Best “Excellent” Deer Season Rating In VOTES Response Since 1997
Survey opinions also given on turkey hunting regulation changes and dove season dates.
Of the 1,232 Rate Your Season ballots sent to GON, 24.3% of respondents ranked their deer season as “Excellent,” which is the highest percentage of excellent rankings GON has on record since the 1997-98 deer hunting season.
Only 12.3% of hunters rated their 2019-20 deer seasons as “Poor.” This is the lowest percentage of hunters ranking their season as poor since the 2000-01 deer season.
What an encouragement it is to see hunters showing continued and increased satisfied with their deer seasons. It’s a real testimony to the incredible hunting we have in Georgia, arguably the top big-buck producer in the Southeast.
In addition to the Rate Your Season Survey, GON readers also answered two additional survey questions.
The county ratings are below. For each county you will see a letter and number, which shows the number of season ratings for that county (e-excellent, g-good, etc.).
Each and every comment that was submitted appears below.
Appling Co. G-1, F-1, P-1
Good: Saw a lot of deer but mostly does and little bucks. Counties in south Georgia like Appling and Wayne need to become QDM counties like others. Give the little bucks a chance to get big. Also, permits obtained by farmers are killing our chances to kill big bucks. Even though permits do not allow the killing of bucks, everyone with a permit kills bucks and big bucks still in velvet.
Fair: Not as many deer as in past years.
Poor: No shooter deer.
Bacon Co. F-1
Fair: Saw a few good bucks, just couldn’t make it happen. I bowhunted all year, so that may have something to do with it.
Baker Co. E-1, G-2
Excellent: Seeing lots of bucks. Several of them will be really good ones next year if my out-of-state neighbors won’t shoot them. They are killing too many 2 1/2 year olds.
Good: Plenty of deer but only seeing 8-points and small bucks but still waiting for a shooter. Already taken some does for meat. Passed on four nice 8-points, just want a mature buck.
Baldwin Co. E-2, G-2, F-2, P-2
Excellent: Seeing lots of deer and harvested a nice 5 1/2- to 6 1/2-year-old buck. Lots of deer activity and healthy deer.
Excellent: Great herd, healthy and good mass.
Good: Harvested three deer to date. Saw lots of deer.
Good: Saw lots of deer in early season.
Fair: Seeing a lot of young bucks, and the older ones we have let live over the past years have mostly disappeared. Also seeing fewer does. This is with 20 trail-cams out, as well as hunting. Most pictures of deer are at night with few bucks during the daylight hours, both during the season and pre-season. This has been true in both Baldwin and Wilkinson counties where I hunt.
Poor: Have not had the chance to hunt deer this season.
Poor: After the rut, the deer seemed to disappear. Usually I get a lot of pictures of deer in my food plot, but this year I have had very few pictures of any deer during daylight hours.
Banks Co. G-4, F-3, P-2
Good: I saw several young bucks and does that I let walk and a good 8-pointer on Wilson Shoals WMA that did not present a good shot.
Good: Seems to be more deer this year than in the past.
Fair: Quality of bucks was off for some reason this year.
Fair: I got zero deer but saw about seven.
Fair: Saw a lot of small bucks but no shooters. Let them all walk.
Poor: Too many problems with less property to hunt. People selling off family lands to tree huggers and game protectors. Too many dogs and coyotes killing deer.
Poor: Low deer sightings.
Barrow Co. E-1, G-2, F-2
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer.
Bartow Co. E-3, G-4, F-4, P-2
Excellent: Tagged out on bucks and harvested three does.
Excellent: Harvested my biggest buck to date!
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and other game.
Good: Very productive year. Got meat for the freezer and enjoyed being in the woods. Saw numbers of bucks and plenty of does.
Good: Took a nice 8-pointer. Saw deer on multiple hunts and really enjoyed watching them in our food plot.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Fair: My deer season has just been slow. I have hunted hard but keep seeing the same few does and several small bucks.
Fair: Had a fair season but during the middle of the season a large timber cut took place very close to our lease and changed deer patterns for a while.
Poor: Didn’t get to hunt because of one of my knees.
Ben Hill Co. E-1, G-1, F-1
Excellent: Deer sightings were regular all year, our buck-to-doe ratio on our property seems to be good. Several mornings more bucks than does, and our age structure was improved over last year.
Good: Plenty of deer on the property but not a lot of rut activity.
Berrien Co. E-1, G-3, F-1, P-3
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Big buck was killed on neighboring property.
Good: We saw several deer, killed our limit and had a lot of fun in the woods with friends and family. Someone across the property line killed the trophy buck we were hunting, but that’s good, too. We don’t own the deer.
Fair: Saw deer, just not very big bucks. They are coming out during nighttime hours.
Poor: Hardly saw any deer.
Poor: Haven’t hunted much.
Bibb Co. G-2
Good: Seeing lots of deer, and I killed a good buck in bow season.
Good: Saw lots of deer, the big one I was hunting got by me twice so far.
Bleckley Co. E-1, P-1
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and the majority were bucks.
Brooks Co. G-2, F-3, P-1
Good: Was a par season for sightings and rut activity. However, I took a very big buck, so good.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Fair: Saw some bucks but no shooters.
Fair: I saw some deer but not anything big enough to shoot.
Poor: No big bucks.
Bryan Co. G-4, F-1, P-2
Good: It’s really on me. I haven’t had much time to hunt, but when I did I saw deer, even in the mountains on national forest.
Good: Saw deer but not many with big horns.
Good: Only been on one Georgia hunt this year. Saw a few deer but did not harvest one.
Fair: On Oct. 18, I killed a couple of decent bucks. Saw very few deer. Doe population is way down. We need to lower the doe killing or stop it for a few years. Coyote numbers are way up.
Poor: Not able to go when needed to be in the woods.
Bulloch Co. E-2, G-1, P-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of good deer and turkey on the property this year.
Poor: I didn’t hunt much this year.
