Georgia is a very youth-friendly state when it comes to hunting, keeping the expense and requirements very low. The Peach State also provides its fair share of youth hunting opportunities on both public and private land.
In this article, we break down exactly what licenses and permits a youth hunter needs based on their age. We also dive into the variety of specific hunting seasons and opportunities for young hunters.
License and Hunter Education Requirements
|License/Permit||Under 12||Age 12-15||Age 16 and Up|
|Hunting License||Not required||Not required||Required|
|Big Game Permit||Not required||Not required||Required|
|Deer/Turkey Harvest Log||Required||Required||Required|
|Migratory Bird Permit||Not required||Not required||Required|
|Federal Duck Stamp||Not required||Not required||Required|
|Hunter Education||Not required||Only required if hunting unsupervised||Required|
Under 12 Years Old
Kids under 12 who reside in Georgia do not need any type of license or permit to hunt. They are not required to take a hunter education course, although it’s not a bad idea to have them complete it when you think they are old enough to understand all the concepts.
Kids under 12 ARE REQUIRED to be under the “direct supervision” of an adult.
By definition, direct supervision means “uninterrupted, unaided visual contact and auditory communication with the child by an adult.” In other words, an adult needs to be able to see and talk to the child without using binoculars or a two-way radio.
If the youth is deer or turkey hunting, they will also need the FREE deer and turkey harvest log. You can pick one up online at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com or at any license vendor.
Kids age 12 to 15 have the same requirements as those under 12, EXCEPT that they will need to complete a hunter education course IF they will be hunting unsupervised.
If they will be under the “direct supervision” of an adult, then hunter education is NOT required.
Ages 16 & Up
Youth ages 16 and 17 are treated the same as adults and must have all applicable licenses and permits. They are also required to have completed a hunter education course and must carry their hunter education card with them while hunting.
Optional Youth Sportsman’s License
If you have a child between 12 and 15 years old, it would be a great idea to get them the optional $15 youth sportsman’s license.
Even though they don’t need any type of license until they turn 16, when you purchase them a youth sportsman’s license, it is good until they turn 17.
So you are basically buying them a sportsman’s license in advance for when they turn 16. But, instead of paying $65, you are only paying $15. And not only will you and your child benefit from the $50 savings, but the Georgia DNR benefits as well.
In a past Facebook post, John Bowers of the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, explained the benefits of the license.
Georgia Youth Hunting Opportunities
Private Land Hunts
Deer: During Georgia’s primitive weapons deer season, October 14-20, 2023, youth hunters under the age of 16 can use any legal deer firearm.
Turkey: The weekend prior to Georgia’s statewide turkey season is a special opportunity season for hunters 16 years of age and under, as well as mobility impaired persons. For 2024, that season is March 23-24. The special opportunity season only applies to private land.
Waterfowl: Georgia offers a youth, active duty military and veterans waterfowl hunt November 11-12, 2023. The hunt is open to youth 16 years of age or younger. An adult must accompany the youth but may not hunt.
Public Land Hunts
Georgia offers plenty of public land hunting opportunities dedicated to youth hunters. These include hunts for deer, bear, turkey, dove, small game and waterfowl. Some of these are quota hunts that require applying in advance and being drawn, but many are open to anyone who shows up and signs in.
We’ve provided a comprehensive list below provided by the Georgia DNR. Just click on the various panes to see a full list of public land youth hunts for each species.