicide by timber companies has killed all things deer eat.
Cobb Co. E-2, G-1, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Took my best buck yet, a 120-inch 8-point and saw and passed others while hunting with my recurve.
Excellent: Got the deer of a lifetime.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of quality deer.
Poor: My brother and I just had an off year. We had lots of bucks on our trail cams when they were in velvet and during bow season. But then they just disappeared, and we never saw any rut/chasing activity from mature bucks.
Coffee Co. E-1, G-3, F-1, P-2
Excellent: Took a nice 4.5-year-old buck.
Poor: I didn’t see one deer on stand this year. I hunted harder than I have in years.
Poor: Have seen very few deer this year. Coyote population has increased over the past few years. Locals are controlling the hog population by shooting and leaving them lay. This is helping the farmers but gives the coyote more fuel to increase their population. We have seen very little rutting activity this year. I have let small 8- and 4-pointers walk ,so I know there’s a few bucks around, but the biggest scrape I’ve seen was about 12 inches.
Columbia Co. G-3, F-2, P-1
Good: Had lots of good opportunities, especially for Columbia County. Failed to execute very well.
Good: I haven’t seen many deer, and haven’t killed one yet.
Good: Harvested best buck on my own property. Saw a lot of deer during rut but chose not to take any.
Fair: Haven’t seen any bucks. Several good ones on camera. Not many does, either.
Poor: Very few deer seen all season.
Colquitt Co. E-5, G-3, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of good bucks.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer.
Excellent: I was able to harvest a buck and a doe. Seen a lot of deer, especially bucks this year. Passed up on several that were shooters, according to club standards.
Good: I saw several good bucks but nothing I wanted to shoot. My wife killed a good 10-pointer.
Good: Deer numbers seem to be holding steady. I saw plenty of does still with yearlings and some nice bucks but only one real shooter. Didn’t get as much time in the woods I would have liked, but any time spent outdoors with children is great!
Good: Seeing more and better deer every year.
Fair: I haven’t seen near as many deer this season as the prior season. I also have not harvested anything this year. The only reason I didn’t rate it as poor is because I know that the deer are there due to trail cameras.
Cook Co. E-1, G-2
Excellent: My family killed four deer this year. One was a 12-point my wife killed with a crossbow.
Good: It was a steady year of deer activity.
Coweta Co. E-1, G-10, F-11, P-8
Excellent: I killed a 9-pointer Nov. 8. I saw a lot of young bucks and many does, one big 10-point I couldn’t get a shot at, maybe next year.
Good: Not enough time in the woods.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, just didn’t get the one I wanted.
Good: Saw deer every time we hunted. Just didn’t get out as much as we would have liked.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: Only a few hunts and bagged a buck that will hopefully get me into the Shoot-Out. Very late rut in my opinion created that opportunity for me. Overall seen a lot of deer in my limited days hunting.
Good: Killed a nice 10-point, one hog and two coyotes. Didn’t see a lot of deer but still ok year.
Good: Harvested a nice buck and had more active deer and turkey.
Good: I saw a lot of deer, and I also saw several bucks during bow season.
Fair: Saw some deer, just not everyday.
Fair: Wasn’t able to hunt as often as I would like. Saw lots of deer, but I only archery hunt. Only got one for the year.
Fair: Because of baiting, I have thousands of acres around me, and I know where at least 5 pipes are tied to trees with corn in them, and I’ve had pictures of people walking around on my property looking around. My cameras stay out year-round. We don’t grow crops here, just hay and sunflowers for the doves. If I farmed year-round, it would be different, but I don’t I plant food plots. There is always a big deer killed around here, but you just have to be lucky, and be the one in the right place.
Fair: Less sightings of 2 1/2 and older deer than normal.
Fair: Did not harvest any deer.
Fair: I saw deer here and there, maybe one or two per hunt. Sometimes more. I only saw one racked buck all season. After the first week of December, activity went dead. I like to get two deer per year but looks like this season, I may only put one in the freezer.
Fair: I bowhunt only, and I have not had a shot yet with two more weeks to go.
Fair: Few deer during daylight hours. Hundreds of trail-cam pics at night on unpressured deer. Landowners on both sides of property running feeders year-round. We do not during deer season. We would if it were legal.
Fair: Not too many deer in my area around Newnan and seems to be more coyotes this year. Definitely not too many young deer.
Poor: The season started off with a lot of promise with lots of trail-cam pictures, but I’ve only seen 10 deer and nothing since the second week of November, so that is why I say it was a poor year.
Poor: Killed zero deer.
Poor: The rut was weak in our area. I saw fewer 120-inch deer than I have in five years. I think the doe days are the cause for a lot of our problem. No hunter in this area will shoot does in November, which has caused our deer population to explode. We usually shot them the first two weeks of gun season until the new rules were put in place. I think doe day should run opening weekend until the first weekend in November. Then be reopened Thanksgiving weekend. I think that would help our problem to reduce the population on our property.
Poor: I did not see one trophy buck.
Poor: The number of deer sightings and opportunities to harvest a deer. Saw lots of deer (bucks and does) on cameras I have set up on the property I hunt but never saw a buck while hunting and haven’t seen a doe since the weekend before Thanksgiving. Hunted different stand locations on different days of the week, never hunting the same stand twice in a row.
Poor: Fewer deer in my area.
Crawford Co. E-8, G-11, F-7, P-7
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer, got a mature buck. Always consider it a success when you get to do what you enjoy.
Excellent: Hunting a new property and saw a lot of deer. Saw good 2 1/2-year-old buck chasing does and managed to kill a 3-plus-year-old buck.
Excellent: Saw lots of bucks.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer from young to mature. Harvested three does and two bucks. Spent lots of time in the woods and saw chasing, young bucks sparring, Had a 6-pointer to rub a small pine within 30 feet of my stand while I was hunting.
Excellent: Took a nice 11-point during that early spurt of activity, Oct. 30. Did slow down some during normal rut times, but overall saw lots of bucks. Took first deer with a recurve (doe) and grandson shot a nice 155-lb. doe.
Excellent: Tons of deer ! Nice 2 1/2, 3 1/2-year-old bucks everywhere. Need to make Crawford County like the Southern Zone for doe harvest.
Excellent: Hunting privately owned property. Large amount of deer on cameras. Our doe ratio is still too high, but we believe if you have does, then you will have bucks.
Good: Saw deer just about every time I went out hunting.
Good: Got to hunt a couple times a week, saw deer most times and killed a nice 8-point.
Good: I’m the founder and president of a 525-acre tract hunting club that we have had going on now for 36-plus years. For the past 10 years or so, I have changed my hunting philosophy in that I don’t shoot does and let young/small bucks walk. I said all that so that you’d understand why I marked good instead of excellent on this question, even though I was blessed to harvest a 16-inch 7-point this year with 7-inch G2s. I also had many opportunities to harvest does. Still, I did not see the numbers of deer per hunts as in past years. Overall though, club wise, I guess we have had a successful season. Seven out of 16 members have harvested 14 deer. Five members haven’t even hunted at all, and the others only a few times.
Good: Lots of deer in the woods. Deer reacted well to food plots, killed a mature buck early with my bow. Typical season for me but have seen a drastic increase in the numbers of does that were seen in late season; I think due to the doe days being implemented. I am surrounded by hunting clubs, and I don’t think they harvested their normal number of does this year.
Good: I saw a good number of deer from the stand and saw multiple borderline shooter bucks in the 120 range.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, and my brother harvested our biggest to date.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and was able to harvest two nice bucks, an 11-pointer and a 9-pointer.
Good: Shot two mature bucks.
Fair: Only hunted once. My son shot two nice bucks on the same property and saw many deer each time hunting.
Fair: Wild dogs on property.
Fair: Reduced activity.
Fair: Saw less deer than usual. Saw fewer mature deer.
Fair: Great population of quality bucks early season but couldn’t get a hot rut to find the bucks in numbers during season.
Poor: Very few deer seen.
Poor: Tags are too liberal. Deer don’t get old enough, and too many does are taken.
Poor: Timber cutters on the lease from middle October to last of November who cut all marketable hardwoods leaving a mess and no acorns.
Poor: Numbers. Even with private property at 110 acres, the surrounding properties have absolutely destroyed the doe population. High-powered rifle season lasting months with such a liberal doe harvest. Georgia will be restocking again in the next five years. Can’t sustain this level of harvest.
Poor: Pre-season was normal. Plenty of does and bucks. Created a list of shooter bucks and were prepared for a good season. I’m in the southern most county of the Northern Zone, so all southern counties adjacent to me can legally bait. I cannot bait in Crawford County. Our 2017 turkey season and deer season were very poor. We just didn’t see the number of turkey and deer once the season opened but ample wildlife on trail cameras prior to season. The adjacent counties to Crawford close to my boundary are pulling deer and turkey due to baiting. Also, after Hurricane Irma we also had different winds that I had never experienced in prior years. We also had a really good year for acorns, so this contributed to lower activity in my food plots as well. All and all just a really tough season. I own 150 acres and lease 250 more around my farm. We average harvesting six deer per year. (couple bucks and rest doe) So far this year one doe has been taken.
Poor: I harvested one cull buck that was a 5-point, and it weighed 190 pounds. I only saw three bucks total the entire season, and I hunt a lot. I saw a few does early in the year but nothing in the last six weeks. I think some of the issues where the quality of my food plots and the mast crop was not very good this year. This is the second year in a row that the food plots didn’t produce well because of lack of rain early. Also, some of the oats that I bought from a local farmer didn’t not come up at all.
Crisp Co. E-3, G-3
Excellent: Saw plenty does and the most bucks I have ever seen in 45 years of hunting deer in Georgia.
Excellent: We saw more mature bucks.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer. Does and bucks.
Good: I saw a good many deer all season. I did not see any huge deer but did kill a nice 8-point.
Good: Saw lots of young bucks and only a few mature bucks. Lots of pictures of large, mature bucks at night. Seems like rut was not as defined as usual.
Good: Have seen a lot of deer, just none big enough to shoot.
Dade Co. E-1, F-1, P-1
Fair: To many acorns, so the deer did not have to move much to feed in the area that I hunt.
Poor: Didn’t see any mature deer to harvest.
Dawson Co. E-1, G-4, F-4
Excellent: I killed a real nice 8-point opening day of bow season on Dawson Forest WMA. I saw a nice 6-point and let him walk.
Good: I believe the hunting was better for us because we didn’t have any acorns. Our food plots really held the deer. Also, we cut our number of members in half. We went from 35 to 15 members hunting 1,100 acres.
Good: I saw deer, just didn’t shoot any.
Good: I think it’s because we went from 36 members to 15. Also, we didn’t have any acorns, and the food plots we planted keep the deer where we could pattern them.
Good: I hunt Dawson Forest WMA a lot. I see plenty of deer on the first hunt, but by the second hunt (November), the public-land deer are mostly nocturnal (even during the rut). It’s frustrating to go a mile off the road and still see signs that the deer are over-pressured.
Fair: Only one small buck killed.
Fair: Acorn crop was poor this year. Deer was feeding in corn in a subdivision.
Fair: Deer have been nocturnal most of the season, so as much as I hunt, I’ve only seen five deer while hunting. I hunt every Friday-Sunday, so a lot of sit time. Plenty on camera but only a few in daylight.
Decatur Co. E-2, G-2, F-1, P-1
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer.
Excellent: Saw many deer, both bucks and does. Got an 8-pointer.
Good: Deer movement has been slow.
Good: No shooter bucks seen. Wrong place, wrong time.
Fair: The buck selection was small. The deer didn’t start moving until the end of the season.
Poor: Deer only moving at night.
Dodge Co. E-2, G-9, F-3, P-5
Excellent: Plenty of deer.
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer, lots of great bucks and killed a 140-inch 11-pointer.
Good: Had good hunts but couldn’t hunt like I wanted.
Good: A lot of deer activity in beginning of season.
Good: In north Dodge County, I saw plenty of young bucks this year. Not as many trophy bucks this year, but it looks prosperous next season. Overall, we had a pretty good season.
Good: Saw good number of deer overall. Deer populations appears healthy in the area I hunted.
Good: Decent daytime deer activity.
Good: The number of quality bucks were up, even though the total number of deer were down.
Fair: Saw several bucks, killed one 7-point. Very few does.
Fair: Low numbers.
Poor: Have not seen many deer and very few shooters.
Poor: Saw few deer even at feeder cameras and almost always at night. Only two small bucks harvested this year, and neither one of them had been seen on the cameras.
Poor: Did not see the deer.
Poor: Ain’t seeing as many deer.
Dooly Co. E-3, G-1, F-1, P-1
Excellent: We saw a mature deer every hunt.
Excellent: More pictures and harvest of mature deer.
Good: Seeing fair amounts of deer over feeders.
Fair: I saw plenty of deer but did not see many mature bucks.
Poor: Because the weather conditions on the weekends, hunting was poor.
Dougherty Co. E-1, G-2, P-1
Excellent: Killed two mature bucks. Saw about 60 percent more does and bucks from the stand.
Good: Have a new property, and for the first year working it, I was impressed.
Good: Had a good year with plenty of does, button bucks and spikes. We were disappointed in the number of quality bucks. We try to manage our food plots and deer herd properly. Overall, we thought it was a good year.
Douglas Co. G-3, F-1, P-2
Good: I saw many more big deer, and deer movement was far better that last season.
Good: Many deer. Not many quality bucks.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of deer this year but had plenty of food and water sources on property. Very disappointing year!
Early Co. E-6, G-4, P-2
Excellent: Part of a co-op, and our management practices are paying off big time. Lots of deer and lots of big ones, too.
Excellent: We saw lots of bucks and does.
Excellent: I killed two large bucks and five does and saw more deer this year.
Excellent: Been seeing lots of deer, just not many shooters. Next couple of years should be good though.
Good: Have seen a lot of bucks and does on camera. Have some real nice 3-year-olds with very healthy bodies, just haven’t seen one to take yet.
Good: We are seeing plenty of deer, and bucks seem to be improving.
Good: Seeing many small bucks. Let them grow.
Good: Missed one or two.
Good: It’s not excellent because we are not quite to the top of our management plan but have taken several nice bucks.
Poor: Hunting has gone from poor to very, very poor. Trail cameras show we still have a few good deer but at night, 99 percent of our pictures are at night. Corn is the cause of that. Some good reports come from the west side of Early County around the river.
Echols Co. F-1
Fair: Didn’t really see many deer.
Elbert Co. E-1, G-5, F-7, P-1
Excellent: I saw lots of deer and killed two nice bucks.
Good: Slow at times but plenty of sightings.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Saw deer every time I went hunting.
Good: While I did not personally kill anything, my daughter killed a nice doe over the youth weekend, and then my son killed his biggest buck ever, a 10-point, over the second weekend of gun season. To cap it off, a my friend’s son killed a great 8-point on New Years weekend, which was also his first deer ever. Our 600-acre club took three good bucks and six does. Only negative was a group of feral cows came in and destroyed our plots/tree plantings, but that is another story. Our neighbors hunters are killing way too many deer.
Good: Doe count good. Fawn count fair. Buck count good. Took one good 8-pointer, one good female coyote.
Fair: Not enough does left.
Fair: Not as many deer since coyotes have arrived.
Fair: Harvested one buck and one doe. After that, deer just disappeared.
Fair: Didn’t get to hunt as much as I would have liked.
Fair: Nuisance permits given out to farmers are being very hard on deer when you shoot the deer with thermal rife scopes,and in my area alone more than 80 deer were taken. This practice is sometimes required I understand. I do think that the law needs to changed to limit that the shooters should have to work on that farm and not contract out to people who do not care about what they are doing.
Emanuel Co. E-3, G-4, F-3
Excellent: I have taken two high-quality bucks and have seen an increase in the overall quality of our deer herd.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer, including several mature bucks.
Good: I tagged out with two bucks, one with muzzleloader and one with modern gun. Overall did not see very many deer.
Good: The weather was way to hot. This I’m sure effected the rut, which was on and off most of October and November. On those days when a buck(s) were taken, one would be rutting and another would not. Our food plots suffered as a result of the lack of rain. Once the rain came, they flourished and the deer mowed them down like a close-cut mower. Normally, our harvest is about 60 percent bucks and 40 percent does. This year it’s 80 percent bucks. Our bucks are heavier than in year’s past.
Fair: Dog hunters absolutely destroy hunting quality on adjacent property. They ride the roads hunting from trucks and show no respect for running dogs across private property Dog hunting should be banned from the state.
Fair: Not many deer seen. Too many Florida hunters. Deer season is way too long.
Effingham Co. E-2, G-3, P-1
Excellent: I got all the deer that I wanted and even a nice, mature buck.
Excellent: Seeing all the bucks, does and fawns really made my season excellent. Harvesting what I needed for the freezer and being out to view God’s outdoors was great and no doctor needed. The Great Physician supplied it all.
Good: Coyotes are bad as ever.
Good: I went a lot less this year but saw deer on almost every sit.
Poor: Did not see any deer during legal hunting hours.
Elbert Co. F-2
Fair: Nothing for the deer to eat besides our small food plots, and we can’t bait.
Evans Co. G-4, F-1
Good: Many young healthy bucks, picked a cull to harvest.
Good: I was able to observe deer most times that I was in the field.
Fannin Co. E-2, G-3, F-2
Excellent: We have been managing our property for five years, and this year we were able to shoot four nice 8-points. We also still have pictures of some nice bucks that will be available next year.
Excellent: Saw more mature bucks this season than past three years combined. Harvested mature 4- to 5-year-old buck.
Good: Tagged out on bucks by Thanksgiving weekend. Saw deer every trip.
Good: Deer are coming back to area.
Fair: Overall deer numbers seemed similar to recent years but saw very few mature bucks on game cams or while hunting.
Fayette Co. E-1, G-2, F-4, P-1
Good: Some deer. Weather difficult.
Fair: Not a lot of deer activity.
Fair: Never could connect with a buck, even a doe.
Fair: Have not seen one doe while hunting.
Poor: No quality bucks.
