Deer Hunting Regulations
Archers may not possess any firearms while hunting during archery deer season and primitive weapons hunters may not possess any centerfire or rimfire firearm while hunting during the primitive weapons season unless the person is a lawful weapons carrier as defined in O.C.G.A. Section 16-11-125.1, subject to the limitations of OCGA §§ 16-11-126 and 16-11-127, except where prohibited by federal law.
- 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 Deer Seasons and Either-Sex Days 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.
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.
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 outside the state of Georgia, you may bring back only the following carcass parts:
1 – boned-out meat or products thereof;
2 – hides with no heads attached;
3 – antlers, skulls, skull plates, teeth or jawbones with no soft tissue attached (velvet antlers are okay);
4 – finished taxidermy products.
Georgia Wildlife Resources Division has conducted statewide surveillance for CWD since 2002. Because the disease has not been found in Georgia to date, there is no recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to test deer before consuming them. However, should you still want to test a deer for CWD you may contact your local Game Management office to make an appointment to bring the head in for testing. The fee for testing a deer head for CWD is $40 per deer. When removing the head from the deer be sure to leave at least 4 inches of neck attached and store it refrigerated, not frozen. For more information 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 where they were killed.
- 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.