A white-tailed deer. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Bow hunters in Georgia will get the first opportunity to bring home a deer when the archery season for deer opens Saturday.

In the previous season, 139,000 bow hunters harvested just over 50,000 deer. Hunters in Georgia can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2017–2018 deer season, according to the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“Archery season is an excellent time to get an early start on putting some venison in the freezer,” according to state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster. “Although it’s still warm this time of year, it’s the easiest part of the season to pattern deer.”

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All hunters are required to report their deer harvest through Georgia game check, including those under age 16, landowners, honorary, lifetime and sportsman license holders.

Hunters need to obtain a free deer harvest record for each season. Before a harvested deer can be moved, hunters are required to immediately enter the date and county on the harvest record and must complete the reporting process through Georgia game check within 72 hours. Another option is to go paperless and report through the free Go Outdoors GA app, which you can do even without a connection. (When your phone gets a signal again, it automatically syncs your information.)

There is a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer, with one of the antlered deer being required to have at least four points of 1 inch or longer on one side of the antlers.

Archery-only counties and extended archery season areas have special regulations. Also, either-sex archery deer hunting is allowed in metro Atlanta-area counties through Jan. 31. In addition, deer of either sex may be hunted with archery equipment on private land throughout the deer season.

A bow hunter practices. (Photo: Contributed)

A combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program fund state-managed public hunting lands. Hunters contribute $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year, with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.

Georgia has over 100 state-operated wildlife management areas available for public use. Many offer specialty deer hunts, such as primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and women-only hunts. Find dates and locations for these hunts in the 2017–2018 Georgia hunting seasons and regulations guide.

View an interactive map that shows the peak dates for deer hunting in each Georgia county here.

Deer hunters in Georgia must have a valid hunting license and a big game license. These can be purchased online here, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (find an agent here).

Click here for more information on Georgia deer hunting regulations, licenses and wildlife management area maps.

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