Burke Co. E-3, G-8, P-2
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer while in the woods. A 9-point took care of my family’s jerky needs.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer moving around which helped me bag seven deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: Saw a lot more deer this year.
Good: Seeing lots of deer.
Good: I saw lots of deer, just not a big buck.
Good: I saw quite a few deer this year and a few pretty decent bucks.
Good: Saw plenty of deer early season. They have all gone nocturnal, including the does.
Poor: Never saw a buck.
Butts Co. G-3, F-1, P-2
Good: Harvested a nice 9-pointer chasing a doe during the rut. Took a fat doe the next day.
Fair: Not seeing near the deer on our property as in previous years.
Poor: Very few bucks seen all season.
Calhoun Co. E-1, G-2, F-1
Excellent: It’s been a great season so far.
Fair: Saw fewer deer and saw mostly small bucks.
Camden Co. G-3
Good: I hunt Glynn, Camden and Brantley counties primarily but also am in a lease in Burke County. Two of my sons were able to kill deer on weekend trips to Burke County, and my youngest son got to go hunting with me several times, even though we were unsuccessful on his hunts. I also was able to kill my biggest buck to date on one of my Burke County trips.
Good: Season was average. Seven-year-old grandson killed nice doe, his third! That’s what it’s all about anyway.
Good: Shot a nice buck and missed another one during muzzleloader season. Took a smaller buck in mid November.
Candler Co. E-2
Excellent: A lot of deer on our property and a good number of young bucks. Saw deer almost every time I went.
Excellent: Very good deer population with a good buck-to-doe ratio.
Carroll Co. E-1, G-7, F-2, P-1
Excellent: My whole family had great success.
Good: Got two deer.
Good: Saw a huge amount of deer this year. Saw a huge amount of bucks that will be trophies next year.
Good: Carroll, I can’t figure this place out. Never see activity here. The number of bucks were decent, just all very small. We would typically have multiple nice bucks on camera, but this year I never got anything over 6 points on camera. I don’t know why this is, but it was off. Most does moved at night, especially after the first month of deer season. I killed two does fairly early, and then not much daytime movement except for fawn and small bucks.
Good: Killed nice 8-point. If he had been bigger, it would have been excellent.
Fair: I think the neighbors are shooting every deer that they see.
Poor: Few deer seen.
Catoosa Co. G-1, F-2
Good: Didn’t see any bucks chasing does.
Fair: Lower than normal deer sightings.
Fair: I did not take a deer this season and still rate my season as fair. Saw some good bucks, chose not to shoot.
Charlton Co. G-1
Good: Seeing plenty of deer.
Chattahoochee Co. E-2, G-2
Excellent: I shot two really nice bucks, a large 8-point and what would have been a 10-point, but he had injured his rack on the right side. So, he ended up being a 9-point. I’m still hunting for does at this point.
Good: Saw deer both bucks and does.
Good: I had many life events going on, so I wasn’t able to hunt as much as I would have liked, but I did see deer about 80% of the time I went out.
Chattooga Co. E-2, F-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer. Very many small bucks and mature does. Got several pictures of multiple large bucks, as well.
Excellent: Hunting primarily in an area I knew about and had hunted every once in a while. I had pics of five different bucks and took the second biggest in early November. The bigger one was strictly nocturnal, but he was around a lot. I saw and had opportunities to take a deer almost every time I hunted.
Cherokee Co. E-6, G-4, F-6, P-1
Excellent: Number of deer seen while in woods.
Excellent: Let many up-and-coming bucks walk and still got two nice 8-pointers. Plenty of deer on my farm.
Good: I was able to take three deer, one being a young 7-point buck on Jan. 12. One was taken with archery and two with a rifle. I let many, many more and better deer walk hoping that December would provide better opportunities. I also have a lease in Heard County located near the Alabama state line and about two hours from home. The rut takes place during the first and second week in December, despite the GON Rut Map. However, for the second year in a row the weather truncated my opportunities, not because I won’t hunt in the rain but mainly because the roads to get to my area were destroyed by the weather and camping becomes twice as difficult.
Good: I have not gotten to hunt as much as in previous years due to issues with my hip. I did kill a doe and saw several small bucks in November.
Fair: Seeing an awful lot of 2- to 3-year-old bucks but not a lot of mature 4-plus-year-old bucks, even on camera surveys. Predation continues to be an issue for us. I wish the entire state would go to an antler restriction for hunters older than 21 years old.
Fair: Not as many deer. Too much loss of habitat.
Poor: No movement of deer.
Fair: Very hot temperatures early in the season were tough to endure.
Fair: Sighting down from previous years. They need to cut bag limit at least 50%.
Fair: Not enough time in the woods. Population maybe down somewhat.
Clarke Co. G-1
Clay Co. E-2, G-3, P-1
Excellent: So far we have killed five great bucks that scored from 130 to 144.
Excellent: Killed several deer. Deer club killed several big bucks.
Good: Got a deer.
Good: Noticed a steady decline in number of bucks, both shooters and non-shooters, as season progressed. Now resident hunters feel that for the cost of a license they are going to get their monies worth. Let them go so they will grow.
Poor: Weather, over abundance of food, acorns, etc. Deer have not come to feeders. Very late rut.
Clayton Co. E-1, G-2
Good: Others seem to have had a good year. I didn’t find time with working nights.
Good: I bowhunt only mostly. Saw a lot of deer and some good ones on camera, some quality deer and some good, young bucks, too. The future looks good for us. The second rut saw a lot of activity, and the acorn crop was excellent.
Clinch Co. P-1
Poor: No deer.
Cobb Co. E-1, G-1
Excellent: I took a 7-point buck the second day of archery season, and I passed on several does until the first week of October. I then decided to take a doe. I then continued to see multiple bucks in the pre-rut, rut and post-rut, and they were constantly in/out of my stand location. I saw an 8-point buck sparring with a spike, a 4-point buck chasing a doe through the creek in front of me three or four times on one morning, a buck horning a tree and making a scrape, chasing does, and I passed to this point on approximately four shooter bucks. I was waiting on an extremely large buck that I have seen about once a year for the last five years. He did not show up during the rut in my location. The weather was much better than last year, although it was still really hot early on. However, it rained a lot less this hunting season. I saw an amazing amount of activity, and I thank God for all of it.
