index

Bear, Turkey, Feral Hog, Alligator & Small Game Additional Information

Georgia Bear Hunting Regulations and Reporting

Limit and Statewide Restrictions

Georgia bear hunters are subject to specific limitations, including a maximum take of two bears per season. Importantly, only one of these bears may be taken from either the Central or Southern Zone. A critical statewide prohibition restricts the harvesting of female bears with cubs and bears that weigh under 75 pounds. Additionally, there is a strict policy against hunting bears over bait.

Reporting and Harvest Record

A current Harvest Record is obligatory for all bear hunters, and any harvested bears must be promptly reported through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours, as detailed in the Hunting Information. Checking and tagging procedures vary by bear zone and come with additional requirements.

Northern Bear Zone

The Northern Bear Zone encompasses numerous counties, including Carroll and Madison, extending to all counties north of them. Special allowances for youth hunters under 16 permit them to use any legal bear firearm during the Primitive Weapons season. Hunting bears with dogs in this zone is largely banned, except in designated Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

Checking and tagging for the Northern Zone

  • Harvested bears during bonus deer hunts must be reported via Georgia Game Check and brought to the check station for sampling and tagging on the day of the kill.
  • Bears must be taken to a Game Management Office or a state-approved cooperator within three business days for data collection—approved cooperators can be found at https://georgiawildlife.com/bear-info.
  • WMAs' check stations, open for bear or bonus deer hunts, are also available for checking between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Central Bear Zone

This zone includes Bibb, Bleckley, Houston, and Twiggs Counties, with the prohibition of hunting bears with dogs and any bear hunting on WMAs.

Checking and tagging for the Central Zone

Bears must be tagged at the Oaky Woods WMA check station between noon and 9 p.m. on the days of the hunt(s).

Southern Bear Zone

The Southern Bear Zone extends across Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Echols, Lanier, Lowndes, and Ware counties. Hunting with dogs is permissible, excluding in Lanier and Lowndes Counties, where only still hunting is allowed.

Checking and tagging for the Southern Zone

  • Bears must be tagged within 24 hours at specific locations: the Georgia Forestry Commission Offices in Fargo and Folkston have specified days and hours, and outside these hours, bears can be checked at Dixon Memorial WMA on certain dates.
  • In emergencies, after-hours calls can be made to 1-800-241-4113 or to the designated local number on the following business day to coordinate tagging.

General Caution

More restrictive regulations may be in place on certain lands. Hunters should check the local Game Management Region Office or visit the aforementioned website for specific rules and updates to ensure compliance with regulations and help conserve Georgia's bear populations.

Georgia Turkey Hunting Regulations, Limits, and Reporting

Limit Regulations

Turkey hunters in Georgia must abide by established limits to ensure sustainable management of the wild turkey population:

  • Daily Limit: Each hunter is permitted to take one gobbler per day.
  • Season Limit: Throughout the entire season, a hunter can take a total of two gobblers.
  • Specific Area Limit: When hunting on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), Voluntary Public Access (VPA) properties, and National Forest lands, the limit is one gobbler per area, per hunter. Additional details are provided under General WMA Regulations.

Mandatory Reporting & Harvest Record

All turkey hunters must possess a Harvest Record for the current season and are required to report any harvested turkeys through Georgia Game Check within 24 hours.

Special Opportunity Season for Youths and Mobility-Impaired Persons

There is an exclusive season for youth hunters aged 16 and under, as well as individuals with significant mobility impairments. During this special opportunity, these hunters must be in the company of a licensed adult aged 18 or older. The accompanying adult is allowed to call turkeys but is not permitted to harvest or attempt to harvest a turkey themselves. It’s crucial to note that this special season may not be applicable on all public lands and hunters should verify specific area rules.

Involvement in the Turkey Survey

Georgia wildlife authorities strongly encourage all turkey hunters to actively contribute to the Turkey Hunting Population Survey. This initiative gathers important data regarding turkey sightings and hunter success rates during the spring season and is essential for informed wildlife management. To participate, hunters can visit georgiawildlife.com/turkey-info or contact the authorities directly at (706) 557-3264.

Reporting Banded Turkeys

Encounters with banded turkeys are pivotal for research purposes. If a hunter successfully harvests a banded turkey, they are encouraged to report the band at georgiawildlife.com/turkeyband or by calling 706-557-3350. Reporting a banded turkey harvest provides valuable information to biologists studying migration, population dynamics, and the survival of the species.

Compliance for Conservation

Adherence to these guidelines is imperative for maintaining the balance and health of Georgia's wild turkey populations. By following the season rules, limiting regulations, and participating in wildlife surveys, hunters contribute to conservation efforts and the future of turkey hunting traditions in the state.

Feral Hog Hunting on Private Lands and Regulations in Georgia

Private Lands: No Limit and Night Hunting

On private lands in Georgia, there is no limit to the number of feral hogs one can hunt, and there is no closed season designated for feral hog hunting. It is permitted to hunt feral hogs at night and use bait, although hunting from a vehicle that is in motion or under power is prohibited.

License Requirements for Residents and Nonresidents

  • Residents: Georgia residents aged 16 and over must have a valid hunting license to hunt or trap feral hogs unless they are hunting on land owned by themselves or their immediate family who reside in the same household.
  • Nonresidents: Individuals who are not residents of Georgia are required to carry a nonresident hunting license.