Floyd Co. E-3, G-9, F-5, P-4
Excellent: Saw deer almost every hunt. Let all 8s walk looking forward to bigger bucks next year way to many does though.
Excellent: Seen the most bucks ever for one season. Had a good rut.
Excellent: I’m 70 years old and got a good buck the woodsman way, actually hunting.
Good: Saw several bucks and a lot of does. No really nice bucks but some good ones.
Good: Saw deer on almost every sit. Lots of young bucks that hopefully will make next season excellent.
Good: Lots of good bucks and plenty of does.
Fair: Lot of does and few bucks.
Fair: Where I hunt, deer went totally nocturnal after second week in November with little hunting pressure.
Fair: Saw a lot of deer in early season, decent bucks and does. All big deer went nocturnal in early November and never saw much of any rut activity.
Fair: Only had a few days to hunt. I blew my chance when a small buck spotted me. Too many people at Berry WMA.
Poor: The deer population is so low that I do most of my hunting out of state. It is much lower than year’s past.
Poor: Saw just one small doe during archery season and let it pass. Too small. I only saw one deer during gun season, and I hunted almost every Friday all day and Saturday mornings. Normally I see quite a few deer and harvest two or three deer. The deer I saw was a decent 8-point, and I was able to harvest it.
Poor: The deer were moving good for a while and then almost like they vanished. Haven’t seen as many deer this year as in past years. Coyotes in these parts are becoming a huge nuisance, as well, and wreaking havoc on all animal species.
Poor: Joined a new hunting club and haven’t figured out the property as of yet. Just not seeing may deer.
Forsyth Co. G-1, F-3, P-1
Good: I saw deer.
Fair: I have become a trophy hunter and wife and children are more meat hunters at this point. I am teaching them to be ethical and to be more selective. The hunting experience is not just about shooting the first deer they see. Enjoying the time in the woods with each other and learning more about the elusive whitetail deer is just as important. Learning to manage our deer herd is also a prime topic we often discuss together.
Poor: I didn’t see a lot of deer.
Franklin Co. E-2, G-5, F-4, P-2
Excellent: Got two bucks and two does and saw a lot more.
Excellent: Killed my largest buck to date on opening day of gun season.
Good: Killed two does and filled the freezer.
Good: Saw and harvested plenty of does but had no opportunity at mature bucks.
Good: Didn’t see a deer during archery season. Had coyote problems in that area. Took a coyote with a crossbow. Another place I hunt nearby I’ve been hunting 12 years, and I hunted during firearms, and it was the best I’ve ever seen it. Let a lot walk by. Had lots of young bucks and good numbers of does with fawns, but coyotes are always now where the deer are. Had lots of song dogs on camera and trapped my first coyote on that land. Harvested just one buck.
Good: Limited doe days meant I hunted less. I saw a lot of deer, but only killed one buck.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer.
Fair: More coyotes, fewer deer.
Fair: One landowner joins my property now has leased his land to deer hunters; one individual (family) joins my property on another side has built a house, he and children hunt. Someone has put out corn in the roadway to another piece of property I own, which basically precludes me from hunting my own property.
Poor: Not enough doe days. Saw zero does on either-sex days the entire season. DNR needs to stay out of the management business, and let us landowners manage our properties as we see fit.
Fulton Co. E-5, G-10, F-2, P-1
Excellent: I had an opportunity to see a lot of deer and be very selective when it came to harvesting them.
Excellent: I harvested the largest buck I’ve ever taken and did it with my bow.
Excellent: Had good deer movement throughout the season with several mature buck sightings. The only negative of the season would be the rising amount of coyotes we are seeing.
Excellent: I shot the deer of a lifetime this year, a 10-point, 150 class with a crossbow.
Excellent: Filled the freezer with pure protein and enjoyed the deer-camp experience.
Good: Seeing a lot of deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer from the beginning of the season up until mid December. Got a decent 10-point with my bow during the Thanksgiving week. Looking forward to next year and seeing how the younger bucks that we saw this year grow.
Good: Decent movement.
Good: Did not go much.
Good: Saw a few good shooter bucks but didn’t get a shot, but they were there.
Good: Shot one buck with bow.
Good: Saw many racked bucks.
Good: I’m a bowhunter only, and I saw lots of deer. Killed a couple and passed up eight or 10.
Fair: The rut was early, and I missed out.
Poor: Deer herd seems to be down here.
Gilmer Co. E-2, G-6, F-4, P-3
Excellent: Strong deer activity.
Excellent: Between my two sons and me, we took two 8-points, a 7-point and a 4-point this season.
Good: Plenty of deer, plenty of sign being made. Only reason I wouldn’t say excellent is due to amount of hunters I encountered in the woods.
Good: The youth weekend provided my son an opportunity to harvest a deer.
Good: Saw many deer but not a lot of big deer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer. Killed nice 8-point. Rut was strong.
Fair: Lack of control over the amount of does killed. Lack of control on small buck harvest. The state needs to do all bucks 4 on one side and a 15-inch width. Too much poaching in north Georgia. We need more active wardens to deal with the problem.
Fair: Lot of coyotes. Deer moved a lot at night.
Fair: Quantity of deer was less than previous years.
Fair: Not many bucks seen.
Poor: Had three eye surgeries and could not hunt.
Poor: More hunters on the archery-only WMA where I hunt disrupted the deer’s patterns, resulting in fewer sightings and confirmed instances where deer were spooked on the way to my stand. I heard them and met the hunter. He was trying to stalk deer with a bow instead of using a stand. In other instances, as many as four trucks were parked, with hunters everywhere. The area is not that big. In the previous three years, this didn’t happen. I tracked during the snow and found a new place for next year that doesn’t seem to be being used as much.
Poor: Only saw one buck all season.
Glascock Co. G-3, P-4
Good: Didn’t get to go as much as I wanted but saw deer almost every hunt.
Good: Seen decent amount of deer.
Poor: Didn’t see any deer.
Poor: Low deer movement.
Poor: I am thinking so few deer seen because deer are not used to non-stop traffic around property. We walk in and out when we hunt. I hear more shooting in a weekend than I use to hear all season. Deer went nocturnal.
Poor: Saw the fewest deer ever.
Glynn Co. G-1
Good: Hot and dry at the beginning, but toward the middle of season, it picked up.
Gordon Co. E-3, G-11, F-6, P-2
Excellent: Saw lots of deer, passed on almost all waiting for one particular deer. Did not get him.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and kill four.
Excellent: Best season I’ve had in the last 25 years. I saw plenty of deer this year, lots of bucks 6-points and under, but most important there were numerous quality bucks coming to my food plot. I harvested two really nice bucks, and my grandson and granddaughter each took nice bucks.
Good: Good deer populations.
Good: Saw lots of bucks but no monsters.
Good: Saw enough deer to keep it interesting. Got meat in the freezer.
Good: Got to hunt very little but saw a lot of deer on my tract of land.
Good: I haven’t got to hunt a lot this season, but I shot my second largest Georgia buck, 139 6/8 gross, and my youngest daughter shot a nice Gordon County 10-point.
Good: We saw the best rut that we have seen in years.
Good: Saw deer on roughly 75 percent of my hunts.
Good: Eventful moments in the tree stand.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Fair: Didn’t see many bucks.
Fair: Too many either-sex days.
Poor: I’m on a quality deer hunting club lease. I only saw two small bucks. I’m retired, and I went hunting a lot.
Poor: Saw very few deer. Not like it use to be. Seems like the herd is gone. Been going down for a few years now. I know there’s way too many coyotes.
Grady Co. E-2, G-2, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Saw deer on almost every trip to the woods.
Excellent: Even late-season deer are in good shape, carrying some fat and extra weight. We’ve never shot a real nice buck in corn, but they certainly benefit from it.
Good: Saw lots of young bucks but not many does. I think we have a very bad predator problem. Seeing six to six adult does and only one yearling in the bunch tells you there is something wrong. Going on a coyote-killing rampage soon.
Fair: Didn’t see as many bucks this year.
Fair: Saw fewer deer this year than previous years, mostly does and small young bucks.
Poor: Didn’t see many deer. Seems the rut is very late here.
Greene Co. E-7, G-9, F-12, P-12
Excellent: Saw quite a few nice bucks and killed a nice 9-point. Pigs are starting to become a problem.
Excellent: I saw a great number of deer this year and was lucky enough to harvest a beautiful 8-point buck that I had tracked on trail cameras and saw three weekends in a row before finally being able to put the hammer down.
Excellent: I saw more large bucks on my property than ever before.
Excellent: Deer season is always excellent. It is what you make of it. If you’re not seeing deer, hunt somewhere else, pay attention to the wind and deer sign, and don’t over hunt a stand.
Excellent: Saw deer almost every time in stand. Killed an 8-pointer, a 7-pointer and a mature doe.
Excellent: Habitat, herd in great condition. Took two quality bucks. Passed numerous bucks.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, especially does. Even though I saw large bucks on camera, they were elusive.
Good: Saw more activity this year and better rutting action.
Good: I haven’t tagged a deer this year, but that’s by choice. I’ve seen deer, but my house getting damaged in Hurricane Irma has consumed my hunting season. Normally, I would be OK with that, but this year I have a new county record buck on my property, and I have missed the majority of the rut and early bow season. I had him pinned in early bow season and the hurricane hit the week before my vacation to hunt. Oh well that’s life, and you move on. It could always be worse.
Good: Harvested a mature buck and multiple does.
Good: Saw several deer and a good many bucks.
Good: Saw deer, killed one buck.
Good: We controlled coyotes two years ago, and the increase in deer more than made up for the cost of control. Six of the 10 largest bow-killed bucks in the county came from our farm, and we do not, and will never, bait.
Fair: Saw deer every time I went. Was selective.
Fair: Full moon. Too warm. Deer were not in the food plots. Not seeing as many as usual.
Fair: Saw very few deer.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of deer.
Fair: Weather was abnormal for the projected rut periods.
Fair: Limited rut activity. Overall, low number of deer seen.
Fair: I saw less deer than normal seasons, but I did kill my best buck to date.
Fair: It was more of a change in our hunting area than the law.
Fair: Our property was cut. We had to adjust to new lay of the land. They cut everything except sweetgum and left piles of wood.
Poor: Did not see a deer.
Poor: This is our second year to hunt a 40-acre tract that borders Redlands WMA. We still haven’t had an opportunity to pull the trigger. This deer herd is ultra smart.
Poor: Did not see deer.
Poor: Didn’t see enough deer.
Poor: Too few does seen this year compared to the five or so. Way to many spikes and cull bucks seen.
Poor: Hunted Redlands WMA, and this is the worst year ever in 20 years of hunting public land. I only saw one deer this year at Redlands. Something has got to be done to help the deer population recover before it’s too late. Timber management, buck only for a year or two and coyote trapping are a few things that come to mind.
Poor: Zero success.
Poor: Deer population is way down.
Gwinnett Co. E-3, G-1, F-6, P-1
Excellent: Saw lots of deer. Between my son, grandson and myself, we harvested two big, mature bucks and five does. Our freezers are full.
Excellent: I saw the most deer activity I have seen in 29 years of hunting in Georgia. Harvested two mature does and a 3 1/2-year-old buck.
Good: I had decent luck with numbers this year. Lots of coyotes though.
Fair: Poor weather in peak rut.
Fair: I hunt close to some neighborhoods. I saw some deer, but they tend to be at a great distance for a bowhunter. Because they’re in a tight area, they tend to move on different pieces of property. My suggestion is that bowhunters hunting on land that is close to neighborhoods should be allowed to bait in order to bring the deer population down near highway where people tend to kill him with their cars.
Poor: The worst in 10 years.
Hall Co. E-3, G-11, F-6, P-1
Excellent: For the first time I was able to tag two bucks in one season.
Excellent: Well I did not get to hunt as much as I would have liked, but I saw plenty of deer and actually took my best buck this year, 130 3/8.
Excellent: Good acorn crop.
Good: Shot a nice 8-point. Was not great because I didn’t get to hunt much.
Good: Saw several deer, just not as many as in the past.
Good: Good deer activity compared to other years. Good bucks on camera.
Good: Lots of buck sightings and good rut activity.
Good: Saw a lot of deer, just nothing I really wanted to shoot. Just wish Georgia was managed a whole lot better.
Good: Seen a lot of deer, but I also hunt the city limits of Gainesville.
Fair: Low deer sightings.
Fair: Did not spend many days in the woods this year.
Fair: Deer sighting were down mainly due to too many hunting in area and putting lots of pressure on the deer.
Fair: The deer population seemed to decrease where I was hunting.
Habersham Co. E-2, G-2, F-3, P-1
Excellent: I killed the biggest deer of my life, a huge 8-point. I also killed three more does in November. I’ve killed more than 100 year in my 35 years of hunting. This buck was by far a big 8-point. Dress weight was 200 pounds.
Excellent: I killed the biggest-bodied deer 8-point in my life. I also killed three other does all in the month of November.
Fair: A lot of people own land and will not let you deer hunt on their land, and when you do go to government land, there are a lot of acres and you have a chance of someone walking in on you and causing problems.
Fair: Didn’t have much time to hunt.
Good: Got a good 8-point buck.
Good: Saw deer.
Poor: No deer left. Too many coyotes
Hancock Co. E-15, G-29, F-15, P-4
Excellent: Saw multiple bucks, numerous does. Never had a sitting without seeing deer. I killed a great 9-point and videoed several mature bucks.
Excellent: Good deer and deer sign.
Excellent: I saw lots of bucks all season long. When muzzleloader season started, the rut also started. I saw rutting bucks from there on. It’s the best rut I have ever seen.
Excellent: Killed two legal bucks and let several walk.
Excellent: Recently retired and was able to hunt when I wanted to rather than when I could. Saw plenty of deer.
Excellent: Saw more deer and had more opportunities to shoot.
Excellent: Killed a mature buck this season, and we have plenty of deer running around on our club.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and harvested two nice bucks.
Excellent: Friends and I have shot three bucks, and we have seen multiple does all around the property. So there are plenty of deer to be sure.
Excellent: We saw more bucks than does until the second week in December, which was exciting. We harvested a 140-inch 11-point and several does. The deer were in great shape with two of the does weighing in at 120 pounds field-dressed.
Excellent: I have seen more deer and larger bucks.
Excellent: Deer were plentiful. Killed 2 nice bucks.
Excellent: By far my dad and I’s best year ever for mature bucks on camera, and they didn’t disappoint once season started.
Excellent: A lot of deer activity the entire season.
Good: Had a lot of encounters with upcoming bucks, just not a lot of shooters. Seen a lot of deer up until Thanksgiving, and then things slowed down. Seeing more deer activity on food plots now.
Good: Had a lot of deer sightings, rut was ok, kinda on and off several times, deer were all healthy.
Good: Saw a lot of deer and numerous bucks with little to no acorns.
Good: More deer, plenty of food, less coyotes.
Good: Had some success and saw a lot of deer. Saw some nice bucks for next year.
Good: We saw deer often and had our choice of nice does to shoot. Large bucks were not seen.
Good: Didn’t get to hunt much.
Good: Plenty of doe and plenty of rut, but most rut that we saw were small and young deer.
Good: Saw several bucks and does and took a small 8-point. Good rut activity. Seems that everything goes dormant for more than a month after the rut. No activity and very few daytime sightings.
Good: Only was able to hunt a few times and was able to get only one 8-point buck.
Good: There were plenty of deer sightings, memories made, and rut activity was average.
Good: While I did not take a deer this season, I saw more bucks than ever before on our lease. Granted that many of them were young and not our minimum, we had eight nice bucks taken by our group. The November rut was very light, but then we started seeing the bucks chasing, fighting and laying down fresh scrapes after Christmas. As always, what makes for a good season is the group you hunt with and the fellowship you can share.
Good: Saw a lot of bucks, next year should be a good year.
Good: Didn’t seem to see as many bucks as year before.
Good: Saw a pile of deer. Killed one doe and no bucks.
Good: Saw lots of deer, both bucks and does. Only hunt for mature bucks and didn’t see any of those.
Good: Saw several deer. Plenty of small to decent bucks. Shot one doe.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and as always the fellowship of my deer hunting friends.
Good: Plenty of does seen throughout season, very few bucks seen.
Good: Good balance of bucks to does.
Good: Killed a trophy buck.
Good: Local deer population was higher due to personal property deer management and high quality forage plan.
Fair: Number of mature bucks seen.
Fair: Killed 190-lb. 9-point buck on Oct. 21 but have otherwise seen very few deer.
Fair: Saw deer on a regular basis. We as a club pass up on a lot of bucks trying to let them grow to their potential maturity. But the surrounding clubs are a different story. So a lot of the smaller bucks don’t make it as they travel across the property line.
Fair: Crazy weather messed up deer travel.
Fair: Not seeing very many shooter bucks in QDM county.
Fair: Have seen plenty of deer, just not the 150 B&C or bigger.
Fair: I only saw one small doe. I went into the woods nine times.
Fair: We have a lot of hunters over a 200-acre area. Hunters are not letting young deer grow to be bigger for the following year.
Fair: Few does, lots of yotes.
Fair: People shooting everything they see.
Poor: Killed no deer for the first time in 29 years hunting the same property.
Poor: Poor but improved over last season. I saw more deer this year, fewer coyotes, but no shooter bucks.
Poor: Doe days and immature bucks being killed. Hunted the same 4,200-acre tract for 35 years. Steadily on the decline. Turkeys are nonexistent, and 20 years ago, they were unbelievable. Just sad.
Haralson Co. E-1, G-1, F-4, P-1
Excellent: I shot a buck that should score over 130 inches.
Good: Saw lots of deer, but the bucks we seen are young.
Fair: The tag limit is too high and no enforcement of current game laws.
Fair: Didn’t see any rut activity this season.
Fair: Saw deer most of the times I hunted. Most of what I saw were does or young deer. There was a lot of nice deer shot.
Poor: The state of deer hunting has been seriously hurting for quite sometime. Reduction in tags as well as reducing doe days needs to happen. I do numerous trail-cam surveys each year, and the total number of deer on any of my lands are very, very low.
