Last updated on August 26th, 2023
Georgia hunters are fortunate to have abundant game animals to pursue, long hunting seasons, and over one million acres of public hunting land scattered across more than 100 wildlife management areas and two national forests. If fact, no matter what time of year it is, there’s always something to hunt in the Peach State!
This article covers Georgia’s 2023-2024 hunting season dates for all the major game species.
My hope is that this will be a useful resource for planning your upcoming hunting adventures. While we do our best to ensure that all the information we provide in these guides is accurate and up-to-date, always refer to the latest Georgia hunting regulations issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources before heading afield.
Georgia’s deer population continues to thrive across most of the state, with the exception of the North Georgia mountains, where poor habitat and abundant predators are keeping deer numbers below their desired levels. During the 2021-2022 deer season, 209,742 deer hunters killed a total of 257,454 deer. That was down slightly from a 2020-2021 harvest of 270,272 deer. Of those killed during the 2021-2022 season, 108,966 were antlered bucks, and the remaining 148,488 were antlerless.
The 2023-2024 Georgia deer season dates follow the same framework as last year, with the exception of eight counties in the far southwest corner of the state. Those counties received an extension at the tail-end of the season to account for the later rut dates.
2023-2024 Georgia Deer Season Dates
Statewide Archery: September 9 – October 13, 2023
Extended Archery*: September 9, 2023 – January 31, 2024
Youth Deer Season: October 14-20, 2023
Primitive Weapons Season: October 14-20, 2023
Firearms Deer Season: October 21, 2023 – January 14, 2024
Extended Firearms Deer Season**: October 21, 2023 – January 15, 2024
*Extended archery season is only open in the following counties: 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.
**Extended firearms season is only open in the following counties: Baker, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Thomas, and Seminole Counties.
Georgia’s deer season bag limit is two antlered bucks, with at least one having four or more points on one side, and 10 antlerless deer.
Georgia has three distinct bear populations, each with its own unique season. The North Georgia population is by far the largest with an estimated 3,000 bears and has the longest season.
The Central Georgia bear population is the smallest at 300 bears, with just a one-day season.
And the South Georgia bear population is somewhere in between, with a population of approximately 800 bears and a season with four short three-day segments.
2023-2024 Georgia Bear Season Dates
Archery: September 9 – October 13, 2023
Primitive Weapons: October 14-20, 2023
Firearms: October 21, 2023 – January 14, 2024
Firearms: December 16, 2023*
*A second hunt date may be offered
Firearms: September 21-23, September 28-30, October 5-7, and October 12-14, 2023
The bag limit for Georgia bear season is two bears per season, with no more than one taken from the Central or Southern bear zones.
Learn more about Georgia bear hunting.
Georgia is home to an estimated 200,000 alligators in the southern half of the state. Alligator hunting is done through a quota system, with most zones requiring at least 4-5 preference points to draw. Those fortunate enough to draw a permit enjoy around a 30% success rate.
For 2023, the Georgia alligator season is sunset on August 19 to sunrise on October 2. The bag limit is 1 per quota permit. All alligators harvested in the state must be reported through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours. Once they’ve been checked in, the DNR will mail a CITES tag to the successful hunter.
There is no closed season for feral hogs on private land. They can be hunted year round. On public land, you can take hogs during any hunting season, using a weapon legal for that open hunting season. For example, during small game season on a Georgia WMA, you can hunt hogs using small game legal weapons.
Georgia has abundant small game populations to pursue, including squirrels, rabbits, quail, and grouse, with generous hunting seasons. While once known as a quail hunting stronghold, bird numbers have declined significantly over the last 40-50 years. There are still quail hunting opportunities in the southern part of the state, but most occur on private land.
Grouse hunting is tough going as well. There are birds in the North Georgia mountains, but the lack of timber harvest results in poor quality habitat for grouse. If you have a good dog, and you’re willing to put in the miles, you may get to put a couple birds in your game bag. Those mountains are rough, though, so you better eat your Wheaties!
Squirrel and rabbit hunting opportunities are numerous on both private and public lands across the state.
2023-2024 Georgia Small Game Seasons
Squirrel: August 15, 2023 – February 29, 2024
Rabbit: November 18, 2023 – February 28, 2024
Quail: November 18, 2023 – February 29, 2024
Grouse: October 15, 2023 – February 29, 2024
Georgia is located in the Atlantic Flyway, and is not well known for its waterfowl hunting opportunities. According to Realtree, approximately 22,000 Georgia waterfowl hunters killed 136,800 ducks and 21,100 geese last season. Wood ducks make up the bulk of the duck harvest, but Ringnecks and mallards are frequently taken as well.
2023-2024 Georgia Waterfowl Season Dates
Duck Season: November 18-26 and December 9 – January 28
September Goose Season: September 2-24
Goose Season: October 14-29; November 18-26; and December 9 – January 28
2024 marks the third year of a shortened turkey season and reduced bag limit. Two years ago, the Georgia DNR made sweeping changes in response to a steady decline in turkey numbers across the state and much of the southeast. Opening day was moved from its traditional start in late March to early April, and the bag limit was reduced from three to two, with a one-bird daily limit. That same framework will carry over into 2024.
The 2024 Georgia turkey season starts Saturday, March 30, 2024 on private lands and will run through Monday, May 15, 2024.
On public lands, the season opens a week later, on Saturday, April 6 and closes on Monday, May 15, 2024.
Georgia has plenty fo great opportunities for hunters to hit the woods and enjoy time in God’s great outdoors. Whether it’s deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl, or small game you’re after, there is a Georgia hunting season you can take advantage of.
Hopefully this article will serve as a great resource for you as you plan out your hunting activities for 2023-2024.