Georgia’s deer population is healthy and plentiful. With about 1.3 million animals making up the herd statewide there are plenty of opportunities for success. There are WMA’s scattered all over Georgia for those who wish to hunt but don’t have their own land or a lease to hunt on. The state is divided into several geographic regions and Bulloch County lies just inside the area known as the lower coastal plain. The basic topography includes coastal marsh, barrier islands and sandy soil. The borders of the area run from Screven County on the north all the way to Brooks County to the southwest and everything from those points to the Atlantic Ocean and Florida.
There are several productive WMA’s in proximity to Statesboro although most are more than an hour away. Let’s take a quick look at some of these and a little bit about them.
To the north and west of Bulloch County are three wildlife management areas that actually are in the upper coastal plain. In Burke County there is Di-Lane, and in Laurens County there are two; River Bend and Beaverdam. To the south of Bulloch County there are four others. In Long County there is Griffin Ridge, in Bryan County there is Ossabaw Island, and in McIntosh County there are two; Sapelo Island and Sansavilla.
Here’s a little information on each one from the latest statistics.
Di-Lane WMA is made up of about thirteen square miles and in 2013 472 hunters took 105 deer for a success ratio of over 20%.
At River Bend WMA there are six square miles available for hunting and 263 hunters took 41 deer last season for a success rate of over 15%.
At Beaverdam WMA there are nine square miles for hunters and the latest figures show that 320 hunters harvested 33 deer for a success ratio of 10%.
South of Statesboro is Ossabaw Island a fourteen square mile tract that saw 166 hunters bring home a remarkable 142 deer for a lofty 85% rate of success. Nearby Sapelo Island saw 184 hunters bring home 150 deer for an 81% kill ratio. It should be noted that these two are quota hunts with a typically high success rate and because of this they are very popular. You have to apply for these hunts and the odds are you will have to apply several times over several years to be lucky enough to get one.
At Sansavilla WMA there are 26 square miles of hunting area and over a thousand hunters took 148 deer last season for a respectable success rate of over 12%.
At Griffin Ridge hunters have 9 square miles available and the latest statistics say that 179hunters took 24 deer off that property for a kill ratio of nearly 14%.
Now here are some other tips to help you along the way with your WMA planning.
Georgia Outdoor News (GON) magazine has a yearly edition (usually August) that is a great resource for hunting the WMA’s in our state. You can go to www.gon.com or call 800-438-4663 to find out how to get a copy of that edition since it’s already off the shelf.
Another place you can go is www.n-georgia.com/wildlife.htm. This site will have printable maps of the WMA lands as well as contact numbers for further information.
You can also go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com for maps and regulations. As always you want to make sure that you have checked the regulations for hunting on wildlife management areas so that your trip won’t get spoiled by some unforeseen problems.
If you need other information and can’t find it shoot me an e-mail and we’ll get it sorted out.
Don’t get caught indoors as the fall hunting season gets set to move into high gear. Spend some quality time in the woods and go see what the wildlife management areas have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.