Harris Co. E-9, G-11, F-6, P-2
Excellent: My son killed his first buck, a 10-point.
Excellent: Didn’t fire a shot but had opportunity to hunt with my 12-year-old grandson almost every time. Mason shot three does and an 8-point buck, and I was with him on all four occasions.
Excellent: Saw deer every time I went hunting.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer. My grandchildren and I shot four deer in November. Lots of rut activity.
Excellent: Thank God! I was able to harvest a 7-pointer on opening day of gun season. Then in November, I harvested a doe.
Excellent: We saw deer on most of our hunts on our club this year. We took four bucks at least 3 years old and three does to date with two weeks left in the season.
Excellent: Got the biggest buck I ever killed.
Excellent: Saw tons of bucks and quality seems to be improving. Killed two bucks in the 120s. There is a huge decline in the doe population, and it needs to be addressed. Only saw 10 does in the stand all year and over 30 different bucks.
Good: Deer were in good health, and we harvested multiple 5.5-year-old deer on the property. Doe numbers seem good, too.
Good: Plenty of water keeping things growing.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, bucks and does. Good age range of bucks.
Good: Saw good numbers and some nice bucks. Great pre-rut movement but didn’t have a chance to hunt the actual rut.
Good: I saw enough deer to keep it interesting, but I could never see the larger deer we had on camera. Just knowing they were there kept me coming back.
Good: Seen plenty of deer, shot a decent 9-point.
Good: I saw very few does this year, but I was able to harvest a 9- and 10-point this season, along with seeing several smaller bucks. My son got a nice 8, as well as my daughter.
Fair: Killed one buck right away, and then when the rut was suppose to be, I didn’t see anything. At the end of December, I saw 2 does. Used to see seven or eight every time I hunted. Didn’t hear many shots all season. Only small bucks on camera. Tired of watching nothing. Very disappointed.
Fair: Quality of bucks was down.
Fair: Less deer movement and numbers than in previous seasons.
Poor: Very few deer seen. Limit too high.
Poor: Did not see a mature buck all season. Timber company clearcutting adjacent property and deer stayed nocturnal.
Hart Co. G-2, F-3
Good: Harvested two deer.
Good: I saw more bucks this year than in seasons past. I was able to harvest two mature bucks. I am still selecting to not harvest any does, as I feel that the herd is still in a rebounding state.
Fair: Still too many doe days and too high a limit. Coyotes still a big problem. I’ve seen two times a coyote chasing a fawn mid morning and couldn’t get a shot either time at coyote. Herd can not stand a hunter and a predator.
Fair: I saw several bucks but chose not to take because of size.
Fair: I harvested one doe and passed on several small bucks. I saw many more does, and I would have liked to take at least one more, but the doe days in Hart County were so limited this year. The days I saw the most does it was not a doe day. Coyotes and wild pigs have increased over the past couple of years in Hart County. Thanks for the articles regarding the best ways to eliminate them. More success stories would be helpful.
Heard Co. E-1, G-8, F-8, P-7
Excellent: Killed a 178 4/8 this year.
Good: I saw multiple deer almost every hunting trip and several good bucks.
Good: Saw deer regularly, just no mature bucks.
Good: Saw lots of big bucks, just not what I was after. Low numbers on does.
Good: My son killed his first deer, and I saw deer almost every time I was in the stand. The quality of bucks I saw this year seem to have improved from last year.
Good: Killed what I think to be a Pope & Young buck.
Good: Finally seeing some results of our efforts to combat the coyote population. Still not seeing the deer we used to but seeing a few more than three or so years ago.
Good: Saw more deer than past five years. Every doe seemed to have a yearling or two with her. Great sign for next year.
Fair: Other members saw good bucks and harvested them. I did not.
Fair: Saw a lot of deer.
Fair: Seeing very few deer.
Fair: Didn’t see that many deer. Seem to see less and less every year.
Fair: I’ve seen several deer, but I have not gotten a deer this season. That probably has more to do with our property than anything else. We need better management.
Fair: Saw a lot of deer, weather has been a little off. Heard county’s rut is just now starting since we’re close to Alabama, so I wish season lasted longer for us.
Fair: Saw at least eight small bucks and did not see any mature bucks. Saw less does this year than past years and rarely see a doe with fawns. There has only been one doe shot on my lease in 15 years.
Poor: The deer population is way down.
Poor: Hunted several Saturdays and saw very little activity.
Poor: Deer went nocturnal too early and more often.
Poor: Didn’t kill a deer. Saw very little.
Poor: The rut was in question this year.
Poor: Poor mast crop, and I saw just as many coyotes as deer. The best time was around Thanksgiving.
Poor: Deer population just continues to fall with what appears to be of no concern of DNR. Several factors are to blame from loss of habitat to overharvest. Loss of habitat is from timber company’s spraying continuously killing the majority of the undergrowth. Deer don’t eat pine straw! Nothing much I feel you can do about that. Over harvest sits on the hunters and DNR. Hunters have proven they cannot police themselves and looks like the managers could careless! Many who hunt other counties think we are crazy when you tell them the shape we are in. Heard was once called “ The Deer Factory” by this very magazine if I recall. Well if you live in one of those great counties in Georgia, be careful. It can change fast.
Henry Co. E-1, G-3, F-5, P-3
Excellent: Took the second biggest deer of my life. Saw several deer with potential. My brother also got a decent deer on a WMA.
Good: Lots of deer activity.
Good: Saw deer just about every time I hunted.
Good: Saw many deer on a small tract of land.
Fair: I saw deer early on, but due to urban development, they quickly left the area due to dogs running without leashes on multiple occasions.
Fair: Didn’t get much time to hunt.
Fair: I did not see deer every time I went, but I did get to kill buck to put in the freezer.
Fair: Didn’t see as much rut activity.
Poor: Deer are mainly moving during nighttime hours. All the deer we have on trail cam are caught moving at night. Only one so for harvested so far this season, and that was opening day of black powder.
Poor: Lack of deer. Numerous coyotes.
Poor: Haven’t seen much deer.
Houston Co. E-2, F-1 P-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer this year.
Excellent: Had a great season. Harvested a couple of does and saw a lot of up-and-coming young bucks.
Fair: Limited time to hunt this year. During approximately 30 total hours on the stand, I saw one 3-year-old buck, two 2-year-olds, a few yearling bucks and a few does. Since my personal criteria for buck harvest is at least 4.5 years old, I did not harvest a deer.
Poor: Few deer.
Irwin Co. E-1, G-6, F-2, P-2
Excellent: Averaged seeing at least 10 deer per day, including many young bucks that I let go. I shot a 4.5- and a 5.5-year-old mature buck, even though I’ve killed many larger. I think any season where you a harvest a mature buck in Georgia is excellent.
Good: Haven’t taken a mature buck but two have been harvested on our farm.
Good: I made 33 sits and saw 97 deer off stand as of 1/2/2018.
Good: Saw tons of does with a few good bucks, as well.
Good: While I have not shot a deer, I have seen tons of them. Several nice bucks and lots of doe, but none of the bucks were bigger than the one I killed last year. As long as I am seeing anywhere from five to 20 deer every time I go, I have to say it’s a good year!
Fair: Dry, warm fall and winter. My hunt area needs swamps to flood. Deer seemed more nocturnal than usual during warmest weather weeks. Logging operations nearby seem to disrupt typical patterns. Nighttime road shooting was severe this year. Dead gunshot deer found in fields and woods almost every week of season.
Fair: Lot of deer but no quality bucks.
Poor: Fewest deer sightings in years.
Poor: Lack of mature deer to harvest.
Jackson Co. E-3, G-7, F-10, P-3
Excellent: It is always excellent.
Excellent: Lots of deer seen and took a great buck.
Excellent: Killed a nice 8-point, passed up three other 8s and many smaller bucks. Shot three does, also.
Good: Saw a lot of deer on every hunt. Shot a great 6 1/2-year-old 8-pointer.
Good: I saw deer almost every trip and let several good bucks walk while still killing one buck and several does
Good: I saw deer almost every trip and let several good bucks walk while still killing one buck and several does.
Good: I didn’t get to hunt as much as I would like to. When I did hunt, I saw deer on almost every trip but did not see any rut activity. Starting to see 2 1/2- and 3 1/2-year-old bucks more regular than in past years. I think the 4-point antler restrictions are to thank for that. I would like to see that go for both bucks that can be taken and move more toward a trophy standard but have a special tag for younger hunters to be able to take a small buck if they chose to.
Good: I saw several bucks which were non-shooters on our lease. I was able to harvest a couple of does and have seen enough deer to make me want to go back next season. I hope to get a chance at a bigger buck next season.
Good: Most mature bucks seem to be nocturnal.
Good: Saw a good number of both does and bucks. My 70-year-old wife got her first two bucks ever! I got a nice old buck.
Fair: Didn’t get the opportunity to take a deer.
Fair: During the rut, the activity was good, and I was fortunate enough to harvest a nice 10-pointer. Outside of that time, the deer were not very cooperative with the restrictive doe days. I had does around when I couldn’t shoot them, and they were scarce when I could shoot them. This has resulted in an inability to properly manage our herd and a freezer that is only half full.
Fair: Have a big problem with coyotes on my land. I killed one during rifle season. Also found a deer that was killed by one. I put a lot time in and saw no does this year. Only several small bucks. I am normally covered in does.
Fair: Not a lot of action.
Fair: Slow deer movement.
Fair: Not many deer.
Fair: I was able to take a couple of does and a scrub buck. I saw many small bucks. I did not see many does, making the rut difficult as my mature bucks disappeared.
Poor: I couldn’t find a deer this year with a search warrant.
Jasper Co. E-7, G-18, F-13, P-9
Excellent: Have seen a lot of bucks and does. Some very nice bucks on trailcam. My son killed a 130-class 9-point and a 175-lb. boar. I have killed a 130-class 10-point and a 150-lb. boar and two does. Two weeks still left. I saw three bobcats yesterday.
Excellent: Just saw a lot of deer.
Excellent: I saw deer every time that I managed to get to hunt. I could have limited out according to Georgia regulations; however, the fact I choose not I believe allows me to see more deer. I did not see as many younger deer, so I am curious how the coyotes in the area are impacting the herd overall.
Excellent: Plenty of bucks if you wanted to take them and a lot of does.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer early on with the green fields producing due to the timely rain. Several young bucks sighted with a few borderline shooters for next year. Sightings have fallen off, but deer activity is still present. Took two does on private land and two on a Piedmont NWR hunt.
Good: It was better than last year in regards to number of deer seen. Also I killed a mature 10-point buck. There was a substantial increase in the number of quality bucks killed in the immediate area that we hunt.
Good: I killed a decent buck and only hunted three days on a quota hunt.
Good: Did not get to hunt much this year. Did not get a deer but enjoyed every second I was in the woods.
Good: Saw deer but not one I wanted to harvest.
Good: Got a doe opening day of bow season.
Good: Saw a lot of bucks this year.
Good: I had six days to hunt while home for R&R, I harvested a nice crab claw 10-point the first time out. I saw multiple bucks and does during the week-long trip.
Good: 2017 was a good year for me, Saw lots of game and harvested a freezer full for my family and I.
Good: Saw deer often. Only shot one doe.
Good: Didn’t see many does all season long. Did see a good amount of young bucks. This is the first season in five years of deer hunting that many of my hunts I didn’t see anything. In the past years, I’d only have one or two hunts to where I didn’t see anything.
Good: Although I did not shoot a deer in Jasper County this year, almost every time I was in the stand I saw a deer. Although taking off the first week of November and hunted most every day that week I never saw any chasing or heard any grunting. I believe most chasing happened at night since it was so warm.
Good: I saw more bucks this season than during previous seasons.
Good: Saw good numbers, though the 2.5 age class and higher seemed rare amongst anterless deer. Crossed paths with maybe three bucks that would have been in the 3.5- to 4.5-year age class. Deer certainly went nocturnal after the rut phased out. Late season passed with very few deer sightings during evening hunts.
Fair: Didn’t see many quality deer.
Fair: Bucks too small.
Fair: Weather conditions and early rut during hot weather makes it difficult. Oder management, slow movement, limited sight with vegetation, etc.
Fair: We had some thinning of pines going on, and the crew started right after rifle season.
Fair: On our 1,800-acre lease, bucks were hard to pattern this year. After the hurricane came through, we had a lot of downed oak trees that were loaded with acorns, but when it came time for the oaks to start dropping acorns, there were no acorns. Also we did not experience a hard rut.
Fair: Deer disappeared, probably due to neighbors baiting.
Fair: Not seeing as many deer. Not seeing any mature bucks in the stands or on camera.
Fair: Just didn’t see the deer like we normally do.
Fair: Seem to see less deer movement as the season went on. I also saw less deer than last year, with about the same stand time.
Fair: The population in southern Jasper is the lowest its been in 20 years. The large limit and large amount of either-sex days along with increased number on Piedmont has really hurt the deer population. After the hunts on Piedmont, I can about forget seeing deer during daylight hours.
Poor: Not seeing daytime deer.
Poor: We saw a lot fewer deer as in the past and a lot fewer people on the public land around us. Most are going south where year-round feeding is legal
Poor: Saw 10 deer all season with 21 times sitting in the woods.
Poor: No meat in the freezer, deer only feeding in food plot while dark.
Poor: No deer.
Jeff Davis Co. E-2, G-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of big bucks. Real good deer density on property.
Jefferson Co. G-2, F-4, P-3
Good: Lots of does and better-than-average bucks. Very few real good bucks.
Good: I saw a lot of deer, but they were all does or small bucks.
Fair: Not seeing as many deer. We plant spring and fall food plots and do seasonal supplement feeding with corn.
Fair: Too many does have been killed in this area, and does bring in the bucks.
Poor: Very few deer seen. Coyotes are increasing along with the hog population.
Poor: Saw very few does or bucks this year. Usually see lots of doe and small bucks. Don’t know if someone has been shooting then all year and at night.
Poor: Deer were nocturnal through most of season. Baiting drew most of the deer across river to a hunting club. We plant food plots year-round to provide quality growth. I am against baiting. It takes away from children having to learn to be real hunters. Learning to read signs, trailing, looking for natural food sources and what it takes to be an ethical hunter.
Jenkins Co. G-3, F-1
Good: Saw lots of deer until after the primary rut passed, then it slacked off. Also, no mature bucks sighted all season. Wish we had stricter antler restrictions.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Johnson Co. E-1, G-2, F-2
Excellent: First season on new property purchased this year. Two hunters saw 10 deer and harvested three deer. Hunt was over by 10 a.m. I harvested a mature 7-pointer, which is my oldest deer yet.
Fair: Deer movement was decent from muzzleloader through first two weeks of modern gun. After that, movement went nocturnal only. Multiple bucks 130 to 150 on camera. Never stepped out in daylight but still getting pics. Outlaw corn.
Jones Co. E-1, G-12, F-12, P-3
Excellent: Successful on two bucks, one was a public-land deer and saw a fair amount of deer.
Good: Numerous deer sightings, and I harvested two does.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: Saw lots of deer but no shooters.
Good: Saw a lot of deer this season.
Good: Number of deer seen and managed to kill a quality buck.
Good: Saw a lot of deer early in the season and a good many bucks.
Good: Saw many does, fawns and several bucks just about each hunt.
Good: I got two bucks, and my wife got a buck. However, we hunted every weekend from bow opening until Thanksgiving and only saw a few deer.
Good: Harvested two nice 8-pointers this year, one with a muzzle loader and one with modern firearm.
Good: During the rut, there seemed to be more activity than usual.
Fair: No big bucks but saw a good many smaller ones.
Fair: I was not able to hunt for the last month due to an upper respiratory bug, can’t cough while hunting and expect to be successful.
Fair: Low doe population.
Fair: Population on public land is still low. Steps need to be taken by the DNR to correct the situation on National Forest Land and WMAs in the Piedmont region. Also, the WMA stamp needs to be brought back.
Fair: Didn’t see many good bucks, not even on camera.
Fair: Ratio of deer seen versus hours in the stand.
Fair: We just didn’t see the number of deer we use to see. Plus, the overall quality of the animal is down from what it used to be.
Poor: With the full moon aligned with our rut, the daytime movement of deer was almost non-existent.
Poor: Did not see many deer this season.
Lamar Co. E-1, G-5, F-2, P-2
Excellent: I killed two does and a buck. I saw lots of deer and could have killed more, but I had enough meat for me, friends and family. Saw some big bucks but could not put it together.
Good: Could of been better, could of been worse.
Good: It just seemed average. I have had better, so I can’t rank it the highest. Did have one good encounter that I missed.
Good: We have 800-plus acres leased with eight members and we are a bow-only trophy club. We want to harvest mature deer. I personally passed on a 130-inch 9-point because I felt he was 3.5 years old at most. Everyone saw numerous bucks, with several 2.5-year-old 8s and 10s.
Fair: Only saw one shooter buck, and others were small.
Poor: Only saw three does, one small buck when normally see eight to 10, with four being 6 points or better. Too many yotes around.
Laurens Co. E-2, G-10, F-7
Excellent: Saw lots of deer.
Good: Filled the freezer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer early in the season.
Good: Lots of deer seen this year.
Good: Lots of deer, just no shooter bucks so far.
Good: Didn’t hunt as much this year. I have food plots planted behind my house but haven’t been seeing as many this year during the day. A lot of pictures at night.
Good: Killed two bucks. One nice 9-pointer. The other a cull buck.
Fair: Hard to judge the rut. Deer seemed more nocturnal this season.
Fair: Did not get many chances to be in the woods.
Fair: Both overall deer numbers and quality of bucks this deer season have been down as compared to previous seasons. The lack of quality bucks captured on trail cameras has also been disappointing this year.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer and a bunch of smaller bucks. But also had some neighbors to shoot a few of them. Still don’t understand why GA will not go to a managed state. It’s getting to the point where the residents here are starting to lease land out of state with hopes of taking a big deer. When I say smaller bucks, I am talking 8- and 9-pointers with 15- to 17-inch spreads.
