2018 Georgia Bowhunting WMA Special

Harvest, hunter success and hunter number data for picking the best WMAs for you to bowhunt this season.

Brad Gill | September 8, 2018

Michael Davidson, of Bethlehem, was up a tree on Oct. 3 at Cedar Creek WMA in Jones County. He was looking out over a grown-up field full of tall grasses when a 9-pointer showed up.

“He came out of some thick stuff into that little field, and 47 yards was as close as he would come,” said Michael.

Michael was hunting with his crossbow and was confident he was accurate at that distance.

“I let it fly, and the Rage did the job. He never made it out of field,” said Michael.

This scene will play out day after day on a Georgia WMA. Do you know where you’re going to be bowhunting? This year’s GON WMA Bow Special, printed on pages 46-48, will help you figure out where to hunt. In this annual special, we publish last year’s hunter and harvest stats, along with a list of the top-25 WMAs for bowhunter success from the previous season.

This year’s GON WMA Bow Special includes bowhunter and harvest numbers from 83 different public-land areas that hosted archery hunts. We’ve compiled and printed this information to give bowhunters a head start on where they could spent some air time this year.

Anthony Hulsey, of Gadsden, Alabama with his buck harvested in Houston County at Flat Creek PFA. Date of harvest was Nov. 2, 2016.

The top-two WMAs for bowhunter success last year were the two islands WMAs, Ossabaw and Sapelo, and they both require an application through the online quota hunt to get drawn. However, most other Georgia WMAs are simple sign-in hunts and open to anyone who wants to hunt. Even some of the quality-managed WMAs are open to bowhunting during a few weekends.

Look for the hidden WMA jewels on these pages. For example, Bartram Forest WMA (No. 8, 16.3 percent) is located below Milledgeville and could be a spot to consider.

“Bartram Forest is owned by the Georgia Forestry Commission and is an archery-only area that is 1,343 acres. It is a relatively lightly hunted area,” said WRD biologist Bobby Bond.

Only 86 hunters signed in to hunt Bartram from September to January.

There are other WMAs that will fit your needs. It just takes doing your homework, and this Bow Special is certainly one piece of the puzzle.

Please send us your WMA bowhunter success photos. We’d enjoy seeing them and having a chance to publish them in GON. E-mail [email protected], and include hunter name, hometown, date, the WMA it was taken on and any other interesting details you’d like to share.

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