Joe Kurz WMA is a popular tract of public hunting land south of Atlanta in Meriwether County. The 3,700-acre WMA was once a well-managed private hunting club owned by wealthy businessmen out of Atlanta before being purchased by the Georgia DNR in the early nineties.
The WMA consists of fallow farmland, hardwood bottoms, and some mixed pine/hardwood upland habitat. Much of the old farmland is open fields managed for early successional habitat. The terrain is fairly flat with some small rolling hills.
In addition to numerous hunting opportunities that we outline below, Joe Kurz WMA offers fishing, hiking, birdwatching, and primitive camping to anyone with a hunting license, fishing license or public lands pass.
Like most Georgia public lands, Joe Kurz WMA has its own specific hunting regulations and season dates. Hunting opportunities exist for a variety of game animals, including deer, turkey, small game, and waterfowl.
2023-2024 Hunting Season Dates and Info
While Joe Kurz WMA was once one of the premiere WMAs in the state for the chance of killing a great buck, those opportunities seemed to have diminished in recent years. Part of that is likely due to the change in antler restrictions from a 15-inch spread OR 16-inch main beam to a 15-inch spread OR 4 points on one side several years ago. The antler restriction change resulted in the first legally harvested yearling buck since the WMA was established.
That’s not to say there still aren’t some great bucks roaming the WMA’s 3,700 acres, but probably no more than a lot of other public land tracts in the Piedmont Region of the state.
Despite the dip in quality bucks, Joe Kurz remains a popular place to archery deer hunt, so expect plenty of company if you bowhunt there. The quota firearms deer hunts are still pretty popular, as well, but can be drawn with a minimum number of points.
Quality Buck and Antlerless, Sep 9-17, Nov 5-12, Sign-in
Quality Buck and Antlerless Last Day, Oct 19-21, Nov 2-4, Bonus Deer; Quota 100
Joe Kurz WMA provides over 150 acres of dove fields scattered across the WMA that are open to the public on the dates specified below. These are not quota hunts, so anyone can come out and shoot, but be prepared for a lot of company if you hunt them during the first few Saturdays of the season.
Like most WMAs, the further into dove season it gets, the less pressure you’ll have to contend with.
Sept. 2, 9, 16, 24, Oct.7-8, Nov. 18-Nov 26, Dec 19-Jan 31.
Aug. 15, 2023 – Feb. 29, 2024.
Small game hunting prohibited during deer hunts.
Joe Kurz WMA is one of the tracts of public land in that part of the state that offers quail hunting opportunities. Despite great habitat, the quail population on the WMA is limited, and only three hunters are drawn for each quail quota hunt. The bag limit is 6 quail per person or 12 quail per party.
Dec 10, Jan 15, Feb 4 Sign-in, Quota 3
Looking at the WMA, you would think it would be covered up with turkeys, but that is definitely not the case. The turkey population is fairly low, with only three turkeys harvested there each of the last two turkey seasons (2021 and 2022).
Apr 6-14 and Apr 27-May 5, 2024 Sign-in Quota 25
Waterfowl hunting opportunities exist on Joe Kurz WMA at the small waterfowl impoundment, on the Flint River and White Oak Creek, as well as in the flooded timber that sometimes occurs along those bodies of water. Keep in mind that, like deer and dove hunting there, it can get crowded during the waterfowl season as well. The further you’re willing to walk into the flooded timber, the more likely you’ll be to get away from the crowd.
Waterfowl hunting on the WMA is permitted on Wednesdays and Saturdays only during the statewide season. Shooting hours end at 12 noon.
In addition to hunting opportunities,Joe Kurz WMA has a small primitive camping area free to use by anyone with a hunting license, fishing license or public lands pass. The campsite does not include any amenities like bathrooms, electric or running water, so come prepared. There is a pond in the campground that is open to fishing.
Dog Training Area
The area of Joe Kurz WMA north of White Oak Creek is designated as a dog training area. The area is open for training Aug. 15-Mar. 19 except during deer and quota quail hunts.
Fishing opportunities exist in the Flint River, White Oak Creek, and the campground pond at Joe Kurz. A public boat ramp is available where White Oak Creek meets the Flint River for easy fishing access.
Directions to Joe Kurz WMA
From Woodbury Take HWY 85 north for 7.5 miles to Gay; turn right at red light; check station is 2.7 miles on left.
Check Station Address:
2663 Mt. Carmel Road
Gay, GA 30218
Office phone number: 706-295-6041
GPS Coordinates: N 33.11406, W -84.5376