2023-2024 Georgia Deer Season Dates and Doe Days

Last updated on September 8th, 2023

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finalized the state’s 2023-2024 deer season dates and regulations at their May 25th Board meeting.

The result is a few significant changes in store for the upcoming season.

First, several counties in the southwest corner of the state will enjoy an extended season to take advantage of the area’s late rutting activity.

And hunters across much of the state will get to enjoy more doe days.

This article highlights the specifics of the DNR’s final changes, and what it means for Georgia’s upcoming deer season.

Georgia Deer Season Dates

Archery SeasonSept. 9, 2023 – Oct. 13, 2023
Extended Archery Season*Sept. 9, 2023 – Jan. 31, 2024
Primitive Weapons SeasonOct. 14-20, 2023
Firearms SeasonOct. 21, 2023 – Jan. 14, 2024
Extended Firearms Season**Oct. 21, 2023 – Jan. 15, 2024

*Includes Baker, Barrow, Bibb, Chatham, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Decatur, DeKalb, Douglas, Early, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Grady, Gwinnett, Hall,
Henry, Miller, Mitchell, Muscogee, Paulding, Richmond, Rockdale, Seminole, and Thomas Counties

**Includes Baker, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Thomas, and Seminole Counties

Georgia’s New Southwest Deer Zone

As I mentioned above, one significant change is focused on eight counties in the Southwest corner of the state, including Baker, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, and Thomas counties.

While I’m not aware of any formal name the DNR has for this area, for the purpose of this article, I’ll refer to that area as the Southwest Deer Zone.

The changes for this new zone are based on data collected from does in the area which showed that the rut peaks there later than the rest of the state.

“Southwest Georgia has a later peak rut than most of the rest of the state, but we didn’t have enough breeding data to make a change,” said state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster. “Starting 3 years ago, we began working with landowners and hunt clubs to collect breeding data in 10 counties. The 8 counties we proposed changes for had late enough peak ruts in at least a portion of the county to justify the change.”

To help deer hunters in the Southwest Deer Zone take advantage of that late rut activity, the DNR proposed extending the firearms deer season for those eight counties through January 15.

That’s certainly not a major extension, considering deer season will close on January 14, 2024 for the rest of the state, but some years it will result in as many as 6 additional days of firearms deer hunting.

In addition to the extended firearms deer season, bowhunters will get additional time in the field with an extended archery season until January 31. That’s the latest the DNR can keep deer season open without an act of the legislature.

Since a later rut results in fawns being dropped later in the summer, the DNR also proposed limiting hunters in the Southwest Deer Zone to bucks only for the first two weeks of archery deer season to reduce the chance of killing any does that are still weaning their fawns.

“Because of late breeding there were also some concerns that some fawns may not be fully weaned at the start of archery season,” said Killmaster. “So we proposed making the first couples of weeks buck only to address this issue.”

So how does all that translate to actual calendar dates for the 2023-2024 Georgia deer season? Here are the season dates for the Southwest Zone.

Changes for the Remainder of the State

For those of us not in the Southwest Deer Zone, we will not see any changes to the upcoming deer season other than the annual shift in dates so the season openers fall on their respective Saturdays.

The one exception is Richmond County, which will be included in the state’s extended archery season.

The author with a big Georgia doe taken with his .270 rifle.

Georgia Doe Days for 2023-2024

The other significant change for the 2023 Georgia deer season is the expansion of doe days across much of the state. Of the counties that allow firearms deer hunting, all but 13 will now allow doe harvest every day of the firearms deer season.

Here’s a breakdown of those counties that still have limited doe days:

November 25-26 and January 1

Rabun and Towns counties

November 3-9 and January 1

Fannin and Union counties

November 3-9, 17-23, and January 1-14

Dawson, Gilmer, Habersham, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Stephens, White, and Whitfield counties.

Map of Georgia's doe days for the 2023-2024 deer season.

Final Thoughts

For most Georgia deer hunters, the 2023-2024 deer season is going to look almost identical to what it did last year. Some of us will get to enjoy more doe days, but that will be the only real change.

But for deer hunters in the southwestern corner of the state, you will finally have the opportunity to hunt some of the best days of the rut for the first time. Enjoy it!

About the Author

My name is Brian Grossman, and I'm a wildlife biologist, outdoor writer, and lifelong hunter and fisherman. Aside from my Christian faith and my family, my passions are bowhunting whitetails, turkey hunting, and fishing for anything that will bite! Thanks for visiting, and don't hesitate to reach out to me on social media if you need anything.