Looking for fresh, local, free-range food in Georgia? Skip the grocery store and head to the nearest Wildlife Management Area. There are lots of opportunities to harvest your own meat. That’s right, we mean hunting.

 

  1. You know where your food comes from.

It’s foodie friendly. Hunting is a great way to sustainably harvest organic, locally raised food. If you’re concerned about food free from additives, animal welfare, and healthy protein low in fat and cholesterol – wild game checks all the boxes. From start to finish, you know where you food is coming from and the process it’s gone through to get to your table.

venison steak with wild rice recipe
Venison steak with wild rice recipe. Photo credit: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

 

  1. Get back to the land and have an adventure.

Heading to the meat department and heading to the check lane leaves much to be desired as far as adventure goes. There’s a lot to be gained by heading outdoors, sitting in the woods or stalking up wild game. It is an adventure every time with the ultimate payoff – meat for the freezer! The great outdoors is a grocery store of its own and is always open for business. Hunting gets you back to your roots, nature, and the land. You’ll be gathering and experiencing food the same way your ancestors used to.

 

  1. Don’t worry if you don’t know how, you’ve got friends!

Georgia offers several programs focused on helping new hunters learn the trade. Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division also offers a Hunt and Learn program focused on the development of hunting skills and conservation knowledge. The “Field to Fork” program is helping locavores ages 18 and up become hunters. These programs teach you everything you need to know from hunting essentials, shooting instruction with archery or firearm, meat processing, and even cooking.

Hunting at Field to Fork program
Learning to hunt during the Field to Fork portion. Photo credit: Georgia DNR

 

  1. You can harvest your own meat as close to your house as a grocery store.

Georgia is home to 105 Wildlife Management Areas that all provide free public access with the purchase of a Georgia hunting license. Be sure to check out quota hunt opportunities public lands, too! Quota hunts are managed hunts that allows a set number of hunters to participate to protect natural resources, provide a high-quality hunting experience and maintain a high level of safety.

venison fajitas
Venison fajitas. Photo credit: Georgia DNR

 

  1. Hunting season is just around the corner!

Squirrel season starts August 15th and goes til the end of February (don’t knock it til you try it). Dove season opens on September 1st and these tasty birds have been referred to as the filet mignon of the sky! And if you are up for a bigger challenge, deer season opens for archery on September 8th. Once you have venison cooked well, you will have a new favorite red meat.

 

Need to know where to go? Check out this blog on where to hunt in Georgia!