Lee Co. E-8, G-3, P-1
Excellent: The entire county has improved in reference to larger-racked bucks. This has been ongoing for 30 years.
Excellent: I harvested a good buck, and I have seen a lot of deer this season.
Excellent: On my farm, we have set it up for conservation for 10 years, and we have a lot of deer.
Excellent. Tagged out.
Excellent: Killed my two biggest deer this year, and one of them was with a bow.
Good: The rut started as expected.
Good: Saw more big bucks.
Poor: High fences cut deer off from naturally flowing to the property I hunt.
Liberty Co. E-1, G-1, F-1, P-1
Good: First real season and got one nice buck and one smaller buck, both 8-pointers.
Fair: Did not harvest anything but did enjoy the outdoors and seeing our natural resources.
Poor: Land being clearcut. Landowners remove oak trees. Deer can’t eat pine cones.
Lincoln Co. G-10, F-5, P-1
Good: Seen a lot of deer, and got one but am still hunting to try and get another one.
Good: Did not see as many deer as last season. Did see more coyotes and bobcats.
Good: Killed two bucks, no does.
Good: Saw some deer. Had some nice deer killed around the area, but I did not see the number of deer I expected. I hunt primarily on a property of managed pine. The white oaks in our area did not produce and dispersed the deer to different patterns.
Good: Considering my wife and I started a business in 2017 and I maintained my full-time job, I was able to harvest one doe and a 7-point buck.
Good: Seen a lot of deer and took a nice deer.
Good: Having the freedom and health to enjoy the outdoors is always good.
Good: Saw plenty of deer Was surprised at the pig population in Lincoln County.
Fair: Poor rutting and small babies. Maybe next year.
Fair: Saw some deer several small bucks, but there were no acorns for them to eat. I enjoyed the season.
Long Co. E-1, G-1, P-2
Excellent: Plenty of deer and a great club with good members.
Lowndes Co. E-1, F-2, P-2
Excellent: Most deer sightings in years. Most mature buck sightings in years. Killed two mature bucks and a doe. Had multiple 20-plus deer sightings. Great rutting activity.
Fair: Saw lots of does and small bucks.
Poor: Poachers and road hunters killing every doe and yearling in neighborhood and people sitting in your stand or driving there side by side on everyone’s property close by.
Lumpkin Co. E-1, G-5, F-1
Excellent: Took two good bucks, a 6- and an 8-pointer off Chattahoochee NF.
Good: I saw 19 deer at various times during the season, and for the area I hunt in Lumpkin County, that is above-average sightings.
Good: I’ve been hunting for more than 30 years. The first 10 of my 30 years hunting I was more or less just spending time in the woods as I was learning how to hunt. As for the 20-plus other years, I can’t remember a season where the rut ran so long and as visibly strong as it did this year.
Fair: Only saw and killed one deer.
Macon Co. E-5, G-10, F-2, P-3
Excellent: Son shot his first buck!
Excellent: We hunt 640 acres of family land and had shot very few does in the last few years. We tried QDMA 50/50 buck to does, but more does, more deer, more bucks, produces bigger bucks. Bucks from the surrounding property move in when the rut starts.
Excellent: Due to the wet spring and summer, the quality of bucks this year was some of the best in years.
Good: So many deer.
Good: Seen a lot of smaller bucks and a lot of a lot of large does with mostly twins yearlings.
Good: Saw a lot of deer but no large bucks.
Good: Seen lot of deer and was able to take a decent buck.
Good: I was able to harvest two does and my first buck with a bow.
Good: I saw plenty of deer. I had a friend come hunt, and he shot a 160-class buck.
Fair: Deer became nocturnal quickly once firearm season began. I think this has some to do with hunting pressure, but I also think it has more to do with baiting. I feel since the baiting law changed deer movement and has transitioned it more to night than it ever has before.
Fair: Didn’t kill any big bucks, but we were able to fill the freezer.
Poor: Seen very few deer this season and had very weak rut.
Poor: No deer.
Madison Co. G-5, F-4, P-3
Good: We saw decent deer numbers and a definite decrease in fawn mortality and coyote sightings. Wild pigs have found their way on to our property. The pigs have caused fairly decent damage to our lower-lying swamp areas and some of the food plots. We will exclusively hunt them in the off season over bait with the hopes of decreasing their numbers or causing them to leave our property and seek refuge somewhere else.
Good: Several deer sightings and buck sign. Took a young meat buck but no trophy sightings. Just love to deer hunt and share in the beauty of God’s creations.
Fair: Didn’t harvest a mature buck.
Fair: Although I did eventually kill a fairly nice 8-point buck on Dec. 29, until then I only saw a few young bucks and does. Hunting pressure is pretty intense around my area, and I also believe the coyotes are working on the deer population pretty bad.
Fair: Not many sightings.
Poor: Health issues did not allow me to hunt.
Poor: Saw very few deer. What few bucks I saw had small racks. Also saw a couple of spikes.
Marion Co. E-2, G-6, F-5
Excellent: Saw plenty of bucks and does.
Excellent: I saw a lot of deer and killed two 8-points and a few does. I saw one bruiser of a buck, a spike was under my stand and I was afraid to move and spooked both! He’ll be bigger next year. Trail-cam pics show some 140-class bucks and a few bumping 150. I also killed four hogs. My freezer is full.
Good: Being able to bait near the area I hunt has brought more deer to my area and has let me watch more wildlife come and go through my area.
Good: My cameras showed more daylight bucks than normal, even though I didn’t hunt much.
Good: Saw numerous deer but I did not rate it excellent because I really only saw two shooters all year, and normally I would have seen four or five. The doe were plentiful this year as always.
Good: Saw good deer movement in person and on camera.
Good: Well, I hunted more this season and saw a good number of deer. Most were bucks, but none that I would mount, so I chose not to take any. We got more precipitation, and the food plots have done well. Acorn production was ok, too.
Fair: Bagged two does and a hog but never saw a racked buck in the daytime.
Fair: Weather too warm. All else good.
Fair: Too many young bucks being killed.
McDuffie Co. E-1, G-4, F-1, P-2
Excellent: Saw deer every time I was out.
Good: I was successful with one buck.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: Killed two deer with muzzleloader. During remainder of season, I passed on several small to medium bucks and several does because I had trail-cam pics of two large bucks.
Fair: Deer sightings were low. Don’t know if done through Mother Nature or poor management through surrounding lands.
Poor: Hunted hard on Clark Hill WMA. Saw three deer all season. Did let a small spike walk away that I could have shot.
Poor: As usual, the deer population is no where near where it needs to be. The steady decline in numbers has been very evident.
McIntosh Co. F-1, P-2
Fair: The deer movement was good, but I wasn’t seeing good bucks. I had some awesome bucks on camera and even a couple in daylight shooting hours. But, once hunting season commenced, they went nocturnal on me. I did kill two deer this year, so it wasn’t a total waste of a season, but I would have really liked to have at least seen some of the good bucks I was getting on my trail cam.
Poor: Few deer sightings.
Meriwether Co. E-6, G-22, F-11, P-14
Excellent: Best season ever for number of deer and for quality bucks. I hunted differently this year, moving from South Zone, where I feel the deer have become more nocturnal due to baiting. I hunted all day when I hunted, and many deer were seen during the middle of the day.
Excellent: Saw a lot of great deer. Harvested one nice 8-pointer and three does.
Excellent: Harvested a nice 9-pointer.
Excellent: Saw a few deer each time hunted.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer and lots of good bucks.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer, and I took two nice bucks.
Good: Saw several 3.5-year-old bucks, a few mature bucks and lots of does. Killed a nice 9-pointer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer regularly. The rut seemed to be more visible this year.
Good: I didn’t hunt much because of health issues with my wife, but I have 400 acres in southwest Meriwether County and run a lot of cameras, so I have a good feel on the deer population in my area. Things are looking decent, but I do believe the deer population is slowly getting less year by year. Why? I don’t know, but shooting too many does and the number of coyotes are most likely part of the problem. I’ve got pictures of a coyote with a fawn leg in its mouth. I know a guy that is 5 miles away from me in Troup county, and he sees far less deer on his place than I do, so deer population can vary greatly even just a few miles away.
Good: Saw a lot of deer as usual and was fortunate take two mature bucks.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and harvested a doe and buck.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: Due to health reasons, only hunted two times but took two nice 8-points. On the negative side, sightings have been declining for the last several years. We have a terrible coyote problem. I am finding more and more coyote kills and hearing more, as well.
Good: Tagged out on two bucks and passed on several others. Still not seeing as many does as in the past few years. Might need to start limiting the doe days in this county.
Good: Saw lots of deer but very few with 4 points on one side and big enough to shoot.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Came in too late as I waited for full residency.
Good: I got a nice 8-point.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and got a good buck.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer and no big bucks.
Fair: Few quality bucks seen.
Fair: Only hunted three times, and it was hot, with little deer activity.
Fair: Saw less deer this season than in previous seasons.
Fair: Didn’t see any deer was only able to hunt a few times.
Fair: Less does. Need to go back to doe days and limit the number killed.
Fair: I have not seen the normal amount of deer that I normally see every year. The deer just don’t seem to be as abundant as they normally would. It’s like they have just disappeared.
Fair: Haven’t seen very many deer this year compared to last year. Was able to harvest a 9-pointer and doe. Deer are traveling more at dark than day.
Fair: Deer numbers are ok but quality of deer have been on a decline for the past five years, even after extensive management. We are taking a few deer that are good, but the state is so reactive and not proactive on ways to improve hunting in general. They don’t think outside the box and base everything off WMA studies. I will be dead and gone by the time their next creative idea comes along. Genetic reintroductions, better ways to control predators, hunting season timing, look at what other successful states are doing. They have watched the turkey population almost disappear and coming up with all this biological stuff. We need to use biology but also common sense and creativity because not all things are equal or the same. We need some new thinking and logic being utilized to create solutions to make hunting better for the next generation. I hate that the good days of big deer and great hunting is in my rear view mirror instead of ahead of me.
Poor: This was the first year in the last 15 that I did not see a mature buck. I did not have one on camera. Some nice 3 year olds that I passed on, but overall deer numbers seemed to be down. I think the bag limit on antlerless deer is too high… should be maybe half of what we have now. Also, I think the season should still end on New Years Day. I see, both in the field and on trail cams, deer that have shed their antlers during the first two weeks of January. I’m sure that many bucks are being shot for does during this period.
Poor: I only saw three deer, and I let them all walk. My son killed a nice buck, but that was the only deer he saw.
Poor: Not enough sightings of legal-size deer.
Poor: Poor buck sightings.
Poor: Didn’t see hardly any deer in the daytime, even at the feeders in the yard. A few small bucks on cameras at night. My nephew shot two small does on opening morning of gun season though.
Poor: Few deer, none were quality.
Poor: Temperature changes, logging operations, food supply.
Poor: Have seen few deer since law was changed to allow baiting. We are 2 to 3 miles of Harris County where they can bait.
Poor: Due to weather, health issues and my schedule, I didn’t get fall food plots planted and had limited time.
Poor: Other hunters killing does before the rut in my area.
Miller Co. E-1
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer, several small bucks and does. One shooter buck that will be on my wall in a few months.
Mitchell Co. E-2, G-1, F-1, P-2
Excellent: Saw a lot of bucks and does.
Excellent: Saw a lot of good deer.
Fair: I saw a fair amount of deer this year and got a decent harvest but didn’t see the quality of bucks that I did last year. Had a good amount of deer on my trail cameras, but much of the deer movement was at night, even though I hunt in a low hunting pressure area.
Poor: No bucks.
Monroe Co. E-3, G-7, F-14, P-3
Excellent: Killed a non-typical 19-point.
Good: Saw a fair number of deer. Harvested my personal limit of one doe and one buck that more than filled my freezer. I would say I saw fewer deer after the rut. I believe they went nocturnal based on my trail cameras. Few rains after I planted my food plots, which was again disappointing.
Good: Plenty of deer seen. Lots of younger bucks but fewer mature bucks than usual.
Good: Saw a lot of deer during the archery and primitive-weapons season. After that, things got tough. Our club (12 members) has killed one deer since Thanksgiving Day.
Good: Saw and passed on a lot of good bucks.
Fair: Deer density numbers are down due to too many doe days.
Fair: Significant nocturnal deer movement but little daytime activity during the rut.
Fair: OK amount of deer seen.
Fair: Saw a fair number of does and young bucks but no older bucks.
Fair: Saw a lot of does early in season while on WMA hunt in Rum Creek. No bucks until last day and missed opportunity. Not much sign early on in season. Piedmont hunt had too many hunters stacked on top of each other.
Fair: Not a lot of deer this season. Saw some good bucks but nothing like last year. Real slow. The does were not there either. I don’t know what happened.
Fair: Only saw few small does and bucks. Nothing that I would shoot.
Fair: We have 430 acres and have only killed a handful of does in the last five years, but each season we see fewer and fewer does. Trail cams on our property show way more bucks than does. Predators seem to be a big problem.
Fair: Few does seen.
Fair: Warm weather at wrong time.
Fair: Saw fewer deer.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer as we usually do.
Fair: Have only seen one deer and killed it. Have hunted regularly until I had back surgery.
Poor: Did not see that many deer, only two or three, and I even planted food plots.
Poor: We have yet to see or get a picture of a buck grossing over 135 on our trophy-managed club of 1,000 acres. Our property has a good mix of cover, and we plant summer and winter food plots.
Morgan Co. E-4, G-11, F-8, P-4
Excellent: Saw lots of shooter bucks but decided to pass. There were plenty of does to shoot for venison.
Excellent: Saw more bucks than does.
Excellent: Always good season where we hunt. Plenty of deer.
Excellent: Very generous landowner allowed me to guide a youth in January, and she killed her first-ever deer, a fat doe for the table. A memory I’ll never forget.
Good: Saw many bucks but nothing big.
Good: Good herd sizes, simple harvest regulations.
Good: Saw a decent number of does/bucks. Was able to take a buck that grossed in the 140s.
Good: Saw lots of deer all year. Had a couple quality bucks come in during bow season but not able to get a shot. Excellent early season. Didn’t see the movement I was expecting during the rut, so I never got close to an opportunity for a quality buck.
Good: I had a pretty good season so far. I saw a good amount of mature bucks and plenty of does. I have killed one buck so far. It was a 6.5-year-old with a bad rack.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: Didn’t see any wall hangers while hunting.
Good: Good deer numbers with good age structure. We do manage extensively, which includes trapping of predators.
Fair: Did not see as many deer as in past seasons.
Fair: Due to illness, couldn’t go as much. When I did, saw fewer deer.
Fair: I shot a wall hanger on Nov. 3. Began the season seeing a lot of deer, but after mid November, I’m didn’t see any deer. I went from seeing eight to 10 on a hunt to maybe 1.
Fair: Very few shootable bucks.
Fair: Of the relatively few hunting trips (eight) for me, didn’t see a thing on four of the trips.
Fair: I didn’t get a big buck but saw four. Hunted 18 days and saw 42 deer.
Fair: Didn’t see many bucks this year.
Poor: Had deer on camera this summer. Did not see many during the season.
Poor: I saw some rutting activity but never saw any nice bucks.
Poor: Saw very few bucks.
Montgomery Co. E-1, G-1, F-3
Excellent: I have hunted my property for 17 years, and this is as good a year for fawn production and buck carryover that I have ever seen. I had finished deer hunting by the end of November and had taken five does and two bucks, one of which was a heavy-horned 8-point swamp donkey with awesome mass. I checked cameras just before New Years and could not believe how many bucks and does were still out there. It seems I did not even dent the population at all.
Fair: The deer movement was down for us. We did kill one buck per person. The doe harvest needs to be dropped to five or less.
Fair: No shots fired but did see deer and had opportunities. No bucks big enough for my taste. I guess I’m getting old and lazy. I did not see many does and elected not to shoot the few I saw.
Murray Co. G-2, F-4, P-2
Fair: It was a weird year for the northern counties. The rut never seemed to come in like it usually does. The bucks never were after the doe. All my trail-cam pics was does together and bucks together and mainly at night.
Fair: Saw lots of deer, mostly does and small bucks. With very few doe days and baiting not allowed in the Northern Zone, my opportunity to harvest was minimal.
Poor: Saw very few deer. Every year I see fewer deer. I believe 10 does per person is way too many, and I think there should be fewer either-sex days. I’m sure coyotes play a major role in the decrease of the deer population. I plan on spending more time hunting out of state.
Muscogee Co. F-1
Newton Co. E-3, G-5, F-5, P-4
Excellent: Between my two sons and I, we harvested four deer, three of which are being mounted. We saw more deer this year than compared to last.
Excellent: I have seen a lot of bucks this year, lots of buttons and spikes. I shot my best-ever 8-point this year and saw three bucks that were much larger than him that didn’t present a good shot.
Excellent: I got to hunt and spend time outdoors. Saw plenty of deer.
Good: More quality deer seen.
Good: Saw a lot of does and some good upcoming 3.5-year-old bucks.
Good: There were plenty of deer, especially if you were hunting for meat. Big bucks were hard to find.
Good: I did not get to hunt as much as I would have liked to.
Good: Did not see many deer. No bucks. Got two does, though.
Fair: There were little to no acorns where I primarily hunt. Deer were more scattered out than normal for me.
Fair: No time in woods.
Fair: Deer wasn’t very active this year.
Fair: I believe in the area I was primarily hunting there was lack of natural food sources. Very little or no acorn crop around my land this past season.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer as we have in the past. A lot of coyotes have moved into our area of Newton County.
Poor: We have a relatively small tract of land that we hunt. It’s about 400 acres with four to five members who hunt it regularly. We maintain food plots and have five feeding stations that we stock with corn and protein chow about five months out of the year. There were actually very few deer sightings this year, with two good quality bucks seen. Neither one of those offered a shot. We ended up harvesting only two does for the season. Last year was not a banner season either, but we had two quality bucks harvested and four or five does.
