Next to the opening day of deer season, the Thanksgiving weekend may be the biggest weekend of the season for hunters.
“Guys just seem to like to get together and hunt and enjoy each others company as well,” said Brent Womack, interim region supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources.
Womack believes that most hunters are more interested in getting some venison than antlers to hang on a wall.
“Of course any hunter would tell you they’d love the opportunity to shoot a big buck, but most of them don’t go solely for that,” Womack said. “They’re happy to be out in the woods, enjoying all that’s going on, from birds to squirrels and everything else.”
Across the Northwest Gerogia region, the lion’s share of buck killed are in the one to two year-old range, about the same size as a full grown adult doe.
“You’re going to yield anywhere from 30 to 40 pounds of meat once it’s all said and done,” Womack said.
The bag limit for deer now is two bucks, one of which has to have four or more points on one side, generally a more mature buck. Hunters can also take up to ten deer without antlers.
“In reality most hunters kill around two deer (each season),” said Womack. “That’s plenty of venison”
The weather this weekend should be good for hunters. After a frontal system and rain move through during the fall and winter months it generally turns cooler, if not outright cold, which makes deer move more. Womack said the more deer move, the more likely hunters are to see a deer.
The last ten days of November are generally at the back end of the mating season for deer across the northern tier of Georgia, meaning bucks may have something other than avoiding a hunter on their mind.
The Rich Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Gilmer and Fannin counties has a special buck-only hunt which continues through Sunday.
“There are some folks that may have gone up and camped out to hunt for the week and do their family Thanksgiving in a camp-out scenario,” Womack said.