For a hunter, there is little more rewarding than being able to harvest a deer, turkey or other game animal on your own property. That was a dream of mine for over 25 years before it finally become a reality in 2021. I was fortunate enough to purchase a 15-acre tract in Upson County, Georgia, and in my first season of hunting it, the good Lord blessed me with two nice bucks.
But for new landowners, or landowners new to hunting, figuring out what licenses and permits they need to be able to hunt on their own land can be confusing. This article should clear up any confusion. If you still have questions after reading this, feel free to drop them in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.
Do I Need a Hunting License to Hunt On My Own Land in Georgia?
Georgia residents with a Georgia driver’s license or official Georgia government ID card can hunt on their own property without a hunting license or big game permit (if hunting deer, turkey or bear). Resident landowners are also exempt from Georgia’s hunter education requirement, as long as they are strictly hunting on their own land.
Resident landowners DO need the free big game harvest log when hunting deer, turkey or bear, and a free Georgia migratory bird permit if hunting doves, ducks or geese. Duck and goose hunters would still need to purchase the federal duck stamp.
It’s worth noting that any deer, turkey or bear killed by a landowner on their own property still must be checked in with the DNR through the Georgia Game Check system. That can be done online at gooutdoorsgeorgia.com or through the official Outdoors Georgia app.
Resident landowners are also exempt from Georgia’s hunter education requirement, as long as they are strictly hunting on their own land.
If you are a nonresident who owns land in Georgia, then you ARE required to purchase a nonresident hunting license, as well as a nonresident big game license if hunting deer, turkey or bear, the free big game harvest log, and a Georgia migratory bird permit if hunting dove, ducks or geese.
Do My Family Members Need a License to Hunt My Land in Georgia?
The answer to that question is a little more complicated. If they are a blood relative or you claim them as dependents AND they live in the same house as you, then they DO NOT need a hunting license, big game permit, or hunter education. They fall under the same requirements as the resident landowner.
If you are a nonresident Georgia landowner, then your family members will need a nonresident hunting license and any other necessary permits just as you do.
Can I hunt year-round on my own property in Georgia?
No. Landowners must still abide by Georgia’s hunting season dates and bag limits. All deer, turkey, and bear harvested by a landowner on their own property must still be checked in through the Georgia DNR’s Game Check system.
There are situations where a landowner raising agricultural crops for profit can take deer out-of-season if they are causing damage to those crops, but they must first contact the Georgia DNR, have the damage inspected by a wildlife biologist, and be issued a permit to remove a specified number of deer.
How many acres do I need to legally hunt in Georgia?
Georgia law does not specify a minimum acreage to be able to hunt. Technically you could hunt on a 1/2-acre lot. However, wherever you hunt, you have to be able to do so in a safe manner. That means not shooting in the direction of roads or other houses. Some cities and counties may also have regulations regarding the discharge of firearms. So you’ll want to make sure you are aware of any local rules that may be in place before hunting on your property.
I hope this article clears up any questions you had on hunting on your own land in Georgia. If not, feel free to drop your unanswered questions in the comments section below. We may end up adding them to the article for others who may have that same question in mind. Be safe out there, and I hope you have a great hunting season!