Good: I crossbow hunt and saw a ton of deer and had seven or eight sightings of what I consider shooter bucks but was never close enough for a good shot.
Coffee Co. G-1
Colquitt Co. E-1, G-5, F-2
Excellent: Saw several big bucks and was able to harvest one buck so far. Really didn’t see a rut until after Thanksgiving.
Good: Colder weather this year.
Good: Have seen adequate number of deer, including solid numbers of younger bucks with potential.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, turkey and ducks.
Good: My wife and I killed two mature bucks, one each. We were getting daytime pictures of good bucks up until Nov. 15. After that date, all the good bucks just disappeared. All that we are getting pictures of is 7- and 8-points, and their racks are all broken. I have hunted deer in south Georgia ever since they were stocked here in the 50s, and I have never seen broken racks like we have this year. The one that I killed had two points broken off, almost even with the main beam, and he still had 11 points.
Fair: Didn’t see the does that we normally see. I believe we need to drop the doe harvest numbers down.
Columbia Co. E-4, G-3, F-1, P-1
Excellent: Because I practice QDM and predator removal.
Excellent: Number of deer seen greatly increased from the last few years. Healthier deer herd.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer, bucks and does. Tagged out early on bucks and then got a doe. Only problem was it was over too quick. Three is normally my limit for the year.
Excellent: Killed my first crossbow deer and six days later another doe on my own land.
Good: Saw more bucks.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: I’ve killed three deer but want to kill about three more. I average five.
Fair: I have a hog problem.
Poor: Rut seemed off. Weather didn’t play well.
Cook Co. G-1, P-1
Poor: Did not see a lot of deer.
Coweta Co. E-5, G-5, F-3, P-3
Excellent: We have killed two 130-inch-plus bucks and have seen quality deer all season.
Excellent: Tagged out myself and my wife tagged out on her bucks. Her first year, too.
Excellent: Saw many deer. I killed a 10-point Nov. 6, then a 8-point at my hunting club in Meriwether County Nov. 9.
Excellent: Got a new piece of property and saw lots of deer with plenty of potential shooters in the future.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Saw more deer this season on the hoof than I did last year. Seemed to be more buck activity.
Good: Didn’t get to hunt as much as usual but had cameras running. Happy with deer numbers. Letting does go and trapping the last several years and we’re finally seeing results.
Good: I killed a nice deer and saw some does and smaller bucks this season.
Good: I’ve seen lots of deer (shooter bucks and does) throughout the year.
Fair: I hunted more sits than in the past few years, and I saw fewer deer total. I hunt on the place I live, so I see them regularly, and I run three cameras on 38 acres, and I have a good idea of the resident herd. The fawn recruitment has been pretty good the last few years. I see three to four does with twins and one to three does with singles. Very few are lost from what I can tell. The last two seasons a neighbor who used to not hunt has a son who moved in, and he does hunt. I have noticed a reduction in deer seen. I have not spoken to them to see what they are killing, but they are the only “new” people that I am aware of in the area around me. There are numerous folks who do hunt, but we all know what each other are taking, and it has been fine until this new guy. The deer are bigger bodied, as I have been feeding and doing food plots for eight or nine years. With the people population explosion in metro Atlanta and the rest of the state, I feel like a lower doe harvest would be warranted for at least Macon north. Why not do a two-buck and two-doe limit with the ability to buy doe tags for use in southern counties? Also, if the farmers are still allowed to shoot deer on the depredation permits, I would like to see them have to collect them and donate to local food banks.
Fair: Not enough time to hunt on my part.
Fair: The age class of deer I am hunting is not present. I saw many 120-class deer that were 2 1/2 to 3 1/2, not 4 1/2 or older.
Poor: No deer traveling through the property, just around the edges and mostly at night.
Poor: Deer season was not good, at least compared to the last five years. Very low sightings and zero harvested.
Crawford Co. E-2, G-2, F-1
Excellent: Two big bucks.
Excellent: Shot two mature bucks over the age of 4 1/2.
Fair: Numbers seemed lower than in previous years. Saw fair number of young deer but not many mature deer.
Crisp Co. E-3, P-2
Excellent: Plenty of deer.
Excellent: I saw a ton of deer, and I passed up multiple 130-inch bucks.
Excellent: Deer were plentiful and healthy.
Poor: Rut was off and had a hog problem. Bunch of small bucks.
Dade Co. G-2
Good: Saw a number of decent bucks and know of some big bucks killed in the area.
Good: Saw deer more often than didn’t, but I wish we had a more plentiful group of mature bucks in our area.
Dawson Co. E-6, G-4, P-1
Excellent: I saw deer almost every time I went out. I hunted mostly from the ground with a recurve bow, and I had deer get well within range for a shot multiple times with only a few of them spooking. It is a lot of fun when they get close at eye level.
Excellent: Tagged out on bucks, one of which was my best buck ever in 52 years of hunting.
Excellent: We trophy manage, and there was a lot of big buck activity.
Excellent: Good success rate and plenty of deer being seen. Need more either-sex days in Dawson County. This would allow more younger hunters to be successful.
Good: Had some acorns on the ground this year. Deer moved like normal. Very good year.
Good: Didn’t hunt as much as normal but saw plenty of game.
Good: I had a good deer season since I took a legal buck on Dawson Forest WMA.
Poor: Deer numbers are way down. Land is harder to find, more people on public land. Too many bears.
Decatur Co. E-1, G-1, F-1
Excellent: New lease with lots of deer and potential.
Good: Amount of deer and bucks sighted.
Dodge Co. E-3, G-4, F-5, P-1
Excellent: I saw deer 95% of the time I went.
Good: Good, healthy deer herd.
Good: Saw deer almost every sit this year. Several different bucks sighted. Hopefully will have some mature bucks to target next season. Was able to stock the freezer.