Poor: The season started off with buck only and numerous does were seen. There were also multiple deer/car accidents within site of my hunting area. If the season starts off with does, there would be more control over the herd and less deer/car accidents.
Poor: Low doe numbers compared to previous years. Overall population decrease has continued for the last three years.
Poor: Neighbor started logging a week before season.
Oconee Co. E-1, G-5, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Lots of deer seen. Many 2.5-plus-year-old bucks observed.
Good: I harvested my first-ever opening-day buck that was unfortunately a fraction of an inch under P&Y, but he is still going on the wall. I also had the opportunity to assist with a friend’s son harvesting his first deer at 11 years old. Overall deer sightings were acceptable, but I am surprised I am not seeing more quality bucks since I let a lot of deer walk.
Good: Saw a lot of bucks, killed one nice one.
Good: The times I did go I saw deer and killed one this season.
Good: First time in several years that more than one quality buck was on the farm. Would have much better, except that the storm blew most of the white oak acorns down before the season started. Does were abundant.
Good: Saw more deer.
Good: I saw a lot of deer but did not take any. I am in a trophy club and trophies are few and far between.
Fair: Didn’t see any mature bucks and very few does.
Fair: Didn’t see many bucks but saw lots of does.
Oglethorpe Co. E-12, G-18, F-12, P-10
Excellent: I saw lots of deer and lots of sign, and I harvested two deer, one of them being a nice 9-point making it my largest deer to date.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer. Buck numbers seem up from the norm. Does looked healthy. The rut seemed to last longer this year. My daughter got her first deer/buck
Excellent: I saw several 8-point bucks. I harvested a huge 9-point buck that weighed 150 pounds field-dressed. I saw a very nice 10-point buck that I am still hunting. The deer are very healthy. Nice doe-to-buck ratio.
Excellent: Harvested a nice 12-pointer and 10-pointer. I saw lots of small bucks that will grow up one day and many does. Other members of the club saw lots of deer.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer this season. Did not see a lot of bucks but did catch several on trail cam.
Excellent: I had knee replacement surgery and did not get out there until late December, but it was great to get back in the outdoors.
Excellent: I did not get to hunt as much as I wanted because of work. But I saw deer almost every time that I did hunt. I also shot a 5 1/2- or 6 1/2-year-old 8-pointer. I also got a mature doe. Another member in my club also shot a buck and doe.
Excellent: Killed a nice buck and saw deer almost every hunt.
Excellent: This year I killed a 4-pointer and missed two does and a large 8. My papa also missed a large 8, and we ended up seeing more than 25 deer. I may be only 15, but this is my best season yet killing my eighth deer.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer, shot a nice buck.
Excellent: Myself and two of my three sons killed quality bucks this year.
Good: I got one deer, which in my opinion is good because I have only been deer hunting for about five years now, and so far I have gotten three deer.
Good: Saw deer almost every time I went.
Good: Saw plenty of animals, does and small bucks.
Good: Saw three 120-class bucks, great weather, healthy deer heard, killed nice 8-point with bow.
Good: Hunted new property with good hunting and great friends.
Good: Based on last year, this year is much better.
Good: Saw lots of bucks and does, and killed what I wanted, three.
Good: Saw many deer and several bucks. Plenty of food for the deer.
Good: Saw three quality bucks and a few smaller bucks (chose not to take any). Quantity seems down slightly on our club.
Good: I shot a nice 8-pointer in my food plot the second week of gun season and let three other shooters walk. Saw a lot more does and small bucks than previous years. Our club has been planting food plots for many years, and they make the hunting a whole lot better and does away with the need to hunt over bait.
Good: Did not hunt much. Still good.
Good: Saw a lot of good young upcoming bucks. Had some good 130- to 170-inch deer killed on the property by other members. Only negative was full moon and above normal temps during the prime rutting time.
Good: Saw a few deer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer, including nice bucks. I took one buck.
Good: Saw good deer populations. Harvested a good 9-point, 3 1/2-year-old. Saw good friend kill his first deer, 130-inch public land 10-point.
Fair: Less deer every year.
Fair: The deer did not move well this year. Although we saw deer, it was far and few between. Lots and lots of nighttime pictures; very few throughout the day.
Fair: Saw same amount of deer as usual.
Fair: I didn’t go enough this year. We are in the process of setting up a new property that we purchased. New food plots, building the deer herd and feeding them.
Fair: Last people that leased where we hunt now did not let bucks mature.
Fair: Saw good amounts of smaller bucks and doe.
Fair: Did not get very many opportunities to hunt due to work.
Fair: Have not seen the number of deer this year as in past years, and most of the deer taken on our two leases were bucks. Very few does even seen.
Fair: The deer did not move well this year. Although we saw deer, it was few and far between. Lots and lots of nighttime pictures; very few throughout the day.
Fair: Seen a lot of deer but not the quality of deer due to so many hunt clubs that adjoin ours that shoot young deer.
Fair: Less deer sighting, fewer mature buck sightings. We have hunted the same tract of private land since 1978. I don’t expect the heyday that we experienced in the 80s, but deer sightings and mature buck movement has dropped significantly in the last five years.
Poor: Saw few deer.
Poor: Saw fewer deer than ever through hunting time and cameras. Fewer deer in totality daytime and fewer night time pictures, as well.
Poor: We saw much less deer activity/deer than usual even during rut.
Poor: Too many days when zero deer were seen.
Poor: Our property holds lots of deer by way of trail-camera data. I hunt 1,800 acres, but I did not see any mature bucks while hunting, even though we had more than 12 different (and consistent) mature bucks on trail camera. I never saw a single buck, other than a few spikes and button bucks. And I never saw any bucks chasing does. Never. This is a first for me not seeing rut activity. I don’t know what happened.
Poor: Did not see but one buck, he was too far away for a safe shot. We had numerous places where we saw signs. Some of our 15 members harvested three deer between all of us. During bow season one was harvested on the last day of that season.
Poor: Just haven’t seen many deer this year. First year in a long time that I haven’t gotten a buck.
Poor: The quality of the bucks this year showed a definite decline.
Paulding Co. E-2, G-4, F-9, P-6
Good: Increased number of deer seen. One deer harvested.
Good: Lots of deer seen.
Good: It was just OK.
Good: Saw deer on more than 75 percent of hunts.
Fair: The cold and hot temps made the deer rut and activities messed up.
Fair: Deer sightings were down from previous years.
Fair: Saw a few deer but did not harvest any.
Fair: The property that I hunt is surrounded by the Paulding Forest. The property owner decided to cut the pine trees in September, October. It moved the deer off the property.
Fair: Had a couple of encounters with deer, but no shooters.
Fair: Early in the season the weather was warm, making for difficult hunting conditions. November had better weather, and I was able to be in the woods many times. I rate my season based on seeing deer, not just harvesting, and we just didn’t see many deer.
Poor: I have only bowhunted the last several years and haven’t gotten close enough for a shot.
Poor: Because of health reasons, I was unable to hunt this year.
Poor: Everyone around baits and draws deer away from the area.
Poor: Didn’t see anything.
Poor: Too few deer as result of liberal either-sex days and coyote population.
Peach Co. E-2
Excellent: I saw plenty of rutting activity. Although I didn’t shoot a wall-hangar buck, the opportunity did come, but I was not fully ready when it presented itself.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer. Killed two bucks and a doe.
Pickens Co. E-1, G-4, F-2
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and good bucks.
Good: Killed two bucks.
Fair: Shot a good 8-point but saw very few. Weather and timing may have been to blame. We can’t always hunt when we want to.
Pierce Co. E-2, F-1
Fair: Start of season was hot, the hurricane came through, newly started club.
Pike Co. G-9, F-2
Good: I only saw a handful of deer, but the ones I did see and harvest were bucks.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: I am almost strictly a trophy hunter with the occasional doe for meat. Although I haven’t bagged a deer this year, I definitely could have.
Good: I saw a good pre-rut, rut and post-rut.
Fair: Killed just one deer.
Fair: Just have not been able to hunt as much this year.
Polk Co. E-1, G-5, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Club members saw lots of deer.
Good: I saw a good many deer with several bucks among them. I didn’t get to hunt as much as I normally do but still got to spend a lot of time in the woods.
Good: I only shot one doe because that was all I needed to fill my freezer. I passed on several good bucks and lots of small ones. Did not see as many deer overall as normal though this season.
Fair: Saw some deer but not as many as past couple of years.
Fair: Was hunting a nice 10-pointer I had trail-cam pics of. Hunted him hard, and my neighbor got him. Saw lots of small bucks and does, but no shooters.
Poor: Didn’t see but five deer all season.
Pulaski Co. E-1, G-2, F-2, P-1
Good: I saw more deer this year than the last six years and killed my biggest deer this year.
Fair: I saw a good many deer throughout the season. Did not see many mature bucks.
Fair: Lack of deer sightings.
Poor: Because of medical issues, I was not able hunt except for opening weekend of gun season. I did see several young bucks. We practice QDM, and nothing was taken.
Putnam Co. E-3, G-8, F-8, P-11
Excellent: Multiple deer sightings. Harvested two bucks.
Excellent: Great season. Muzzleloader buck in Truck-Buck contest. Two does with compound bow. Seen lots of deer. Blessed.
Excellent: Hammered down on a 6- and an 8-pointer. Saw a pile of deer. Saw a bunch of coyotes and bobcats, too, but still seeing a lot of deer. I think it comes down to good overall habitat.
Good: Saw plenty deer. Several nice bucks harvested in my club.
Good: Saw deer pretty much every time out.
Good: Only got to hunt a few times and saw deer just about every time.
Good: Lots of deer sightings.
Good: I was able to hunt with relative few outside interruptions/trespassers/poachers and was able to put some meat in the freezer.
Good: There were more deer. More big bucks.Good: Killed six deer, could have killed more. All were on WMAs.
Fair: I hunt my family’s property, which consists of 207 acres of pine forest. The landowner that borders my property on three sides recently high fenced his land, which now prohibits the free ranging of game/wildlife across my property significantly.
Fair: Just not a lot of daytime movement.
Fair: Deer have too much cover, and seeing them moving in daylight is tough.
Fair: Deer sightings while in the stand was not high.
Fair: We didn’t see near as many deer as we have in years past. Last year I saw 37 deer from the stand. I hunted the same amount this year but only saw a total of 14. Numbers way down across club members.
Fair: Never did see any mature bucks chasing. Had more of a trickle rut.
Good: Didn’t see as many big bucks as I have in prior years. In fact, I did not harvest a buck this year so far.
Poor: Saw less deer. Coyote damage.
Poor: Because I can’t put out bait for them to come eat! I have cameras on bait piles and get pictures all through the daylight hours, but then I go hunt somewhere I don’t have bait out and see nothing. There is a reason they call it bait or attractant, because deer love it,. You can’t catch a fish with an empty hook, you have to have bait on it. It’s the same way with all other species.
Poor: Too many young deer taken by club members. 37 deer total on 1,283 acres. Think it’s about time to move on. Too many members taking small deer and will not practice any type of game management. Just a bunch of weekend warriors.
Poor: Did not see many deer very few bucks.
Poor: I’ve hunted the same private property for five years. I saw fewer and smaller/younger deer than we have ever seen. We usually see a lot more deer than this year. We sat most days never seeing a deer. We have a huge amount of coyotes on game cameras.
Poor: They keep clearcutting, and nothing but pines grow up. Private hunting lands taking over.
Poor: Did not see deer large enough to shoot. Too much logging being done in the area.
Poor: Sightings way down.
Poor: Too few deer seen. Lots of coyote signs.
Poor: Saw no bucks and only six does.
Poor: This was the worst season I have seen in 20 years. In my opinion, there were many contributing factors: where I hunt, there were no acorns; I only saw five fawns for eight does (both while hunting and on game camera); I only saw six bucks, and those after dark on game camera; number of does shot on opening weekend; the woods were filled with so many shots it sounded like a war zone, and there could not have been that many bucks shot; natural predation. I am seeing an increase in coyote activity.
Quitman Co. E-3, G-1, F-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and shot what need for meat.
Excellent: Deer everywhere. Shot 8-pointer and doe, plus others in our camp were successful.
Excellent: I filled both buck tags with nice bucks and shot several does. One of the bucks was chasing a doe. The weather was cool, and the abundant rainfall had the herd in good shape.
Good: Saw lots of deer. Coyotes and hogs are a real problem.
Rabun Co. G-1, P-3
Good: Seeing and getting deer but no big ones.
Poor: Seen few and killed nothing.
Poor: I have not seen a deer while hunting in two years now.
Randolph Co. E-3, G-4, F-9, P-1
Excellent: Saw plenty deer and the quality deer management is working for our county.
Excellent: I have not been able to hunt much, but I have never seen the amount of buck activity that I have seen this season. I harvested a nice 8-point on Dec. 30.
Good: Saw good numbers of deer.
Good: Good because of the deer movement this year and decent rutting activity thanks to timely cold fronts and rain.
Good: It was good in that I saw deer and other game ,which always makes it fun, regardless of seeing shooters or harvesting. I enjoy watching game and learn a lot from watching them. Game cameras are nice, but nothing beats watching deer movement and behavior in person. I wasn’t able to hunt much, especially not during rut, so I can’t say the season was excellent. I did harvest two bucks, several does and four hogs, all with bow.
Fair: Timing of my vacation versus the rut was off by at least a week.
Fair: There are so many clubs in this county. Clubs are next to each other, no matter where you are.
Fair: Saw zero mature bucks and only a couple does. Mostly 1 1/2-year-old bucks.
Fair: Too much hot weather late in the season and timber companies cutting.
Fair: Lot of young deer.
Fair: Warm weather late in season hampered prep and movement of deer. Late rut conflicted with availability.
Fair: We saw an increase in activity due to the precipitation and actual growth of food and standing water. However, the increased activity seemed to be in very young bucks. Most of our larger bucks that showed on camera would only approach feeding stations in the middle of the night, and we did not see any really nice deer in the daylight. Also, seemed to be a pretty minimal amount of does out in shooting light compared to year’s past.
Richmond Co. E-1, G-3, F-1, P-1
Excellent: I harvested an 8-point buck.
Good: I saw more deer than usual this year.
Good: I was able to take a quality buck with my bow during the rut. Had several encounters but not able to take a shot on the primary buck I was after.
Poor: No club, too little free time.
Rockdale Co. G-3, P-2
Good: It was average. I duck hunted a lot more than deer hunted.
Good: Shot and recovered two bucks, one by crossbow and one by rifle.
Poor: I only hunt a small tract of land, so the deer density isn’t very much. I had one opportunity to harvest a doe and two yearling bucks but passed all three.
Poor: I only hunt a small tract of land, so the deer density isn’t very much. I had one opportunity to harvest a doe and two yearling bucks but passed all three.
Schley Co. G-6, F-1
Good: A lot of deer seen. Think season should be longer to cover late rut.
Good: My freezer is full once again. Passed up some really big bucks that I hope will grow into bigger bucks. Maybe I will see them another season.
Good: Seeing more quality bucks.
Good: We saw a lot of good deer. First year ever having pigs.
Good: Did well this year.
Good: Not as good as last year.
Fair: Surrounding timber company clubs killing every deer that steps over the line.
Screven Co. E-6, G-2, F-3
Excellent: I tagged out with two 120-plus bucks. Eight-year-old son got his first deer.
Excellent: Killed a substandard buck and a nice 8-point, as well as three antlerless deer.
Excellent: We saw plenty of deer and harvested some nice bucks on our club.
Excellent: Limited out on bucks and still seeing plenty of deer.
Excellent: I saw more deer this year than in many previous years.
Good: I only had the opportunity to hunt a few times and saw deer every time I went.
Fair: Did not get to hunt as much as I wanted based on having to work six weeks straight after the hurricane.
Fair: Saw too many immature bucks and small does.
Fair: Did not see quality of deer as previous seasons.
Spalding Co. E-1, G-7, F-3, P-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of food bucks. Very few does, however.
Good: I did not harvest a deer. I am strictly a quality buck hunter, and he never showed.
Good: Lots of deer, but bucks not very large.
Good: Successfully harvested the two deer I need each year.
Good: Harvested four deer early, one blackpowder, three rifle.
Good: Does have been over hunted. I spent a little more than 90 hours in the stand this year and saw several 2 1/2-year-old bucks. The rest were small bucks and orphaned fawns. Only two adult does seem all year.
Fair: Didn’t see many deer compared to past seasons.
Fair: One deer.
Poor: Deer sightings have been down for the past few years. This year continued the same. I have good cover, good bedding, 1.5 miles along the Flint River, food plots and plenty of oaks. We seldom see a doe during the build up to the rut. What few we do see are identifiable enough to know they are few in numbers. We see numerous small bucks but rarely one over 2.5, much less 3.5. I run six cameras on 200 acres, so I’m fairly confident of my numbers assessment. Deer hunting is just not as enjoyable as 10 years ago.
Stephens Co. G-1, F-1, P-5
Good: Saw plenty of deer and deer sign. It was the first time hunting in this area. Looking forward to next year.
Fair: Seen very few deer this year and didn’t really see any bucks chasing does when the rut should have been in.
Poor: After hunting at least three to four days a week during bow season and up through Thanksgiving, I haven’t seen a deer in the daylight all season long.
Poor: Only saw small number of does.
Poor: Have not seen any deer. Have lots of deer on trail camera after dark but none during daylight hours.
Poor: Very few deer.
Poor: Lack of time in the woods. Didn’t see one deer while on stand.
Stewart Co. E-4, G-6, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Lots of very healthy deer. Good fawn survival rate, too. All the spring rains helped them I believe.
Excellent: Two bucks, two does.
Excellent: Saw more deer. More bucks. Lots of does with yearlings.
Good: Larger deer this season.
Good: I saw plenty of deer, and I enjoy watching them.
Good: Saw lots of wildlife (deer, waterfowl, turkeys, bobcat, hogs, etc.), harvested some quality deer (healthy and mature, not trophy), weather was nice, and the camaraderie at camp was memorable.
Good: Saw several deer.
