The fall hunting season is moving into high gear with the opening of several seasons and some others that are just around the corner. The bow hunters are already twanging away and even caught a break this week with a little cool weather. Dove hunters have had a couple of weekends to get their shotguns out of mothballs and the squirrel hunters have been on the prowl since mid-August. Here’s some information on what’s started and what you have to look forward to in the next couple of months.
The first dove season goes out on September 16th but there are two additional seasons between October 13th -21st and November 22nd to January 5th. Squirrel season came in August 15th and runs through February 28th. Archery season for white-tailed deer came in September 8th and goes through October 12th statewide.
There’s also a Canada goose season currently going on. That season began September 1st and runs through September 30th. Open season on teal started September 8th and runs through September 23rd. Duck season opens up a little later on with two seasons that go from November 17th through the 25th and then December 8th through January 27th of 2013.
Coming up in the next month are the opening of primitive weapons season for deer (October 13th — 19th) followed closely by a highly anticipated firearms season for deer which opens October 20th and runs through January 1st in the Northern Zone of Georgia. Firearms season runs a little longer in The Southern Zone and stays in until January 15th.
Another species that is gaining in popularity with Georgia hunters is black bears. In the Northern Zone archery season is open until October 12th, primitive weapons may be used beginning October 13th through 19th and firearms season for the bruins runs from October 20th through December 2nd. In the Central Zone the firearms season opens November 10th and in the Southern Zone the seasons are September 27th-29th, October 4th – 6th and October 11th – 13th.
In mid-November Georgia will open its popular quail and rabbit seasons and they run all the way through February 28th.
If you are in search of places to hunt Georgia’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) may be just the ticket. These are scattered all around the state and no matter where you live there are some close by. You should remember that each one has their own set of requirements so it is best to check before planning a trip. There are a number of things that are considered unlawful activities on these WMA’s that you need to be aware of:
1) No drugs or alcohol are allowed
2) No hunting of game or feral hogs over bait
3) You may not drive around any gate, sign, or earth berm
4) No hunting within a posted safety zone
5) No target practice except on an authorized range
These are just a few of the rules. Check your 2012-2013 hunting guide for a complete list.
There are a couple of others rules that hunters should be aware of. Required clothing for deer hunters, bear hunters, and feral hog hunters during the primitive weapon and firearms seasons are to have on at least 500 square inches of visible hunter orange. It must be above the waist and can include head covering. It is not required on WMA or Corp of Engineers land that is designated as archery only unless there happens to be a special rule in place for a specific site.
It is also useful to know that if you are born on or after January 1st 1961 you must successfully complete a hunter education course before you can purchase a license. You can call 770-761-3010 for course information.
Any questions you may have on different aspects of rules, regulations, license requirements, or WMA’s can be found on the web at www.gohuntgeorgia.com or you can call your regional office.
Georgia’s hunting seasons offer something for everyone and most of all it provides an opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy what nature has to offer us in terms of beauty and a little adventure. Don’t forget to take a young person hunting and get them hooked on a sport they can enjoy for a lifetime.