Fair: Did not see as many deer this season as last year.
Fair: Not seeing many deer.
Fair: Didn’t see many bucks.
Fair: Saw many deer early in the season but only a few shooter bucks. Bucks disappeared before the rut and haven’t been back. Only saw yearlings.
Poor: I didn’t see any large bucks.
Dooly Co. E-5, G-2, F-2
Excellent: 12-point buck and an 8-point buck.
Excellent: Killed two bucks with my bow, and one was my biggest buck to date.
Excellent: Great number of deer overall and a very good defined rut around Nov. 14.
Excellent: It was the best season I’ve ever had in 12 years of deer hunting. My father, my 11-year-old son and myself all killed the biggest bucks of our life this year.
Excellent: One 141-inch 8-point and one 130-inch 9-point.
Good: Saw deer almost every time in the woods and bagged a big 8 with a 19 1/2-inch spread.
Fair: Saw very few deer overall and almost none after Nov. 10.
Fair: Just not what it should have been.
Dougherty Co. E-1, G-2, F-1
Good: Lots of movement.
Good: We had a very good deer season. We only took three does this season. Had a good herd of does, although they were small. Several nice bucks. Hopefully we can maintain our management practice to grow bigger bucks. We’ve had more deer than we have in the past few years.
Douglas Co. G-2, F-1, P-2
Good: The only time I was able to go was perfect. Saw bucks grunting and chasing does.
Fair: Lots of deer, no mature bucks.
Poor: Deer movement was not good at all. Did see some but not as much as I usually do. Plenty of deer on camera at night. Haven’t noticed much rut activity. No chasing, no quick movements of bucks or does. Very strange. I have never seen this activity this way. Seems like most of them have disappeared during daylight times.
Poor: I saw a lot of deer from my window. I have been stuck close to the house with a broken foot. It’s better now, so I hope to get out some over the holidays.
Early Co. E-1, F-3
Excellent: Have seen more deer this season, and we have killed one large 8-point and a few does.
Fair: Season starts too early and ends too early.
Fair: Deer not moving much in daytime. Took a doe in archery season. Month left and I hope to kill a buck soon.
Fair: Sightings this year were OK. I took a couple of good bucks early. Does mostly were moving at night (I run bunch of cameras), but there are plenty of them. Pigs are becoming more numerous every year. Not seeing the 5- to 6-year-old bucks anymore on cameras. I’m wondering if the rise of night hunting for pigs and coyotes has led to a drop off in 5- and 6-year-old bucks. The drop off is very noticeable.
Effingham Co. G-3, P-2
Good: I hunt for the meat. Have one in the freezer and will take another before the season ends.
Good: I saw deer regularly, which is a good improvement over previous years.
Poor: I have not had time to go this year, my problem not the deer’s.
Poor: Saw less deer and less deer signs. More signs of coyote than in prior years. Hardly any yearling deer. I also think we may have EHD in our deer around my area.
Elbert Co. E-1, G-9, F-6
Excellent: Hunting over bait.
Good: Decent herd.
Good: We had a good year. About average. Poor food plots because of the drought.
Good: Took a good 8-pointer, a good 9-pointer and three good female coyotes.
Good: I’m giving this year a good rating, even though I killed two mature bucks, one being my target buck. The reason for this year being only good instead of excellent is because I never actually saw any peak rutting activity. We have many less mature bucks on camera than past years and the weather.
Good: I kill what I wanted to kill, three deer.
Good: Saw more bucks chasing this year than I ever have, not a particular time for the rut but instead four weekends in a row. Starting the Sunday of opening weekend of gun season I saw a nice mature buck making scrapes and running does. The next weekend I saw a spike running does all over for an hour straight. The following weekend I shot a 9-pointer grunting and running a group of does. Then the very next weekend I saw a 6-pointer bristle up and run a spike off from getting close to the doe he was tending, and about an hour later a nice mature 8-pointer ran both of the smaller bucks off and continued to chase that doe. All this action was on the same tower stand where I have a 2-acre food plot of mostly cereal grains. It’s a mix from Athens Seed containing wheat, rye grain, oats and crimson clover. Did not see the target buck I was after, which was a mature 14-pointer I saw last year. He ended up fighting an 8-pointer, but I couldn’t shoot because I’d already harvested two bucks at that time last season. Not sure what happened to him but hoped he’ll show back up. All of this is on a 2,500-acre lease on the Broad River that’s trophy managed with a 15-inch-wide spread and 4 points or more on one side. On a small piece of property I own also in Elbert County, I actually had bigger bucks on camera but mostly all at night.
Fair: The doe population has been decreased. Too many being killed.
Fair: Lots of bucks. Not a lot of does.
Fair: Saw the same few does every trip but only had a few pics of bucks, all under 120 inches. Hog activity continues to increase.
Emanuel Co. E-4, G-8, F-3, P-1
Excellent: Tagged out on bucks and killed two does.
Excellent: Being that I hunted only three days in November and three days in January and killed three does, I would say excellent.
Excellent: The deer population where I hunt is high, and I see plenty of deer. I was fortunate enough to take my biggest buck this season, gross score in the 140s. Most of Emanuel County has a great or high deer population.
Excellent: Plenty of mature deer.
Good: Seeing a good number of deer.
Good: Spotty rut, drought hurt our deer herd, and the club took only three deer over 170 pounds.
Good: Seeing some decent bucks, and most does have a fawn with them.
Good: Shot a few deer and saw a lot of deer. My club shot a lot of 8-pointers. Three wall hangers.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, lots of trail-cam pics, plenty of 2- and 3-year-old bucks that are going to be shooters, if the neighbors from Florida don’t get trigger happy.
Good: Deer movement has been good throughout the season. I was able to take several does early in the season and killed two mature bucks. Both weighed over 200 pounds, which is pretty big in Emanuel County.
Fair: Haven’t gotten to hunt much.
Fair: Not too much deer activity.
Poor: Too many wild hogs.