Good: Saw lots of deer and filled my freezer.
Good: We had the timber company thinning or clearcutting our lease this year ,which effected our season.
Fair: Too many hogs on our 400-acre lease.
Fair: Landowner had timber planting conducted the week the rut began in November. This was preceded by herbicide spraying that killed browsing vegetation that sustained our transient deer population. The deer virtually stopped passing through our lease area at the time of the rut. Adjacent club leases did much better.
Poor: Low numbers overall. Only saw one 8-point.
Sumter Co. E-4, G-5, F-2, P-3
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer. A good rut and several quality bucks.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer, a lot of young and upcoming bucks and does with two and three yearlings.
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer, and most every mature doe I saw had at least one yearling with her. I never saw a mature doe without a yearling. I actually witnessed a longer, more aggressive rut where bucks were cruising and responding to calls. I hunt four or five days a week,whether in the morning or afternoon, and have not seen this in the last few years. Also, I can count on one hand, how many times I went to the stand and didn’t see one deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, just not many mature ones.
Good: Did not get to hunt that much this season, but when I did, the deer were plentiful as far as does go. A lot of younger bucks that we do not allow to be taken. Only 8 points and above with 18 inches or more spread are allowed to be taken on our property. Three of these mature bucks were taken on a 200-acre farm with two hunters. With the amount of young bucks seen on cam this year, I expect to have a good season as well next year.
Good: I did not personally harvest a mature buck this season but saw several high potential 3-year-old bucks that hopefully will survive until next year. A few neighboring properties produced some very high-quality bucks this season.
Fair. Since the increase in the amount of does that can be taken, the success of hunting season has declined dramatically. I guess the insurance companies are still paying the DNR to keep the tags at 10. Some of us have to hunt to put enough meat in the freezer to help us through the year (especially if we are a one person/earning household). The taking of 10 does in a season is ridiculous.
Fair: Have seen a gradual decline in number of does seen the last couple years. Probably see three to four young bucks for every doe seen. Been like this for a couple years. It is worth noting on our 800 acres that we don’t harvest many does due to the lack of overall numbers.
Poor: I didn’t get a chance to hunt as much as I usually do. I saw a total of seven deer, six were non shooters (to young) and the other was the mother of a non-shooter. Seen a lot of shooters on my cameras, but they were all moving at night.
Poor: I didn’t see deer like last year.
Poor: Sat in the tree all season and didn’t see nothing.
Talbot Co. E-8, G-16, F-6, P-5
Excellent: We have managed for 22 years, and it keeps getting better with more bucks and bigger ones. Plenty of does, also. The feeding helps 100 percent.
Excellent: Two nice bucks not seen before on my property.
Excellent: Lots of deer, good bucks.
Excellent: I shot my biggest buck ever, and it was on a WMA.
Excellent: We had an above-average harvest with some good bucks taken on the club this year, myself being one of them. It was a rewarding experience with some hard work and patience. We decided to go all out putting in some food plots, using some corn to provide variety and passed on a lot of deer early in the season due to photos seen on the trail cams. I knew we had some quality bucks, and I was hopeful to harvest at least one for myself. Our harvest was above average, and everyone seemed to put meat in their freezer. The rut was right on target as we began to see this activity toward the end of October right into peak mid-November. We still saw bucks chasing does into mid-December.
Good: Got an 8-point with my bow and an 8-point with my rifle.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: I killed my crossbow deer, but then due to illness, I have not been back into the woods.
Good: I was able to harvest two bucks in the mid 120s, one with a muzzleloader and the other during the first week of modern firearms season.
Good: Not over yet, but got a 10-point on a quota hunt. Going this weekend and next to try for more. I saw quite a lot of mature bucks this year, but as a bowhunter most slipped by. I’d say I saw more mature bucks this year than any other year I can remember. Lots of does, as well.
Good: Plenty of deer, just no big bucks.
Good: Saw a few nice bucks but nothing compared to previous years in terms of quantity of 3 1/2-year-old deer or better.
Good: Did not harvest any deer. However, sighting of deer this season was more bucks than does. Our club has strict rules governing the harvest of antlered deer, and we supplement feed with soybean. I have been hunting deer since the late 60s and desire to harvest a really high-scoring deer. I passed on several deer this season that I estimate would score in the high 120s.
Good: Shot a nice 8-pointer.
Good: Saw good number of 8-pointers and younger deer but never saw the really big deer. Saw enough does and fawns to keep herd sustained.
Good: Deer numbers are good on our lease in the southern part of county. Year-round feeding is really helping.
Good: There was one good buck harvested on our land. There were also two bobcats and a coyote harvested, making our season unique. However, we saw primarily little immature spikes and 3-point bucks, which is discouraging considering we are in a trophy-only county.
Good: Saw deer almost every sit. Saw a few shooters but couldn’t get a shot. Saw several other bucks that were legal that I didn’t pull the trigger on. Had a good amount of bucks on camera.
Fair: Deer sightings were way down is the input from all members on our club. Our harvest this year is also way down from previous years. They have been doing a lot of clearcutting around us and a 100 acres on our property. We did kill our biggest buck in the five years we have had the lease.
Fair: Decent numbers, no big bucks.
Fair: Seeing bucks but no does.
Fair: Would of rated it better but didn’t pull the trigger on anything but some coyotes. I had plenty of great videos and pics I took of great quality bucks that need another year or two.
Fair: Deer numbers are way down.
Fair: I don’t really like hunting over the bait.
Poor: Very few deer seen this year.
Poor: Didn’t see many deer versus time spent hunting.
Poor: Overall herd size and doe and fawn numbers are lower than ever. Ridiculous bag limits are taken advantage of by just enough hunters in our area to affect deer per square mile, and it will continue as long as the law permits it.
Taliaferro Co. E-2, G-3, F-4, P-7
Excellent: Buck tags all used.
Excellent: Saw a good amount of chasing going on and a good amount of deer. Did not see as many hit on the side of the road.
Good: Did not see as many bucks this year. Have a neighboring club that shoots everything that moves.
Good: First, cutting timber on our lease and adjacent properties. Second, coyotes.
Good: I had a very interesting year. Saw many deer, mostly does and fawns. I haven’t harvested any yet, but that was because of my option to wait for a nice buck. I had several exciting mornings with bucks just before daylight, but I couldn’t see them until too late, and then I didn’t have a clear shot. I hope to harvest a doe in the last two weeks of the season. I am thankful to be healthy enough to still hunt.
Fair: Rut seemed to be early this year. Daytime buck sightings way down from last year, and the weather was just plain screwy in the early part of the year.
Fair: Saw a few decent bucks early in gun season. Very few deer late. No shooters.
Fair: Saw some deer the first part of season, then nothing.
Poor: Been hunting for 43 year, and this is by far the worst year I’ve had. Very few deer seen this season by anyone hunting our property. We have been hunting this property for 16 year and have watched the deer population steadily decline. There has not been a doe taken off this property (260 acres) for at least eight years. We have no control over the harvests on the surrounding property and wish the state would wake up and quit catering to the insurance lobby with the liberal limits and either-sex days. About ready to throw in the towel in Georgia and spend my money in another state.
Poor: We had some great deer on camera but seeing one in daylight was almost extinct this year.
Poor: Very few deer seen.
Poor: We saw very little deer activity this past season. Best food plots we have had. Lots of hogs this year.
Poor: Have not seen a deer yet.
Poor: Not many deer around. No need for buck-only days.
Poor: Too many hunters and too long of a season and declining habitat quality. Hunters too trigger happy and eliminate all of the younger bucks. The county is just plain overhunted, and the DNR does not care.
Tattnall Co. G-2, F-1, P-3
Good: Killed one nice buck and seen a lot of deer.
Good: Saw lots of bucks. Got a nice one with blackpowder. Continued to see bucks, just too small. Does were available, and I took two.
Fair: Others hunting on the property hunting all the time and shooting whatever walked out made deer nocturnal. By the end of December when I had several days to hunt, I didn’t see anything except at night.
Poor: Few quality deer seen.
Poor: Sickness in family, unable to get in the woods. Lost mother Dec. 15.
Taylor Co. E-6, G-10, F-7, P-2
Excellent: Saw lots of deer.
Excellent: Saw many bucks and didn’t bait.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer this year. Got enough rain for food plots to make. Nothing huge this year, but seeing deer is probably the best thing that happened.
Excellent: Saw more deer than ever.
Excellent: I saw multiple deer on every hunt, and the majority were bucks.
Excellent: I was able to harvest three does with my bow and two mature bucks with my rifle. I saw deer every hunt. It was the most fun I have had in the woods in years.
Good: Warm weather negatively impacted my season.
Good: Seeing plenty of deer. Harvested a cull buck.
Good: I have a farm with 200-plus acres, two feeders I keep filled year-round, lots of deer land around me with hunters with quality management interest.
Good: We manage our herd, and it is a working bean farm, so typically it is going to be a situation where we need to kill the does back. Plenty of bucks, but not the one or two really big ones, meaning upper 140 class to near 170.
Good: I did not see a lot of deer; got one buck on opening day and had another walk up to me that was not shootable. But, good fellowship with the guys and enjoyable time in the woods.
Good: Seen several deer, killed nice 8 and doe, but pigs getting to be a problem.
Good: Good bucks harvested during the rut. Plenty of deer sightings.
Fair: Honestly just wasn’t in the stand enough.
Fair: Didn’t get to go as much because of work, but when I went, I didn’t see as many deer as last year.
Fair: Just didn’t see the deer as previous season.
Fair: I haven’t seen the amount of deer we normally see. I contribute most of this to the lack of food plots we planted this year to recent years. Still seeing good groups of does but far fewer 3.5-year-olds and older.
Fair: We saw fewer deer this year.
Fair: I really enjoyed what time I got in the woods. Got a few health problems.
Poor: I killed one doe. I could have killed another but was seeing so few that I chose not to. I saw no buck bigger than a 6-point. Four years ago a peach farmer that had planted new trees on adjoining property had his workers go out at night and kill deer that were feeding on the trees. They killed more than 150 deer on 250 acres. We are still suffering from that. We have only killed two deer on 110 acres in four years.
Poor: My 25-year-old grandson was killed in a traffic accident on Oct. 20, 2017, the Friday night before opening of the firearms season. He was Type 1 diabetic, and his blood sugar dropped causing him to lose conscious. I was unable to bring myself to go to my hunt club’s camp this year. Been a member since 1985. Hopefully next year will be better.
Telfair Co. E-3, G-4, F-2, P-2
Excellent: Killed my best buck at 18 1/2 inches wide. My husband died last September, and I was hunting the same stand he killed his last buck. It was on the same day, Nov. 15, and at the same time, 5 p.m.
Excellent: Lots of good bucks were seen and good numbers of does.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and killed two cull bucks.
Good: I shot my best deer.
Good: Now I only guide my grandchildren, and they had a great season.
Good: QDM, lots of older bucks.
Good: Saw lots of deer and hogs.
Fair: I didn’t get to hunt as much as I wanted to.
Poor: Six hunts, saw nothing.
Poor: Little deer movement during the day.
Terrell Co. E-1, G-5
Excellent: I harvested a 3.5-year-old buck with my bow. Had a new hunter harvest their first buck, all so a 3.5-year-old buck. Three does, as well.
Good: Saw a lot of action.
Good: Constantly seeing deer, lots of young ones.
Good: While I haven’t had a chance to hunt as much as I would like to this season, I have seen a fair amount of deer on our property and on our trail cameras.
Good: I saw more deer than the previous years, including several mature bucks.
Good: Saw some nice bucks. Shot a big 8-pointer, 138 B&C.
Thomas Co. E-1, G-2, F-1, P-1
Excellent: Plenty of deer to see and success of my kids this year in the field.
Good: Saw plenty of deer almost every time I went hunting.
Good: Saw many deer but couldn’t hunt as much as wanted.
Fair: Seen deer, but neighbor’s dogs and hogs are running them away.
Poor: I have not seen very many deer this season. I saw one buck. He was a small 6-point with a lot of growing to do. I’ve seen six does, and that’s it. My pictures on my trail camera are not as plentiful as they were this time last year.
Tift Co. E-1, G-3, P-1
Excellent: 11-point and a 12-point, 190 pounds and 209 pounds.
Good: All around good season. I’m no trophy hunter. Horns can’t be eaten. Put several does and two bucks in the freezer. That’s what counts.
Good: Healthy herd killed two mature bucks.
Poor: Not near as many deer in this area as the state wants you to think. Just a few areas in Tift County have a decent deer population. I am 70 years old and have been hunting deer all over Georgia since deer hunting was made legal in Georgia. I have also hunted other states, as well. We are taking way too many deer with our 12-deer limit. Sure, in some areas we have too many deer,and they are causing crop damage, but we can handle that by extending the hunting season in those areas, with a larger limit, than the less populated areas. We are wasting way too many deer with the night-hunting permits, and the deer are being buried and not used. They could be donated to feed the hungry.
Toombs Co. E-3, F-1, P-1
Excellent: Seeing bigger and more variety of bucks more frequently. Saw deer almost every hunt spanning multiple counties and including WMAs. This also seems to be the same trend I’ve heard from other hunters.
Excellent: My 68-year-old father got two nice bucks this year. He hasn’t gotten anything in the past three years that we’ve hunted together, so I was starting to worry that his hearing and eyesight might not be sharp enough anymore. I’m happy that he showed me he has a few more deer left in him before he hangs up his camo.
Excellent: My son harvested his first buck, and we got several does, also. No wall hangers but enough deer to keep him interested.
Poor: Haven’t seen very many deer this season.
Towns Co. E-1, G-3
Excellent: Was able to harvest two nice bucks.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Just didn’t get a big buck.
Good: I let a lot of small bucks walk. Will wait until next year for a wall hanger.
Good: Saw five deer all season! Hogs were everywhere. Need to be able to bait on forest service land to help control population.
Treutlen Co. E-2, G-1, F-1
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer each time I went.
Excellent: Hunted three times, and got two 8-point bucks.
Fair: Only took two deer, small doe and a 4-point. I did not see a lot of action during the rut.
Troup Co. E-3, G-7, F-7, P-10
Excellent: Daughter got a nice 8-point. Got to spend another deer season with my dad who is 65 and still hunts harder than me.
Excellent: My daughter took her first deer. Saw a lot of deer and let a lot walk to give them one more year to grow.
Good: I saw plenty of deer. I just didn’t see any that I wanted to harvest.
Good: Saw a lot of does but did not see any mature bucks this year. Saw a lot of 2 1/2 year olds this season.
Good: One 140- and 130-class buck killed on our property this year. Several 140 class seen on camera. Best season we have had since 2010. More than 30 coyotes killed since we started leasing our property in 2010.
Good: We have seen a better crop of does and younger bucks. Had the opportunity to harvest a nice mature 10-point.
Good: Saw lots of deer early season up until the first rut, but the sightings fell off dramatically from December forward. Seemed to turn toward a nighttime feeding pattern.
Good: Saw a lot of deer this season on our lease. There was three nice bucks taken on our lease this year.
Fair: Saw a lot of deer this year. Was fortunate to see two very nice bucks during the rut. Unfortunately, both were broken up from fighting. Trusting that these two will be back next year.
Fair: Not as many deer.
Fair: Saw lots of deer, just didn’t see anything I wanted to harvest or didn’t have a shot on something I did. I only bowhunt.
Fair: The acorn crop for my hunting area was not very good this year, and the warmer weather also affected deer movement. Had a few deer in late October eating the few acorns that were available, but the deer were scarce after the acorns were gone.
Fair: Just not seeing many deer. Killed two coyotes and no deer.
Fair: New club so working on quality management, food plot, stands, trails, cameras etc.
Poor: Didn’t see a deer.
Poor: No quality bucks spotted. Lots of small bucks. Next year should be better.
Poor: I haven’t seen a decent buck to shoot. We need to have it where everybody can hunt over bait. It’s hard to even see a deer when your neighbor is baiting like crazy.
Poor: I was unable to hunt the first few weeks, and by the time I did get into the woods, most of the deer on our property were either already harvested or had gone nocturnal. Just haven’t been seeing the numbers we had years ago. This is due in large part I think to the timber company having sold the hardwoods a few years back and replanting it in pines.
Poor: The deer population where I hunt has dramatically reduced over the years. I primarily bowhunt on Corp of Engineer property around West Point Lake. I have been hunting this property for 20 years. In addition, the turkey population, which used to be abundant, has completely disappeared.
Poor: Lack of deer. Do not have any yearlings on camera and very few does coming to food plots. I think coyotes are the problem.
Twiggs Co. E-2, G-7, F-6, P-2
Excellent: Saw more deer than average.
Good: I killed one big buck and let several walk. I saw more deer this year then last year.
Good: Quality good. Number of deer down.
Good: Saw five deer.
Good: I saw plenty of deer. Most of the bucks I saw were average to smaller racks. I didn’t shoot them though. I only took a couple of does for meat. Still waiting on a wall hanger to show up.
Good: Overall quality of bucks good. Buck numbers seem low.
Fair: Too many adjoining landowners don’t know how to hunt and bait the deer as a short cut. Baiting might be legal, but it diminishes hunting skills, and the does and yearlings are too vulnerable.
Fair: Saw few does.
Fair: Very good until Oct. 31. After Oct. 31, deer seemed to disappear. Poachers are bad in Twiggs County. Had people coming on property during the week.
Fair: Saw deer but no real shooters.
Fair: Did not hunt very much the first of the season. To hot then.
Fair: Wasn’t able to hunt like I usually do because of a health issue. Due to the limited time I spend in the woods, I wasn’t able to scout before my hunts. Deer sightings were way off compared to past years. Looking forward to rebound and have a better 2018 season.
Poor: Very little hunting time here in my home state, most hunts were out of state. Low sightings, too much competition with the not-law-abiding neighbors.
Poor: Poor season is more contributed to physical condition of rented property due to unannounced clear cut and clearcut of surrounding properties.
