Deer Hunting Regulations
- Archery Only Counties: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton (north of GA Hwy 92) Counties in accordance with statewide bag limits and other regulations.
- Extended Archery Season: Barrow, Bibb, Chatham, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Decatur, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Muscogee, Paulding, Rockdale and Seminole Counties only; in accordance with statewide bag limits and other regulations.
- Chattahoochee NF & Oconee NF: During firearms deer season, archers must follow firearms either-sex dates on the National Forest. All Chattahoochee National Forest land east of I-75 is closed to antlerless deer hunting. Antlered bucks only.
Archery hunting is allowed during primitive weapon and firearm deer seasons. Deer of either sex may be taken, except as otherwise specified on WMAs. Hunting on the Chattahoochee & Oconee National Forests is buck-only except as otherwise specified, see Private Lands Opportunities and Federal Area Regulations for details. Archery hunters must wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange during primitive weapons and firearms deer seasons, except in archery-only counties or WMAs.
Archers may not possess any firearms while hunting during archery deer season, unless the person possesses a valid Weapons Carry License in this state (pursuant to OCGA §§ 16-11-126(f) or 16-11-129), subject to limitations (OCGA §§ 16-11-126 and 16-11-127).
Statewide, excluding archery-only counties.
Scopes are legal. Air rifles of .30 cal or larger and air bows are legal. During the statewide primitive weapons deer season and WMA primitive weapons hunts, youth under 16 years of age may hunt deer with any legal deer firearm.
Primitive weapons hunters may not possess any centerfire or rimfire firearm while hunting during the primitive weapons season, unless the person possesses a valid Weapons Carry License in this state (pursuant to OCGA §§ 16-11-126(f) or 16-11-129), subject to the limitations (OCGA §§ 16-11-126 and 16-11-127).
10 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer. One of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of 4 points, 1 inch or longer, on either antler or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread to be legal. (Special county antler restrictions noted in next section).
County-Wide Antler Restrictions
Dooly & Macon: antlered bucks must have a minimum outside antler spread of 15 inches to be legal.
Hancock, Harris, Meriwether, Montgomery Randolph, Talbot & Troup: antlered bucks must have a minimum of 4 points, 1-inch or longer, on either antler or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread to be legal.
Checking Your Deer
All deer hunters are required to have a Harvest Record for the current season. Additionally, harvested deer must be reported through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours (see Georgia Game Check on Hunting Information).
Antlerless deer are those having no visible antlers above the hairline (including “button bucks”) and may only be taken during either-sex or antlerless seasons or hunts. During “buck-only” hunts or seasons, a deer must have antlers visible above the hairline to be legal for harvest.
Head of Deer
It is unlawful to remove the head of a deer until the deer is processed or surrendered to a storage facility for storage or processing.
Transporting Deer Harvested by Another Hunter
Persons transporting deer harvested by another hunter must possess, in writing, the complete name, address, telephone and hunting license number of the person who harvested the deer, and the Game Check confirmation number.
Whole or field-dressed deer received by a cold-storage or meat processing facility must be marked with the hunter’s name, date, county of harvest and sex of deer. Hunters must provide the Game Check confirmation number to the facility when dropping off a deer. A list of processors is available at GoHuntGeorgia.com.
Lakes, Streams and Ponds
It is unlawful to take a deer by any means while it is in a lake, stream, or pond.
Hunting from a stand or platform attached to a transmission tower is trespassing and is prohibited. Written permission must be obtained from the landowner to hunt on power line, gas line, railroad, or other rights-of-way.
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE PREVENTION
If you harvest a white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, or any other species of deer in a state having a documented case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), you may bring back only the following carcass parts:
1 – boned-out meat;
2 – processed cuts of meat;
3 - portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
4 - hides with no heads attached;
5 – clean skull plates with antlers attached (not the entire skull);
6 – clean antlers;
7 – finished taxidermy mounts; and
8 – clean upper canine teeth (aka buglers, ivories, whistlers).
To protect Georgia’s deer herd, the importation of whole carcasses or parts not listed above is prohibited from any CWD-positive state or Canadian province. As of the time of this printing that includes: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the Provinces of Alberta, Quebec, Saskatchewan.
For the most recent list of positive states and other information about CWD, please visit https://georgiawildlife.com/cwd.
Although CWD has not been detected in Georgia, hunters can help minimize the spread of disease by following these guidelines on carcass disposal:
- Field dress deer on the property they were killed on.
- Return any unused carcass parts (bones, hide, trimmings, etc.) to the property where the deer was killed or bag them and send them to a landfill as you would handle household waste.
- Never dispose of carcass parts in a lake, stream, or river or on a road side or property other than where the deer was killed.
Deer Urine and CWD
Hunters are strongly encouraged to only use synthetic urine products or natural urine products bearing the Responsible Hunting Scent Association’s Deer Protection Program Checkmark.