Evans Co. E-1, G-1, F-1
Excellent: I have seen more deer and harvested very close to my limit of healthy animals this year. My freezer is full, my neighbors and my friends and family all have fresh venison. I even got to bring a friend, and he harvested one of his personal best deer, a 10-point. I was able to use a bow, a crossbow, a blackpowder rifle and a modern firearm to successfully harvest deer this season.
Fannin Co. F-2, P-1
Fair: No acorns in the mountains this year.
Fair: I’ve seen a lot of does and small bucks but no shooters.
Fayette Co. E-1, G-2
Excellent: I killed a 120-class deer the first day I went hunting. Also, I killed a doe.
Good: Starting to see more quality bucks and saw deer every time I sat in the stand.
Floyd Co. E-5, G-2, F-1
Excellent: The most buck activity that I have seen on my property in 10 years.
Excellent: Saw an abundance of deer.
Excellent: Lots of deer, good young bucks.
Excellent: I have harvested six deer this season.
Good: Movement seemed pretty normal.
Good: Too many young bucks killed in my area.
Fair: The drought hurt us on our food plots. Acorn crop wasn’t good.
Forsyth Co. G-2, F-2
Good: Saw plenty of deer, and the deer were healthy looking.
Fair: I’ve only been out three or four times.
Franklin Co. E-1, G-5, F-2, P-1
Good: Saw a good number of deer. No trophy. Harvested two does.
Good: Season was good. Harvested two bucks. Passed on several does because they still had fawns during muzzleloader week. Buck movement was good the first week of November.
Good: Saw deer this season. More either sex-days. Still thankful for longer season in the North Zone.
Good: Saw a couple of mature deer and a few young bucks. Saw a couple of does with fawns. Decided not to shoot any does because they still had their fawns around muzzleloader time and only saw a handful of does. Lots of coyotes on the trail cam and hearing a lot at dark.
Fair: Lots of small deer.
Fair: Haven’t really seen any shooter bucks. Lot of 110- to 130-inch 8-points.
Fulton Co. E-3, G-5, F-2
Excellent: I have seen lots of deer.
Excellent: Had a heart attack Oct. 21 and lived to tell about it! Still have a chance to get a deer this year as I’m released to shoot a rifle Dec. 19.
Good: Did manage to get a good buck, but both my target bucks were killed on a nearby property by other hunters. But that’s how it goes. I’m happy for those hunters.
Good: Saw lots of deer, including bucks.
Fair: Fewer deer sightings.
Fair: Not seeing as many deer but a lot more coyotes. I’ve killed one deer and one coyote.
Gilmer Co. E-2, G-5, F-6, P-2
Excellent: Got a small buck, my grandson got a doe. Being out in the outdoors is always an excellent time. It’s not just about a big trophy, but to me it’s just enjoying being out.
Excellent: Killed a quality buck.
Good: Lots of great opportunities for me in the north Georgia mountains.
Good: Got a nice buck, but the deer population in the area I hunt is definitely down. It’s been down for the last two to three years.
Good: Saw a few deer and one nice buck.
Fair: Seen a few horned trees, scrapes everywhere. Can’t tell when the rut starts. I did kill a 8-point.
Fair: Saw lots of does but not a lot of mature bucks.
Fair: Low deer numbers in the mountains.
Fair: We experienced a large population of coyotes this season. Coyotes were seen on and off camera and in large packs and all in healthy form. Most of them were seen chasing deer and in food plots after deer had been caught on camera in the food plots. Coyotes were seen more than deer or bear. Coyotes will be our main focus when hunting season has ended.
Poor: You ask the same question every year, and it’s the same answer—poor. When are they going to understand the hunters are killing too many deer, plus the coyotes are killing a lot, also. When are they going to change the rules? This is mismanagement. Nothing is going to change. It’s a shame to look at land that is almost void of deer. They think there is nothing wrong, and they think the deer herd is at the level they want. Why would they extend deer season to MLK Day? All the does are bred. You are killing next year’s deer.
Glascock Co. G-3, F-1
Good: For the most part our club has done well for the amount of time spent in the woods.
Good: Any time with nature is good. Saw deer on almost every hunt.
Good: I am seeing more 3-year-old-plus bucks. All neighbors except one are committed to letting young bucks walk except for when children are hunting. They can shoot what they want. We’re going on four years of working together.
Fair: I didn’t have a chance to hunt very much this year.
Glynn Co. E-1, G-1
Excellent: I mainly hunt a hunting club (Hayner Pasture Hunt Club) in the counties of Glynn and Camden. My deer season produced a 4-point and a good 8-point and three does. So I rated it excellent.
Gordon Co. E-3, G-7, F-3
Excellent: We saw a lot of deer.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and a strong rut.
Good: Once the food plots came up, we have been seeing a lot of deer.
Good: I saw less rut activity this year, but I did manage to harvest my biggest buck to date, a 147-inch buck.
Good: Too many people around my hunting land kill the little ones.
Good: Harvested a good buck in primitive-weapons week and got a of couple of does. Only reason I didn’t give it excellent is I haven’t gotten any good bucks on camera like years past. Normally get around four real good deer every year on camera but no sign of them this year.
Good: I didn’t have much time to hunt, but deer were moving pretty good.
Fair: Not many deer sightings.
Fair: Deer tend to be very nocturnal here.
Grady Co. G-1, F-2
Fair: Saw lots of deer, just no big bucks.
Fair: Deer season started out as usual with lots of does and yearlings and some decent smaller bucks. The second week of December is one of our best rut times, and it started out good. Saw lots of does in plots and younger bucks up to 3 1/2 years old chasing. We were expecting it to get better each week from then on out until the end of the season, but warm weather came in and shut it down. We saw very little deer movement from the third week of December to the end of season. All of our Spypoint cams showed deer moving a little at night but not like it usually is. Bucks disappeared except for an occasional picture at night. We went from 100 pounds of corn at four stands in four days to 100 pounds in 14 days. That’s how much they quit coming. Still lots of natural browse in the woods due to warmer weather, and we might have gotten two light frosts all season. We have some of the best-looking Whitetail Institute plots we ever had but not the deer traffic we usually have. Usually the plots are smoking with deer. So I’ll blame it on the warmer weather for us this year. Then the first week of January we usually start to see secondary rut action pick up but not this year. Earlier scrapes from around Dec. 8 haven’t been visited in a long time. I walked some areas yesterday, and all are full of leaves. In southwest Georgia, the season needs to change to come in later and go the full month of January.