Union Co. G-3, F-2, P-2
Good: More and better-than-average quality bucks passed and harvested this season. Attribute back-to-back good acorn crop and more hunters passing on opportunities to harvest 1.5 to 2.5-year-old bucks to the increased quality. The improved economy has more folks working during the week than hunting, also.
Fair: Hunted mostly private land, some public. On private, saw several deer, but on public very few.
Fair: I really didn’t get to hunt as much as I usually do, but I did see one nice deer. There seems to be less deer in the mountains and more deer in the city.
Poor: Mostly because I didn’t get to go hunting as much as I normally would have. That coupled with the fact that I only have public land to hunt makes it very difficult.
Upson Co. E-3, G-11, F-9, P-2
Excellent: Saw many deer from several stands. Groupings of bucks outside the rut.
Excellent: I only hunted three days and shot a nice buck.
Good: Deer herd on way back and more successful hunts.
Good: We saw a lot of deer early in the season. We were able to harvest a few mature bucks and took a few does to help manage the herd. Activity slowed down as the season went on though. Very few deer seen in December.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, but small.
Good: Our 874 acres we hunt was timbered for all hardwoods the previous year and then they harvested pines, but this year we still have seen quite a few bucks and does. We weren’t sure what to expect, but were pleased.
Good: My season was good, and my husband’s was fair.
Good: See deer most every trip.
Good: No shootable deer until December.
Good: Seen deer on every sit. Killed a good 4 1/2-year-old 9-point, and my 10-year-old daughter killed a nice young 7-point.
Fair: We fed deer all year with corn with Record Rack mixed in. A lot of pics with several shooter bucks but not a lot of does for some reason. We have quite a few coyotes. Didn’t see that many deer in stand. I’ve been hunting this lease for 27 years with family affair. My daughter is a wildlife biologist, also.
Fair: Saw a good many deer but nothing big during daylight hours. Good pictures at night.
Fair: The rut was unpredictable, movement was very limited before and after the projected rut, therefore making the entire season a crapshoot. Poachers still abound. New licensing options aren’t great for out-of-staters.
Fair: Did not harvest a deer.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer. Took a couple of does, but the larger bucks were not on our land. I think they were more than likely across the river where they can bait.
Fair: I had some extenuating circumstances. A hunting partner of 20 years passed away just before season. We did have a couple of nice bucks taken.
Poor: For the past 10 years, the population on our hunting property has declined as a result of excessive pressure and increased predators. We plan to reduce the number of hunters next season and hire a trapper to help control the predator population prior to springtime.
Poor: Saw very few deer.
Walker Co. G-5, F-5, P-2
Good: Never could get a shot at the real trophy on my camera.
Good: Lot of young bucks and high deer activity.
Fair: Not much doe movement during late season. Not much to eat, white oak acorns feel really early.
Fair: Lost most of my hunting property to hunting clubs. Most from other states.
Fair: I saw a fair amount of deer. I just didn’t see any shooter bucks.
Walton Co. E-5, G-8, F-7, P-10
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer.
Excellent: We saw more deer in the food plots this year than we have in years. Mostly does and young deer, but we shot three quality bucks (not trophy), but better than we have let walk in several years. We have also killed several coyotes last two years.
Excellent: Saw deer every time I hunted this year. Most days I saw at least 10 deer, and upward of 20 on several occasions. I observed several young bucks, which I passed up. I harvested four adult does and one 6-year-old 8-point buck. Every doe I saw had at least one fawn, and most had two or three fawns with them. I work hard on habitat and predator management on my private property, and I can see that hard work paying off. I also manage my herd by taking mostly adult does and only mature bucks, which has increased both the number and quality of deer I see while hunting.
Excellent: Killed nice buck in bow season and saw deer in the food plots almost every hunt.
Good: Saw several, killed a nice 10-point.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Strange weather.
Good: Filled freezer, no big racks, but you can’t eat them.
Good: Saw deer often. Harvested personal best buck. Saw rut activity on schedule. Cold weather during rifle season helped move them.
Fair: Decent amount of deer seen early season but nothing late. No good rut for my area.
Fair: Didn’t see many deer.
Fair: Very little deer activity. The deer numbers seem down.
Fair: Saw several small bucks. No shooters.
Fair: Didn’t go much. Saw deer but no shooters.
Poor: After the season started, no more corn, no more deer.
Poor: Not enough time to hunt.
Poor: Didn’t see many deer moving. No rut at our location.
Poor: I didn’t have the time to put in good food plots this year. We had a death in the family in August which hit right when we normally do all our prep work for hunting season. The deer really had no reason to stick around this year.
Poor: I haven’t seen many deer this season.
Poor: Neighbor on smaller tracts baiting and feeding in their yards but not putting any hunting pressure on the deer. Also killing bucks that are too young
Ware Co. E-1, G-1, F-2
Excellent: Saw lots of mature bucks and does.
Fair: Coyote issues.
Fair: We didn’t see as many mature bucks this year but did see a fair amount of does. Coyote sightings have been increasing, and I personally saw a coyote follow a doe and yearling into a food plot. The mother doe had a confrontation with the coyote before bounding safely away. I wasn’t sure it would end this way. Sightings on trail cameras have become common for most club members, and this was never the case.
Warren Co. E-2, G-10, F-9, P-3
Excellent: The club I’m in is managed very well and has plenty of game. I generally see deer most every hunt. Both of my kids were able to get a deer, including my daughter getting her first deer.
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer and managed two mature bucks. And most of all, I was blessed with another year in our Georgia deer woods.
Good: Saw plenty of deer during the season and had three quality bucks on my deer cams, which is pretty good for a 100-acre hunting property.
Good: Good deer population.
Good: We saw the best rut that we have seen in years.
Good: Saw many deer from the stand (38). Killed a nice doe and a nice buck.
Good: Seen lots of deer.
Good: Saw a lot of bucks. No wall hangers but overall a lot of deer. And you can’t beat spending time with family at the club. Looking forward to next year already.
Good: Killed four does and a decent buck with my bow. Lots of deer seen.
Fair: I harvested one small 8-pointer and never saw a bigger buck. I saw two nice does and lots of skinny ones, but I wasn’t looking to take a doe. Seems like the deer on the leases I hunt are dwindling a bit.
Fair: I didn’t get to hunt as much as I normally do.
Fair: Too many wild hogs. Deer are moving out of territory, making it harder to see enough to take some for food.
Fair: Nothing to do with the state, mainly unethical hunters and not enough places to hunt. I don’t hunt the WMAs due to the unknown people hunting around or near you.
Fair: Quality of bucks were down for the area, and the doe population wasn’t very good either.
Fair: My hunting experience this year has no reflection on Georgia laws rules or regulations.
Fair: Too much pressure from new club members reduced deer activity in the area I was hunting.
Fair: Food plots were dry leading to limited food on our property. Wish we were Southern Zone to use feed during season.
Poor: Lack of opportunity and ridiculous ruling that we can’t bait, but I can spend thousands to put in food plots. What’s the difference? And after seven years, there is no proof or cases of deer diseases from quality foods used.
Poor: Saw very few deer while hunting.
Washington Co. E-7, G-14, F-4, P-4
Excellent: Saw lots of game thanks to plenty of cold fronts.
Excellent: The rut this year was very good for us with deer activity, very pronounced as to previous years where it just didn’t seem to have the same peak. Also, it was about the same time as previous years but more activity earlier than expected (scrapes, rubs). Not sure if this was outcome due to some of our lease being clearcut or just the trend in general. Pre- and post-rut activity has been good, and our deer population seems healthy; lots of does, young bucks, and some mature bucks seen and taken. All in all has been a good season for our club.
Excellent: Had good luck with food plots. Saw plenty of deer.
Excellent: Long, sustained period of pre-rut and rut. Bucks seemed to stay on their feet much of November.
Excellent: Seeing lots of deer. Killed big 8-point. Good young bucks coming along.
Excellent: We have been practicing deer management in our club for over 10 years now. The big bucks are starting to pay off due to this discipline. We enjoy watching them mature into nice healthy deer. We had a 12- and 13-point with nice mass taken this year. We are also seeing a lot of 10-pointers where in the past we were lucky to see 8s.
Good: Hunted two weekends, took nice 8-point with my grandson with me.
Good: Saw good many deer, good bucks and lots of smaller ones. Most of the does had twins, and since we bait for hogs, the deer were more healthy.
Good: Seen a lot of deer and got some good pictures of nice bucks.
Good: Lots of deer but wish trophy hunting was more popular.
Good: Any day of hunting is a good day.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer but haven’t seen the big one. Got him on camera, though.
Good: Warm weather early on and full moon during rut limited activity.
Good: Harvested a great buck but did not see lots of deer like usual. Strange year.
Good: Saw lots of deer just no shooter bucks. No real defined rut again this year.
Fair: Minimal deer sightings and no rut activity.
Fair: Lower number of deer sightings compared to previous years.
Poor: No decent deer to shoot.
Poor: Did not fill one tag this year.
Wayne Co. E-2, G-1, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Plenty of deer.
Good: I rated my hunting experience good simply due to the fact I saw a good many more deer this year, compared to last year. The reasons are varied but mainly due to the fact the landowners of our club property (around 750 acres) cut timber beginning in late August and into the end of October. About 250 acres were cut. Due to the areas cut, logging equipment, staging areas, etc. we were not able to plant any food plots. Our club, made up of six members, shot a total of eight deer. Six were killed in the clearcuts. Two 8-points were shot chasing/trailing does. A 6-point was shot with a doe. All the antlered deer were shot in the clearcuts. More deer were seen in the clearcuts but not shot. Also, we saw a 10-point in the clearcuts three times, but no one could ever get a shot off. Twice, the buck was chasing does. We never shot him. Don’t know if anyone else around our club did. Deer sightings were down.
Fair: Deer movement was good first couple weeks and then died down. Past four weeks there has not been a deer seen by numerous members of the hunting club and others I’ve talked to in the area.
Fair: Management areas not open enough.
Poor: I only hunted three or four days. Mostly, the weather was the main factor. Too hot, and the skeeters were bad. I had cataract surgery in my right eye, Aug. 29, and the left eye was operated on Nov. 12, so there was a month recovery time for each eye and my normal activities were very limited. Could not lift anything heavier than 20 pounds, could not bend over to pick up anything. Those confounded drops were the big pain though. I had to use three different drops, several times a day for a month, each eye. I did not see a live deer on the few hunts I went on.
Webster Co. E-1, G-4, P-1
Excellent: Saw more deer than I normally do. Rut was good.
Good: I’ve seen a fair amount of deer. Just a lot of young bucks too small to shoot.
Good: Saw lots of deer. Passed on a few and harvested a few.
Poor: Saw very few deer. People around me feed year-round. I can not afford this. I think this feeding changes deer patterns. I also think it makes them more nocturnal.
Wheeler Co. E-1, G-4, F-2, P-3
Excellent: My hunting time is limited due to my work schedule during hunting season. From Nov. 1-Dec. 15, I worked six days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving week when I was off Thursday through Sunday. I can really only hunt when I can go for a multiple-day hunt. However, even with limited time in a stand, I consider this to have been an excellent season. I killed a big 8-point on opening-day afternoon. He weighed 215 pounds and was the 25th deer I saw that afternoon. The other deer were a mixture of does, yearlings and small bucks. There were only two times that I sat in a stand that I didn’t see a deer. I killed the biggest-horned buck I have ever killed the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. He was a big 9-point that was chasing a doe. He was 15 minutes behind the doe and a very nice 8-point (most hunters would have shot him) that was walking with her. I also killed one doe. In the 10 times I sat in a stand and saw deer, I usually saw as many, if not more, bucks than does. The Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, I saw eight bucks trailing one doe. Her yearling was also in the buck parade. There were three 8-points, a 4-point and four spikes behind one doe. All were young bucks. I had never seen more than three bucks behind a doe before. The last weekend I hunted was the last weekend of 2017. On Friday morning, I saw three 8-points, one which was bigger than the big 8 I killed opening day, a 6-point and a 4-point.
Good: Saw a lot of young bucks and quite a few does. We are a managed club with a minimum of a 16-inch spread but let a lot of legal bucks go.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. All appeared to be healthy.
Good: Good deer herd.
Good: The family land that I hunt was clearcut this summer, and due to health reasons and a house remodel project, I only got to hunt up until the first week of November. But I still managed to harvest two does and an 8-point with my bow. Saw lots of other deer and had two Pope & Young bucks on video. Great year for me!
Fair: Did not get to hunt as much as I had wished to. Did not see a lot of deer during hunts.
Poor: New club lease, trees were clearcut. Deer were present but took most of the season to figure out their movement patterns.
Poor: No big bucks. Saw lots of does. Really go just to get away. The family loves to get out of the rat race. No horns this year.
White Co. G-2, F-2
Good: Saw good many deer, low rut activity. Lots of bears and hogs.
Fair: Not many deer on the WMAs in Region 2. Only saw three deer all season long. I have hunted the mountains for almost 40 years, and I’m seeing less deer now than in the past. I see more hogs and coyotes that I do deer.
Whitfield Co. E-1, G-4, F-1, P-1
Good: Three does and a good 9-pointer.
Good: I killed a deer.
Good: Seen deer all year.
Fair: Scouting went well, deer movement changed early, first rut seemed to be less than normal. Overall, deer movement across our property was less than in previous years.
Poor: Our deer herd up here has been decreasing every year. We quota hunt on our club and only kill a couple of does each year.
Wilcox Co. G-4, F-5, P-1
Good: A lot of warm weather and unpredictable winds.
Good: Only made it out to the field twice and saw mature deer both times. Did not harvest a deer this season.
Fair: Slick had two operations and could not hunt very much.
Fair: No buck seen over 130.
Fair: Have not seen as many deer as usual during the season.
Fair: I had two killed on my small hunting area.
Poor: Overall, I saw fewer deer than I typically do. I usually take two to three deer easily but had trouble even seeing does this year. I saw more deer movement in north Georgia during daylight hours, which is not typical.
Wilkes Co. E-6, G-9, F-9, P-10
Excellent: Killed my biggest buck.
Excellent: My son and I both killed nice mature bucks in a county not known for high number of trophy whitetails.
Excellent: I saw more deer and more quality deer this season than in the previous three or four seasons.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer on my property.
Good: Saw more bucks this year.
Good: I shot one buck the second weekend of the season. I only rated the season as good because I did not get to spend as much time in the woods as I would have like to. Too many things competing for my time.
Good: Have a lot of deer on property. A guest of mine shot a real nice 7-point. I could have shot a lot of deer but taking a management approach.
Good: Seen a good amount of deer. No real mature bucks, but I have a nice young crop of bucks on my property.
Good: The deer herd is down. Didn’t see a lot of deer but was lucky enough to kill a good 14-pointer.
Good: Saw deer, good season and was happy. Not excellent because would have liked to have seen more deer. Population seems down but still seeing deer.
Good: Had a good season seeing a lot of deer. The only issue is that all the bucks had very small racks. Hopefully we will be able to feed our deer in the future. Seems all the really big bucks come from the Southern Zone where they are fed.
Fair: Hot weather. Property was being timbered on about 30 percent. Cutting started in September and went well into November. We do not bait with corn, but the properties that join our land does. The few deer we took were all full of corn.
Fair: Not many deer due to liberal doe days and coyotes.
Fair: We are not seeing as many deer as we did in previous years.
Poor: Saw a good many deer, but our club doesn’t allow the killing of doe with fawns or bucks less than 8 points.
Poor: Extensive clear and selecting cutting of our leased property.
Poor: Almost no sightings or sign on 1,300 acres. We have excellent management of habitat and food plots. Problem: coyotes! We have more photos of coyotes than deer.
Poor: I didn’t see any deer.
Poor: Way fewer deer. Need a one-buck limit and three does per year deer. Been in decline for some years now.
Poor: Few deer sighted. Over 50 hours in a stand and only saw seven deer.
Wilkinson Co. G-9, F-10, P-1
Good: Saw good bucks and healthy does.
Good: Saw lots of deer, mostly young deer.
Good: Saw more deer, less coyotes.
Good: I was able to cull a buck with a spike on one side and 4 points on the other. I also harvested a very nice 10-point that y’all put in your magazine. The down side was I got both these buck with my crossbow before gun season came in and had to pass up a really nice 8-point in November.
Good: Ok first rut. Seen a few next-year type of bucks.
Good: Saw lots of deer and rut activity.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. They were all healthy, and they look good in my freezer
Good: I don’t trophy hunt any more. Hunt only for food and the enjoyment of watching deer and other wildlife. Put food in the freezer for 2018.
Fair: No real complaints other than hot weather made the hunting less enjoyable for me, especially in the afternoons.
Fair: Saw very few deer.
Fair: I didn’t get to hunt much, so it is my fault.
Fair: No large bucks, one doe killed. Heard coyotes every night.
Fair: Small deer, limited sightings.
Fair: I saw a fair number of deer but only one buck over 2 1/2 years old. I saw more fawns than I have seen in the past few seasons. Almost every doe had a fawn. I killed a couple of extra does to try to reduce the population a little bit on my property.
Poor: I have only seen one doe and no bucks the entire year.
Worth Co. E-2, G-12
Excellent: Saw many bucks and does and was able to cull two bucks from the herd.
Excellent: Deer movement and quality were both above average. Food was plentiful.
Good: Saw many deer and plenty of bucks.
Good: Population on target. Weather cooperating.
Good: Fewer does than last year.
Good: Just a lot of quality deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, plenty of bucks and does, took a doe to help reduce some of them, but could not get in front of the big buck that we have on camera.
Good: Two decent bucks and two does off property just because it looked like we had a lot of them. We are trying to manage our property for good bucks.
Does Baiting Affect Deer Hunting?
Question 2: How does the current Georgia law on baiting for deer—legal in the Southern Zone and illegal in the Northern Zone—affect your deer hunting?
After seven years of baiting history, we asked Georgia hunters what the impacts have been. Before baiting was passed in the Southern Zone, there were a host of pros and cons that was argued from both sides of this emotional issue.
Response options on the VOTES survey were Positive Impact, Negative Impact, No Impact and I Don’t Know.
