Last updated on January 6th, 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 2022-2023 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 last season, 108,966 were antlered bucks, and the remaining 148,488 were antlerless.
The 2022-2023 Georgia deer season dates follow the same framework as last year. At first glance, it appears that the firearms deer season is opening later than normal, but it’s really not. The regulations state that Georgia’s firearms deer season opens on the first Saturday after October 15. This year, the 15th is a Saturday, so it pushes the opener a full 7 days later. That’s as late as the deer season will ever open short of a change in the regulations.
2022-2023 Georgia Deer Season Dates
Statewide Archery: September 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Extended Archery*: September 10, 2022 – January 31, 2022
Youth Deer Season: October 15-21, 2022
Primitive Weapons Season: October 15, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Firearms Deer Season: October 22, 2022 – January 8, 2023
*Extended archery season is only open in the following counties: Barrow, Bibb, Chatham, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Decatur, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Muscogee, Paulding, Rockdale 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.
2022-2023 Georgia Bear Season Dates
Archery: September 10, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Primitive Weapons: October 15, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Firearms: October 22, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Firearms: December 17, 2022
Firearms: September 22-24, September 29 – October 1, 2022, October 6-8, 2022, and October 13-15, 2022
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 2022, the Georgia alligator season is sunset on August 19 to sunrise on October 3. 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.
Learn more about Georgia hog hunting
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.
2022-2023 Georgia Small Game Seasons
Squirrel: August 15, 2022 – February 28, 2023
Rabbit: November 12, 2022 – February 28, 2023
Quail: November 12, 2022 – February 28, 2023
Grouse: October 15, 2022 – February 28, 2023
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.
2022-2023 Georgia Waterfowl Season Dates
Duck Season: November 19-27 and December 10 – January 29
September Goose Season: September 3-25
Goose Season: October 8-23; November 19-27; and December 10 – January 29
2023 marks the second year of a shortened turkey season and reduced bag limit. Last year, 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 2023.
The 2023 Georgia turkey season starts Saturday, April 1, 2023 on private lands and will run through Monday, May 15, 2023.
On public lands, the season opens a week later, on Saturday, April 8 and closes on Monday, May 15, 2023.
Learn more about Georgia turkey hunting
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 2022-2023.