Greene Co. G-4, F-7, P-4
Good: Plenty of deer and good natural food sources.
Good: Not excellent because I never saw a definitive 4 1/2-year-old buck. However, overall buck sighting numbers were above the average of recent years. Rut activity in November was also vigorous.
Good: I have seen a lot of deer and some very nice bucks. The herd seems to be healthy.
Fair: A lot of baby deer and young does and buttons. Big bucks were mostly at night.
Fair: Not seeing as many deer.
Fair: Saw no rut.
Fair: Mainly seeing does and yearlings.
Fair: I only got two small deer.
Fair: Haven’t seen many trophy bucks. Mostly does and small bucks.
Fair: Limited sightings of game, more so than prior years. Number of deer have decreased drastically over the last several years.
Poor: Too many hogs.
Poor: Coyote population.
Gwinnett Co. E-1, G-1
Good: Lots of deer, no quality bucks. I think our antlered deer harvest should be one per year. QDM with 8 points or better should be statewide.
Habersham Co. G-2, F-3
Good: This deer season has been pretty good. I’ve seen a few good bucks and was able to harvest a nice 7-pointer.
Fair: I didn’t get to go hunting like I had in previous years. My dad passed in September, and I took care of him with hospice until the end. I guess I didn’t have the drive to go so much after that big loss for my family. If it warms some and I get over my breathing troubles, I’ll try more.
Fair: Didn’t see too many deer.
Hall Co. E-4, G-6, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer and killed two nice bucks.
Excellent: Two “backyard bucks” (literally), a big 10-pointer and a small 8-pointer, both following does into my backyard from Lake Lanier COE property. We are overrun with deer coming off of COE property. Got a 10-pointer on Oct. 21 and an 8-pointer on Dec. 31. Both were taken in the morning around 8:30.
Excellent: Hunting a private 16-acre tract of land in and around a rural area that holds a lot of deer and has a lot of deer traffic.
Good: I’ve seen many deer and a good balance of bucks and does.
Good: Big deer on camera, but nocturnal.
Good: Was not able to find enough time to hunt, otherwise excellent.
Good: Clearly from an activity and sighting standpoint, the above-average acorn crop promoted deer travel to occur more during daylight hours and to typical feeding grounds. Rut activity was subtle once again due to the high doe population in the area. The upside is that there was a secondary and an upcoming tertiary rut to occur in January. Almost all the mature bucks limited their movement to after hours based on trail-camera photos. I had only one daylight photo of the buck I was after, and unfortunately I was earning a paycheck at the time he smiled for the camera. Simply they have no competition for courting potential mates since there are so many does to go around, so they don’t have to bother risking their identity in searching during daylight hours. At least in my general area there isn’t enough hunters to control the doe herd. The number of shots can be counted on one hand that I heard all season. To give my opinion as to why and being as objective as possible, it is a reflection of the times we live in where our generations in their 20s or younger are growing in an era where patience is a burden and life is carried out through social media—two attributes that are the complete opposite of what’s found in deer hunting.
Fair: Just hunted one day and did not get one due to doctor visits and hospital stays.
Fair: Poor deer movement.
Fair: Not been able to hunt much this year but seeing more deer at this new property we acquired, just not getting them to give me clean shots. So one down and one more weekend I can hunt, wish me luck.
Poor: Very few deer seen this year with no major change in pressure, food or habitat.
Poor: Very little deer movement and only nocturnal buck activity.
Hancock Co. E-14, G-14, F-7, P-3
Excellent: Lots of bucks and does.
Excellent: The whole county is QDM and no doe days. Seems to be a better balance of buck to does here. Saw a lot of deer this season and a good number of mature bucks moving in daylight with very little hunting pressure around us.
Excellent: Two bucks, 100-class and 130-class. Saw plenty of deer and a lot of young bucks.
Excellent: I saw a lot of rutting activity and was able to see a lot of our mature bucks. I was able to harvest the largest Georgia whitetail of my life. Incredible season.
Excellent: Saw lots of bucks and does.
Excellent: Plenty of deer seen. Rutting action was average or better. Our kids had a huge time in the woods.
Excellent: Have seen plenty of deer. Any season you get to go to the woods is an excellent season.
Excellent: Lots of early season does were taken this year. The rut was excellent this year, as well. Five nice 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-year-old bucks were taken off the club. Just overall great hunting this year for our club as a whole.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer this season and took a mature buck.
Good: The rut was one of the best ever. The opportunity to harvest bucks this year was above average on property we have hunted 19 seasons.
Good: Very strong deer population but the number of big bucks seems to be declining. The 2- and 3-year-old bucks we let pass last year are not returning as mature bucks in the numbers expected. Are neighbor hunters taking these deer before they can achieve maturity?
Good: Saw plenty of deer each time out.
Good: I haven’t harvested a deer yet due to my own choosing but have seen a lot of deer and a couple of possible shooters that I let walk. It’s Dec. 21, so I still have some time to hunt. Just being in the outdoors is a blessing!
Good: We have seen a lot of bucks, but all are not quite where we want them to be. QDM is really working, but we just have a hard time seeing these 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-year-old bucks after we let them walk year after year. I really, really wish that the state would reconsider baiting. It really seems to take something away from the experience. We don’t hunt over bait, but I hate to think of all the deer killed with their noses in a corn pile.
Good: Saw good numbers of deer almost every set but just not the mature bucks I was hoping to run across. Saw bucks but no shooters/mature ones.
Good: Saw a lot of different bucks. None that met my standards.