Results are in the tables to the right, and various comments on the issue are below
Northern Zone Hunters
• If it’s fair for the south, it should be fair for the north. But they’ve got it backward. All the farm country is down there. If it’s going to be legal in half the state, it’s backward. What’s good for the goose is good for gander. Live and let live. I believe in feeding and not baiting.
• I feel like I could get my freezer full sooner and trophy hunt if I could bait them.
• Baiting is not hunting. Either make it legal for all to bait or ban it entirely.
• While not being able to bait for deer in the area I hunt, I would like to have the option do so if I so choose. I am not real clear why it is okay in one half of the state and not the other. Just because someone hunts over bait does not mean that they are going to kill every deer that eats it. Game limits still have to be observed, and I feel more and more people are selective about what they shoot than they once were.
• I think that it should be statewide either way. We have a large amount of food plots and feeders, so we hold deer on the property. Would like to see the results from baiting.
• No impact in the Northern Zone. I’m not against it, but I believe it can make a nocturnal animal even more so. If legalized in the Northern Zone, I would not participate in baiting.
• If I could bait deer, I would have a way higher success rate. It would also keep the deer from leaving the area due to negative urban impact. Keep the deer traveling less to find their needs and keeps them off the road.
• It just causes problems. Bait or don’t bait, but the whole state should be the same. DNR should talk, and legislature will listen. I don’t see the problem, if you don’t want to bait don’t. If you own the land, don’t allow baiting. If it is a lease, vote for a no-baiting rule if that is what you want.
• Not a fan of baiting whether in Northern or Southern zones. Even if baiting is legalized in North, I will not use baiting. I see little difference in planting food plots and pouring corn on the ground.
• No impact. Hunt food plots or natural food source, travel corridors.
• I definitely feel it gives the folks in the Southern Zone an advantage. I’m sure you could attract more deer if you were allowed to bait. I think the rules should be the same throughout the state.
• Why is the big question? I think the state needs to be equal on both sides. The weather changes are playing a huge role, and without bait, it is almost impossible to get anything down anymore. This is the third year in a row with zero deer. I am happy to pay hunting dues, but finish this baiting deal, and legalize it statewide.
• I’m not for it.
• Would like to see baiting up north.
• Really no need in baiting.
• It should be the same all across the board. Leave it up to the hunters and landowners to manage their land as they see fit.
• We need baiting in north. It’s unfair.
• I spoke with my Georgia representative, and he would be for baiting in north Georgia but says the Southern Zone reps wouldn’t vote for it.
• Has no impact but is stupid. It’s ok for half the state but not the other? It’s ok for SC but not GA? DNR needs to stay out of deer management.
• If I keep corn there, the deer are constantly there. If I let the corn go out, they quit showing up on the property as regular. I hunt a few smaller-acreage tracts, and some of them I don’t even hunt except for pics with the camera. My areas just don’t have the food to keep them, and planting the last few years just hasn’t happened. With the 200-yard restrictions, it’s hard to hunt with it out, so I just watch them on the cell cams and shoot them in my mind.
• Mainly bowhunt food plots. No guarantee of a shot because not close enough. Need bait to get closer in.
• I have a lot more success in the Southern Zone where I’m hunting over corn.
• I think hunting over bait is a good idea statewide. My reasons are simple. Just because the bait is there doesn’t mean that all deer are going to be there eating during daylight hours while a hunter is present. Also, baiting doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be corn. It can be higher protein feed that actually helps horn growth much like a food plot would do.
• Most people bait anyway, so go ahead and make it legal statewide.
• Never hunted over bait for deer. I think the baiting laws should be the same statewide.
• It should be legal to bait deer in the Northern Zone, as well.
• It’s no different than planting food plots.
• It doesn’t, but Northern Zone should have same rules as Southern Zone.
• The deer are going to go wherever food is. If you don’t have extra time and money to plant good food plots and fertilize, the deer aren’t going to stay. Also, nursing does and fawns are gonna be where food is. No food, no deer.
• I have a large tract of land in Terrell County, which I rarely hunt now. Since baiting began we have had a surge in coyotes and bobcats, specifically around baiting locations. Most deer have become very nocturnal. I started hunting the northern zone two years ago, and feel that the hunting there resembles the Southern Zone quality before the legalization of baiting.
• I don’t know what impact baiting would have on our lease. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: make baiting legal in both zones. It gives hunters the opportunity to judge the deer before deciding to shoot. Also, it would make DNR’s job easier.
• Vote to allow baiting for deer in Northern Zone. Small acorn crop.
• Negative. Borderline county to Southern Zone.
• Baiting doesn’t impact me in the Northern Zone, as I’d never do it, legal or otherwise. It’d just tarnish the sport. I still can’t believe the hunt stories accompanying the Truck-Buck entries: “He came into the corn pile.”
• The baiting issue doesn’t affect me, but it should be legalized in the Northern Zone so that everything is equal across the board.
• A lot of hunters in the Northern Zone are faced with hunting small tracts of land. On the small tracts of land, it is hard to keep deer coming to them on a regular basis without a good food source. Not everyone has access to equipment to plant food plots. Hunting over bait levels the playing field for those hunting small 2- to 10-acre parcels.
• I do think that if we were able to bait, it would increase the chances of seeing deer. When we set up feeding stations when the season is over, a large number of deer visit these sites, which gives us a chance to see what survived. But as the stations are available over time, the number of deer decrease as spring arrives.
• I had feeders out from the end of last season until two weeks before bow season started. I have hundreds of trail-cam pictures of three good bucks and endless does that were coming in at all times of the day and night while the feeder was there, but about two days after I removed it, they were gone. I can’t understand why there are hunters who are against baiting in the Northern Zone. To me, if you don’t want to bait on your property, then don’t do it, but don’t hold the other hunters back if they want to. I only have a small 10-acre tract of land that my son and I hunt, and it has discouraged both of us so much this year we both just quit hunting. Finding places to hunt around Stephens County is hard enough, but not being able to hunt over bait makes it even harder. Yeah, we could go up on the Chattahoochee National Forest, but for some reason we only get three doe days all year long there.
• Both zones should follow the same law.
• Baiting should be legal in the entire state or not at all. Whoever thought it was a good idea to split the state regulations should be run out of the state. All we need is a few more morons like that to turn GA into CO, MT, UT, AZ or other western states that has so many different regulations you have to carry the manual with you.
• Not hunting over bait in the Northern Zone has only recently effected our deer sightings since the pigs have taken over a lot of the low-lying cover areas and constant rooting of the food plots planted strictly for the deer. With continuous food plot management and spring/summer food sources, along with pig management, we hope to have a better 2018 season if baiting is not legalized in the Northern Zone.
• Personally I don’t think anywhere in the state of Georgia it is necessary for it to be legal to bait deer. I’ve hunted for nearly 40 years, never poured out a bag of corn, and I’ve killed my share of deer, from young does to mature bucks. With our population, if you believe the WRD folks, there just isn’t a justifiable reason to do it, in my mind. If a person needs to hunt over a feeder, they may need to spend some time working on woodmanship. Then they may just enjoy their time afield a whole lot more. But then again, I’m old school.
• I do not like baiting, and I hunt in the north zone. I like the laws the way they are regarding baiting.
• Let’s make baiting consistent across our state. Either it’s illegal or legal for everyone. I had hunted the Southern Zone for many years before baiting and noticed a slight increase in sightings when it became legal. Only killed one doe on a pile of corn there. Deer aren’t dumb.
• I voted negative on the baiting law because I think it should be available in the Northern Zone. Most hunters don’t have equipment to plant food plots, plus the land leased is not guaranteed to be yours the next year. It’s not cheap and is also time consuming to plant plots. Also, what is the difference between a deer eating in a plot versus eating from spreading food in the ground?
• I believe that baiting should be allowed for the whole state. We have good natural foraging where we hunt, so it will not impact us at all, but for the ones who don’t, it would help them a lot, especially in the mountainous area.
• Southern Zone is allowed to bait, Northern Zone should be able to do the same, especially when there are wild hogs on the property.
• The whole state should be able to bait, not just one section.
• I would like the option to hunt over bait legally. On my land, I only shoot one or two deer per season by choice, and that would not change.
• I feel that we should be able to bait in the Northern Zone. Many people feel that we have few deer up here, and baiting would decimate what we have. While I don’t feel this would be the case, I also look at it through the deer’s perspective. I watched a doe and her yearling fawn graze on dead leaves for about 40 minutes this past week. The deer up here are hungry and would be better off if we were able to help them through the cold mountain winters.
• Having South legal and not North is not legal and is discrimination and ridiculous.
• I think baiting should be statewide or not at all. This would level the playing field. I hope next season is better. I can’t compete with all these big hunting clubs. I just don’t have the funds or the land to do that.
• If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! South Georgia hunters are happy with it; North Georgia hunters are happy without it. If it’s legalized in North, hunter/hunt club density differences will cause issues not common in Southern Zone.
• Make baiting legal in Northern Zone.
• I feel we should be able to bait in the Northern Zone to better manage the population. At least make baiting legal if a kid is hunting with you.
• Supplemental feeding is critical for health of herd. There is no agriculture near me.
• Corn isn’t a big deal. If so, we should have some science to support the use of corn or to keep it illegal from the Southern Zone.
Southern Zone Hunters
• In the Southern Zone, we can hunt over food plots and put corn out, too.
• I hunt over corn but have not seen any difference.
• Most big bucks seen this year than ever before. Supplemental feed is a definite positive in Georgia.
• I really see no difference from my stands with feeders and my stands without.
• Provides areas for seeing deer, especially good for young hunters.
• Supplemental food source until food plots get going.
• Since I only hunt on WMAs, it really does not impact. Allowing baiting on WMAs would be a nice change.
• Baiting should be the same across the board, north and south.
• Should be legal statewide.
• Makes it a little easier to pattern does, which can make killing bucks easier.
• Doesn’t impact me. Deer tend to feed from natural habitat whether bait is out or not.
• I’m in the southern region where the DNR doesn’t spend millions of dollars on WMA food plots and wildlife openings.
• I have two automatic feeders and two gravity feeders. I never see deer at the automatic feeders. However, they devour the corn there. I do not sit at the 500-lb. capacity gravity feeder in it’s current location about 100 yards from a green field. Seems to be nocturnal there. I recently placed a smaller gravity feeder at the back of the property within sight of the neighbor’s green field, which usually has deer in the afternoon and 65 yards from my small green field, which also usually attracts deer. This past week I sat near this new feeder and shot two does there.
• Being in the Southern Zone, we enjoy and exercise our right to hunt near bait.
• I’m in the Southern Zone. I’m for baiting.
• I do have some reservations on putting out corn. I prefer food plots and really don’t see much difference in food plots or putting out corn. However, putting out corn tends to make hunters lazy. Also, it doesn’t look good to the non-hunters and anti-hunters. I have shot deer over corn. I don’t brag about those deer. I am also concerned about CWD. I have been following the progression of the disease across the country. That is my main concern about feeding deer, easier CWD transmission.
• I hunt public, so no impact to me.
• I don’t bait, only food plots.
• Not sure if baiting helps, hurts, makes bucks nocturnal, etc. I do like having the opportunity to make my own decision to bait or not.
• Attracts animals in general and makes the hunting experience more enjoyable. I support baiting.
• We have a ton of farms around, so it gives us with just timberland a fighting chance. Plus being from Florida and only hunting some weekends it gives us a chance to see deer.
Majority Would Support GOSA
Question 3: Would you support the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, which would dedicate 75 percent of tax revenue collected from the sale of outdoor recreation equipment, part of which would be used to purchase land that might include public hunting or fishing opportunities?
The majority of Georgia hunters said they would support this dedicated funding, although it’s worth nothing that 25.1 percent of hunters who were polled didn’t know. Most said they need more information or legislative assurance that the money would go toward hunting and fishing.
Comments are below.
• A great concept for Georgia. Ask legislature to do it right, but please do it.
• I like “user pay, user benefit systems.” It really works better than bureaucrats deciding what is best.
• Yes. Can I get an Amen?
• Don’t know, too broad.
• Wont set foot on public land. Benefit to me is zero. Public land is a joke. Funds are already allocated for food plots, roads and habitat management, and the state can’t even manage what they already have. No need to give them more money to waste away closing access to good property so that every mouth breather in the state can complain about not seeing deer on public land. Further, if its public, why is my access restricted to foot-travel only? Gates need to come down. State needs to actually use the money already collected for “public land” on the public land itself.
• Public hunting opportunities are vital to the survival of our passion.
• I would have to learn more about the act before giving a definite answer.
• If the law said the money could not be touched for any other reason ever.
• I would first need more information on the “might include” portion of the proposal.
• Would have to read the entire Act.
• All you have to do is look at the results of the Pittman-Robertson Act and its impact on the outdoor sports. I would assume it would include some funds for wildlife management and not just for land purchases.
• Anything to help keep the outdoors for the next generation.
• I don’t want my money in those hands!
• That’s too much of a percentage.
• I think it’s a great improvement that could help all wildlife, not just deer.
• Depends on what part is dedicated, and what the other money is earmarked for.
• Well if there wasn’t a “might” in there, I would support.
• We as a club strongly encourage the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, even thought it doesn’t directly affect us because we hunt private land.
• I agree with the stewardship program to purchase public land for hunting and fishing.
• As with any tax expenditures I’m concerned with any government entity buying up more land. We don’t need any more private land being bought or leased by our state. Let’s focus on managing what we have or, even better, selling some of it off. Reduce our taxes by getting rid of so much government-controlled land.
• I have mixed ideas on the stewardship act, but the other government-run properties in Georgia are fair at best in my opinion. Not to mention people don’t respect one another either, and adding more land fixes what or makes what better?
• Anything to help the outdoor enthusiast like myself and my family. I say yes on the Georgia Stewardship Act.
• This would be a great decision.
• Can’t see how this would benefit anyone.
• We have to be stewards of the land and protect it for future generations.
• If it was used for public hunting and fishing.
• More opportunities for more folks to enjoy the outdoors.
• Must include hunt opportunities.
• I will have to know more before I could support it.
• I think DNR is doing some good improvements on WMAs in my area. I occasionally hunt public land. I am thankful to have places to take my grand kids to teach them to enjoy the outdoors, and I think we should do our part to keep up and add new areas for our children.
• Doe limit should be lower.
• Georgia needs to enforce the hunting laws on the books and hire more wardens if necessary. Half those hunting don’t tag deer or buy licenses. I hear this in my own church!
• Wood ducks, maybe reduce the bag limit or limit hunting to morning hours only.
• I’d like to lower the total number of people selected for quota hunts. People are stupid, and it’s dangerous. I understand the statistics involved on why, but what about hunt enjoyment? I hunted Hard Labor and saw four hunters and zero deer. Maybe I’m a bad deer hunter and good at finding people.
• Wish there was more dog hunting opportunities around.
• More focus on youth and public lands.
• Fall turkey season would be nice. Some kind of state-managed hog control.
• Deer populations in the mountain counties are much higher than folks think. This is especially true in the settled areas. I believe a few more doe days would promote a healthier deer here and more opportunities for mountain hunters.
• I think they should offer more in classroom hunting-safety courses. I signed my son up for one, and it was canceled due to low participation. I think it is very important for kids to take this class in a classroom and not on a computer.
• Need to cut back on the number of does being taken. Also consider a fall turkey season and limit it to one gobbler and one hen.
• Would like to see more counties go four on one side or better for bucks.
• Simplify the licensing process and possibly attach it to driver’s license info like a gun permit should be.
• Deer gun season is too long. Doe tags are too high. End season at Dec. 1 and drop doe tags to six.
• As always, hunting is great in Georgia thanks to everyone who helps to make our sport wonderful.
• Create more youth hunting opportunities on WMA land. Clearly specify if suppressor and buckshot use is allowed on each individual WMA to eliminate confusion. The staff on my particular hunt didn’t know that they were allowed. I encountered this exact issue on a WMA hunt this year.
• Non-resident lifetime hunting license would be nice.
• This was my first real season of hunting. Regardless of not harvesting any deer, it was enjoyable, and I look forward to many more years.
• Seems like hunting club dues continue to rise with lease prices going up.
• Lower tag limits and a longer deer season or starting and ending later but the similar length. Also, a fall turkey season would be nice. Being able to kill a hen would be nice, as well.
• Am worried about the impact of the wild hogs. Most if not all of the acorns on the property I hunt on the hogs get. They destroy all the food plots. We consistently kill hundreds, but the population continues to increase every year.
• Move the season. Start bow in mid/late October and finish end of February.
• I would love to see archery-only season for Northern Zones through January since baiting is not allowed in the north.
• Limit the deer harvest to two bucks and three does annually.
• Pigs are awful.
• Would like to see number of allowed deer killed reduced. No reason anyone should kill 12 deer.
• I lived in Georgia for eight years and bought a license every year. This was before lifetime licenses. I live in Florida and find it unconscionable that I have to pay $325 to hunt on my own Georgia farm. At 65, it is hard to pay that kind of money when I only get to hunt for one week a year.
• Lower the price of out-of-sate hunting licenses for seniors. My 71-year-old cousin has to pay $400-plus to deer hunt with me five days a year.
• I would like to see more WMAs open to archery hunters during the rut in southwest Georgia. I don’t see how letting bowhunters hunt in between the gun hunts could impact in a negative way.
• The season is too long, and we need to go to QDM statewide.
• Predator control has been the single best thing to improving the retention rate. It has taken two years for the results to really show.
• We need to recruit new and young hunters.
• Hunting and fishing is in my DNR, and I want as many of our kids as possible to have the opportunity to enjoy it.
• Cut back to three does max.
• Wish there were more opportunities to lease private land.
• Would like to see larger tracts of existing forest or WMA land open for archery-only hunting.
• I would like to see some system that would allow you to purchase additional buck tags after you have lawfully harvested two bucks.
• We need better maintenance on some WMAs and more game wardens patrolling roads and campgrounds.
• Make room for more small game stories for the youngsters. They like that when they are really young.