Hunting for best results
Ridge and Valley Region
1) Berry College 15,000 acres 12 percent success rate 706-295-6041 Rome
Blue Ridge Mountains
1) Warwoman 15,800 acres 4 percent success rate 770-535-5700 Clayton
2) Blue Ridge 20,900 acres 3 percent success rate 770-535-5700 Dahlonega
3) Dukes Creek 4500 acres 3 percent success rate 770-535-5700 Helen
1) B.F. Grant 12,000 acres 10 percent success rate 478-825-6354 Eatonton
2) Rum Creek 5800 acres 9 percent success rate 478-825-6354 Forsyth
3) Big Lazer 7200 acres 9 percent success rate 478-825-6354 Talbotton
4) Blanton Creek 4800 acres 18 percent success rate 478-825-6354 West Point
Upper Coastal Plain
1) Di-Lane 8100 acres 10 percent success rate 770-918-6416 Waynesboro
2) Chickasawhatchee 19,700 acres 13 percent success rate 229-430-4254 Albany
3) Flint River 2300 acres 19 percent success rate 229-430-4254 Vienna
Lower Coastal Plain
1) Tuckahoe 15,000 acres 7 percent success rate 706-595-4222 Sylvania
2) Penholoway 4200 acres 7 percent success rate 912-262-3173 Jesup
Two of the most productive times of the year for Georgia deer hunters are the opening day of firearms season and a period known as the fall rut. Opening day typically is good because hunters have carefully laid their plans and have a pretty good idea when and where their quarry is going to be. Many modern day hunters have scouted, used trail cameras and have provided the deer with good food sources and know to a certain degree what their habits are. Things get a little tougher after that first weekend because the deer have an uncanny way of knowing that the game is on (especially bucks) and are much more wary.
As the season moves into November the rut will commence and this is the second period of time when hunters can be ultra-successful. The bucks abandon their careful nature in search of does in heat and this makes them much more vulnerable than normal.
Hunters all over Georgia can enjoy the sport and although some areas of the state are better than others, quality deer can be taken no matter where you hunt. Geographically speaking, our state is divided into five regions and here’s a quick breakdown on each one. Following that is a chart with some helpful information on Wildlife Management Areas you can hunt and a little statistical data put together by Wildlife Resources Division biologists based on their research and surveys from the 2010 season to give you an idea where success rates are better.
1) Georgia’s Ridge and Valley region is made up of eight counties in the northwest corner of Georgia that includes Dade, Catoosa, Walker, Gordon, Bartow, Floyd, Chatooga, and Whitfield. The topography is basically just what the name implies; a series of long ridges and valleys.
2) The Blue Ridge Mountains section of the state begins east of the Ridge and Valley section with the counties of Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens. From there it moves east and includes the mountainous region of Georgia all the way over to Habersham and Rabun Counties.
3) The Piedmont section is much larger and includes everything north of a line formed by Columbus, Macon and Augusta until you reach the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Ridge and Valley sections.
4) The Upper Coastal Plain is another large region that is south of the Piedmont and roughly north and west of a line formed by Thomas County through Statesboro and over to the South Carolina line.
5) Included in the Lower Coastal Plain is everything east and south of the Upper Coastal Plain.
These are just a few suggestions. You can find statistical information on each WMA by going to Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division web site. There are several hundred places scattered all over Georgia designated as WMA’s where you can try your luck. It is a good idea to check ahead of time for special regulations on any WMA where you plan to go. There is an extra license requirement for WMA’s. Special regulations can be accessed by going to www.gohuntgeorgia.com or by picking up a free copy of Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations pamphlet that is available at retail outlets all over the state.
Articles and columns by Alvin Richardson about hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports appear weekly in the Statesboro Herald. Richardson can be reached at email@example.com.