Good: We continue to see quality deer in small numbers, but I believe that the overall herd is stable.
Good: Got a very nice 4-year-old buck and a doe. Seeing a lot of deer, just not many 3-year or older bucks, better management on our part will take care of that. We have also been over run with pigs this year.
Good: Saw fewer legal bucks this season.
Good: Saw deer, even shooters while hunting. Limited time due to a family member’s health.
Good: I saw a lot of bucks.
Fair: Great season for population growth. I saw a lot of deer but limited trophy bucks this year on our property. We are trying hard to grow the deer to maturity.
Fair: Logging was a factor. Our camp saw fewer deer during bow season through rut. Late season has picked up.
Fair: On my property there are 10 to 12 bucks to one doe. Most people would think that was good, but it’s not. I have spikes up to 6-pointers that look like horses, 200-lb. plus. I have small 8-points, but they get shot as soon as my neighbors sees them. It’s a shame.
Fair: Deer numbers are not seen this year.
Fair: Seeing a fair amount of deer but not many shooter bucks.
Fair: Not a lot of big deer in my area. Too many hunters in my area for the amount of land around me. Hunters killing small deer, not letting them grow up.
Poor: My job has kept me from being able to hunt this year.
Poor: I saw fewer deer, and the quality of the deer was not as good as normal. The number of does is substantially down from previous years, also. I did see a good number of young deer. Rut seemed to be affected by the drought that we had late summer/early fall. It delayed acorns and the rut seemed to be later than normal.
Haralson Co. E-2, G-3, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Saw many deer, got six.
Excellent: I saw a great number of deer early in the season and let several young bucks walk, as well as several does. Tremendous amount of scrapes and rubs well into December. Hundreds of game-camera pictures of bucks and does. Only one in the freezer, but it was my choice to let so many walk early on.
Good: Killed two deer and saw many more.
Good: Saw a lot of deer. Bucks seem to be getting bigger, and a lot of older does are living longer. Fawns seem to be making it through next season.
Good: We saw many deer.
Fair: Still not seeing very many deer. This season has been a bit better than the last.
Fair: Didn’t see a lot of deer.
Fair: Lots of deer but bucks only 1 to 2 years of age.
Poor: Not seeing a lot of deer. Not a lot of shooting around us. I wish they would change the dates and limits for deer season. I wish they would make the county trophy management.
Poor: Deer sighting were poor.
Harris Co. E-2, G-10, F-8
Excellent: Saw deer every trip.
Good: I was fortunate to shoot a good-sized 9-point and saw a few other shooter-sized bucks early on in the season. Does were few and far between, which I guess is what kept the bucks on their feet moving.
Good: Had a good rut. Killed a 140-class buck and let a 130-class buck walk. Saw more fawns this year and lots of chasing.
Good: We saw more deer this year but fewer bucks in daylight hours.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: I haven’t killed a buck, mainly because I’m extremely picky. The rut was very strong this year, with many good, mature bucks being seen and killed on our properties.
Good: Saw a lot more deer this year.
Good: Fewer bucks moving in daylight hours. We saw some very large bucks moving on trail cams, but only at night. The rut was earlier than previous years. The does seemed more numerous.
Fair: Seeing fewer deer each year. We have been hunting the same land for 20 years.
Fair: Most of the timber leases around us have been cut the last two years. We figured that we would see more deer, especially bucks this year, but that has not been the case. Our members have taken five deer to date with three weeks remaining; two young 8-points, a nice 8-point and a nice 10-point. We haven’t seen as many deer in general as we did last season.
Fair: Have had a lot better seasons but still pretty good overall. Harvested one mature buck and one doe. I could have shot one other legal buck and a couple more does. Doe population not that great on this lease so I passed. I saw deer about 60 percent of time on my hunts this year. Private land with food plots and supplemental feeding year-round. I expected a lot better for all the time and effort put in on this lease. Game cameras showed twice the ratio of bucks to does, but bigger bucks continue to maintain their nocturnal preferences. The one mature buck harvested (Nov. 16) was close to or during the rutting process.
Fair: Saw very few deer that were of good enough size to shoot.
Fair: Small bucks.
Fair: I have not seen many deer this year. I got a nice 8-point and an antlerless deer. Some hunters do kill eight to 10 deer each season, and I think that is too many. Our deer herd is not as good as it once was, and I think it is getting worse. I hunt on 300 acres of land in Harris County and our members are trying to improve the population by not shooting does. But if everyone doesn’t do the same as us, then we are wasting our time. The number of deer allowed to take is too many.
Hart Co. E-3, G-1, P-1
Excellent: I killed my best bow buck to date, a 140-class 10-point and saw tons of rutting activity.
Excellent: Lots of mature deer seen. Me and friend both got 140-inch deer.
Excellent: Passed up 24-plus deer, not big enough for me to put in the freezer. Last day had three come out and “Hon” said take one. I said “No, maybe a bigger one will come out!” But my God said wait for a bigger one. He is always on time and never is wrong! Thank you Lord for letting me hunt when I can. Can’t wait for the next coming deer hunt.
Good: The rut was very good, and we saw several bucks chasing does during the second and third weeks of November. I harvested two large does, and my freezer is full. This year was better than last due to the increase in the number of doe days.
Poor: It would be nice if DNR Law Enforcement would investigate and arrest trespassers and thieves. On three separate deer hunts in two different counties, trespassers ruined my hunts. DNR took the call but never followed through. I had trail cameras stolen and deer stands damaged. Putting up no trespassing signs only keeps the honest people out. However, I did harvest two bucks. I had to change my hunting routines. I know there are more hunters and land than game wardens, but if the state could utilize visible and propaganda deterrence against trespassers and thieves, it would have a psychological affect on the violators.
Heard Co. E-2, G-5, F-4, P-2
Good: The most deer I have seen in years. Killed one quality buck and passed up several others.
Good: Saw an up-tick in herd numbers finally after lots of cooperation from adjacent landowners and hard work.
Good: Saw more deer and quality bucks on our 200-acre club. Also have seen more fawns this year.
