You’ve got your license, your gear and now you just need a place to hunt. At the most basic level, hunting takes place on either public land or private land.
Hunting Public Land
Georgia has over 100 Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) with approximately 1 million acres of public hunting lands. Every Georgia resident has at least one WMA within one hour of home. Anyone holding a valid hunting license can hunt any Wildlife Management Area for free. Federal lands and some state parks offer hunting opportunities as well.
How to Find WMAs Near You
Georgia DNR’s Interactive Hunting Map is a great resource to locate nearby hunting opportunities. The 5 Steps to Finding Public Hunting Opportunities blog will walk you step-by-step on how to use the interactive map.
Key features of the map are:
- Enter your address and set a maximum distance to find opportunities close to home.
- Filter opportunities by the type of game you’d like to hunt.
- Print a map of the WMA.
- Minute-by-minute updates of road and gate openings
- Address and contact information for each property.
What to Do Before You Go
Before you head out for your WMA hunting adventure check the hunting regulations for season dates and any restrictions the property has. Some property’s season dates may be more restrictive than the state season, or they may have certain required procedures—for example, a WMA might require hunters to sign in to hunt and then sign out their harvest. These can be found on beginning on page 47 of the hunting regulations popular guide. The WMAs are listed in alphabetical order in the popular guide, so you can easily flip through the properties to find your desired WMA. You can also visit the WMA’s website for more information.
What to Do When You Arrive
When you arrive at the WMA, park in the designated parking area (if the WMA has one) or park along the side of the road and hike in. The Go Outdoors Georgia app provides a map of the WMA to use as a guide of the property on the convenience of your phone. If you’re hunting a sign-in or check-in hunt make sure you sign or check in. You can register beginning at noon one day before the hunt at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com. Remember to have fun and use good hunting etiquette!
Hunting Private Land
Resident hunting licenses are required for all resident hunters 16 years old or older, except when hunting on land owned by them or their immediate family (blood or dependent relationship) residing in the same household.
Things to keep in mind:
- Many areas have city ordinances against discharging a firearm within city limits. Be sure to follow these ordinances.
- Do not trespass. If you want to hunt on land that does not belong to you or immediate family (as defined above), you will need written permission from the landowner.
- If you do not own land usable for hunting, someone you know might. You can find many great opportunities by reaching out to people you know.
The Wildlife Resources Division Private Land Hunting in Georgia website has great information and tips on gaining access to private land: https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting-permissions.
Let’s Go Hunting!
No matter what type of land you hunt on, the statewide season and limits for small game apply, unless the WMA has specific regulations. Whether you choose to hunt on private land or public land, there are plenty of great hunting opportunities all over the state! Now it’s time to learn how to clean and prepare your harvest.
Other Posts in the Series
Hunting: How to Get Started — Considering Land | The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports
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