Exemptions for agricultural producers may exist, and permits can be attained by contacting the local Game Management Office.

Legal Weapons on Private Land

On private land, hunters are allowed to use any legal weapons for the hunting of feral hogs. Note that different weapon restrictions may apply to Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and federal lands.

WMAs and National Forest Lands: No Limit

Hunting feral hogs on WMAs and national forest lands in Georgia is also without limit. However, there are specific weapon and season regulations aligned with deer, turkey, and small game seasons. Hunters are expected to adhere to designated weapon types for the respective season and comply with hunting license requirements. During firearms and primitive weapons deer and bear hunts, hunter-orange attire is mandatory.

Transporting and Release of Live Feral Hogs

The transport of live feral hogs without a permit from the Georgia Department of Agriculture is unlawful. Captured hogs must be euthanized before transport unless the capturer holds a valid permit. Additionally, releasing live feral hogs into an unfenced area is illegal. Violators of these laws could face substantial fines and loss of hunting privileges.

To obtain more information or a permit for transporting live feral hogs, contact:

  • Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA): Livestock & Poultry Program
  • Phone: 404-656-3665
  • Website: http://agr.georgia.gov/feral-hogs.aspx

Processing Regulations

Facilities charging a fee for processing hogs, including deer processors, must be licensed by the Meat Inspection Section of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Licensing does not apply to individuals who process feral hogs for their consumption. For information regarding this licensing:

  • Georgia Meat Inspection Office
  • Phone: 404-656-3673

Disease Precaution

Feral hogs are potential carriers of infectious diseases transferable to humans. To minimize risk, the following precautions are advised:

  • Wear plastic gloves during field dressing.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot water post-handling.
  • Avoid direct contact with the blood and reproductive organs of the hogs.
  • Ensure the meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  • Dispose of waste properly and safely.

Conservation and Public Safety

These regulations are intended to control the population of feral hogs, which are considered an invasive species causing extensive damage to crops, and wildlife habitats, and can spread diseases. Hunters' cooperation with these rules is vital for conservation efforts, public health, and safety.

Georgia Alligator Hunting Rules and Seasonal Information

Official Regulations Website

For detailed alligator hunting rules and regulations, hunters are directed to visit the official website, GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com. This platform provides comprehensive information on a permit application, legal methods of capture, and other pertinent alligator hunting guidelines.

Mandatory Reporting of Harvest

All harvested alligators must be reported through the Georgia Game Check system within a 24-hour window following the harvest. Hunters can find the specifics of this process in the Hunting Information section.

Alligator Hunting Season Dates

The designated season for alligator hunting stretches from the sunset of August 18 until the sunrise of October 2.

Quota and Permit Application

Alligator harvesting in Georgia is managed through a quota system and is strictly by permit only. Hunters wishing to obtain a permit must enter the selection process by logging into their GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com account.

Application Period for Permits

The period for hunters to apply for alligator hunting permits begins on June 1 and ends on July 15.

Permitted Weapons for Hunting Alligators

Authorized methods for securing alligators include the use of hand-held ropes or snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, gigs, or arrows, each of which must have a restraining line attached. Once the alligator is lawfully restrained, it can be humanely killed using any caliber handgun or bangstick.

Conservation Compliance

All regulations are designed with conservation in mind, ensuring sustainable alligator populations while providing hunting opportunities. Compliance with all rules, permit procedures, and reporting requirements supports wildlife management and ensures the preservation of Georgia's alligator hunting traditions.

Georgia Small Game Hunting Regulations and Specifics

General Seasons, Dates, and Bag Limits

Detailed information regarding small game seasons, applicable dates, and bag limits are outlined under Small Game Seasons, Dates & Limits available for review.

Bobcat & Fox Hunting

Bobcats and foxes in Georgia are legally huntable using small game firearms or centerfire firearms with a minimum caliber of .17. Manual calls are the only type permitted, with both dog hunting and night hunting being acceptable practices.

Trapping Regulations

Complete trapping regulations can be referenced at GoHuntGeorgia.com, ensuring trappers are well-informed about legal and ethical trapping practices. Trapping seasons coincide with those listed within Small Game Seasons, Dates & Limits.

Falconry Requirements and Limits

Holders of a valid falconry permit and a hunting license may engage in the traditional sport of falconry. For specific season dates and limits regarding waterfowl, hunters should consult the Migratory Birds Seasons information.

Daily Bag Limits for Various Species:

  • Squirrel: A daily take limit of 12 squirrels, with the season running from August 15 to March 15.
  • Grouse: The grouse season allows for 3 per day and extends from October 1 to March 15.
  • Rabbit: Hunters can harvest 12 rabbits per day, between October 1 and March 15.
  • Quail: Like rabbits, quail have a daily bag limit of 12, with their season also spanning October 1 to March 15.

Unprotected Species: No Season, No Limits

Certain wildlife species in Georgia are classified as unprotected, which includes coyotes, armadillos, groundhogs, beavers, starlings, pigeons, English sparrows, and nutria. These species can be hunted throughout the year without any specified season or bag limit. Notably, electronic calls are permitted when hunting coyotes.

Ethical Hunting and Conservation

These regulations are crafted to ensure sustainable hunting while keeping wildlife populations in check. Hunters and trappers must comply with all specified guidelines, seasons, and licensing requirements to contribute positively to conservation and uphold ethical small-game hunting standards in the state of Georgia.

Wild Advisor Pro

Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.