The week-long primitive weapons deer hunting season in Georgia opens Saturday, Oct. 10.
Last year, almost 30,000 hunters took to the woods with muzzleloaders, bringing in more than 6,000 deer, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
“So few hunters take advantage of hunting with muzzleloaders compared to firearms, but it is like the calm before the storm,” said Charlie Killmaster, state deer biologist with the WRD Game Management Section.
Over one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including the Arrowhead, Berry College, Johns Mountain and Rocky Mountain wildlife management areas in Floyd County.
Youth under 16 years of age may hunt deer with any legal deer firearm during Primitive Weapons Season, including during any wildlife management area primitive weapons hunts.
During the primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, muzzleloading shotguns (20 gauge and larger) and muzzleloading firearms (.44 caliber or larger).
The season bag limit is 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer. Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.
All deer hunters, including archers, are required to wear a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist. Scopes and other optical sighting devices are legal for muzzleloading firearms and archery equipment.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, a big game license and a current deer harvest record. Licenses can be purchased online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661, or at a license agent.
Once a deer is harvested, it must be reported within 24 hours through Georgia Game Check.