Good: Actually saw a few deer in the woods. Able to hunt with the children more and get the next generation interested in our hobby.
Fair: Seeing very few deer.
Fair: There are little to no does left. Not seeing but a couple a year now. I used to see 15 to 20 a year.
Fair: We drew the Chattahoochee Bend State Park Quota Hunt, which took place on Dec. 3-4, 2019. There were three of us. The hunt was almost a circus, all the rules and papers, there were three wardens there and three to four other hunt staff. Well they made it sound at the pre-hunt meeting that they were overflowing with deer and were asking us to please take a doe. The place is actually very under-populated, probably having around 10 deer per square mile. They did harvest 16 to 17 deer in total, but 15 of those were does, at least that’s what I was told by one of the staff on the last day of the hunt. Three of us hunted hard for those two days, and I was the only one to see a deer that was shootable. I will not be going back. The sad issue with that place is that my father and myself hunted it the very first season that it opened, which was the 2008 bow, primitive-weapons and rifle season. The property then was a deer mecca. My father harvested a nice 10-point and had a chance at a real trophy of an 8-point. I myself had chances at deer every time we went in the woods. We tried to be selective. All of the hunters that I met that season loved that land then. That was one of those deer seasons that you dream about, and I wish Georgia hunters had more large properties open for hunting the entire season.
Poor: Very few deer compared to years past. Too many does taken.
Poor: Myself and son killed two coyotes while deer hunting.
Henry Co. E-1, G-2, F-4, P-2
Excellent: Took one doe and one very nice 8-point, both with a crossbow. Hunting a small patch of woods my neighbor owns nestled between subdivisions. I have numerous trail-cam pictures and videos of the 8-point. Saw lots of deer, pretty much every sit, but I don’t shoot every thing I see.
Good: Good rut.
Fair: Had a chance at a decent buck but didn’t see many deer overall.
Fair: Did not get to hunt as often as in the past.
Poor: All the deer stayed nocturnal.
Poor: Loggers began cutting at the end of October through November.
Houston Co. E-1, F-1
Excellent: Killed my biggest deer to date and have seen more deer this year then I’ve ever seen.
Fair: Deer numbers seem to be down. Few does and only small bucks.
Irwin Co. G-3, F-1
Good: Early rut in Irwin this year by about three weeks. Saw plenty of does and young bucks and son killed a really nice 8-pointer.
Jackson Co. E-4, G-5, F-3
Excellent: I have lived and hunted on my family farm for the last 15 years. In 15 years, I have been able to let the deer grow and mature into shooters.
Excellent: I didn’t get to hunt many times, but the times I did hunt I saw deer. Starting to see a better age class of bucks and had the opportunity to take a mature buck this year. Only saw one doe with twin fawns though.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, good many bucks.
Good: I harvested an 8-point buck with crossbow but did not see any larger bucks during archery or rifle season, just smaller bucks.
Good: Deer activity was excellent at the beginning of the season. I harvested a 150-class 10-point and saw many more good bucks. Late season has been much slower. Deer are nocturnal now.
Fair: I have not taken a deer yet. The bucks I have seen were not shooters per our club rules. The does did not show up on doe days. I let several does walk before doe days began in Jackson County. Now I’m not seeing many deer.
Fair: Second year hunting, first year harvesting.
Fair: Lost lease and only saw small deer in new place.
Jasper Co. E-8, G-5, F-3, P-3
Excellent: Saw deer every time in the field.
Excellent: My sons and I have hunted this property for seven years and have only seen a handful of deer. I spend an average of three weeks in the woods per year, so the years have been disappointing without ever harvesting a deer. This year I saw an abundance of deer and harvested two does averaging about 90 pounds each. My son harvested a 110-lb. 6 pointer.
Excellent: Wife, father, mother and I all took bucks.
Excellent: Our club has 15 members who hunt on nearly 1,000 acres. As of Dec. 20, they took six bucks (five of which will be mounted) and had the opportunity to take all the does they wanted.
Excellent: Long season. We are seeing on average more bigger bucks in Georgia than in my lifetime.
Excellent: I saw several deer this year and was able to take a buck on public land, which is always rewarding.
Excellent: Killed two mature bucks.
Good: Have been managing land for seven years and are getting quality deer now.
Good: Predator control making huge increase in deer, rabbit and turkey numbers.
Good: Saw a lot of deer early on. Massive amounts of acorns were most likely why. The past few weeks the deer seem to have migrated somewhere else.
Good: Saw several deer and shot a good 10-pointer on public land.
Good: Good amount of deer on property. Not massive racks.
Fair: Lot of deer seen. Mostly young bucks in daytime.
Fair: Not a lot of rut signs on our property this year.
Poor: Rut was non-existent. No large bucks were shot when we normally shoot several at our club. We have 10 members who regularly hunt, and we did not see active chasing going on.
Poor: Did not see many deer after the first three weeks of the season.
Jeff Davis Co. G-2
Good: Despite heavy timbering pressure, we were successful with deer.
Good: I was able to see deer and actually killed a buck.
Jefferson Co. G-2, F-1
Good: Killed two for the wall and numbers are stable.
Good: Been seeing more deer than last year.
Fair: Not seeing the deer.
Jenkins Co. G-1, F-3, P-2
Good: Saw plenty of deer, but the hog population was up, and it affected their movement patterns.
Fair: Clearcut 700 acres around my land, only got pictures of six does and one buck.
Fair: Deer were killed, but not by me.
Poor: There has been no deer seen while I’m hunting.
Poor: Hunted 22 days in October and November and saw very few deer. Didn’t even go in December or January due to previous sightings. Rut in past has been from Nov. 3-11. Did not see any signs of any rut this season.
Johnson Co. G-1
Jones Co. E-6, G-9, F-5, P-2
Excellent: Best in five years.
Excellent: I saw a lot of quality bucks and harvested two nice bucks with plenty left on camera for next year. Even with drought our food plots came up about two weeks after gun season.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer and shot a big 10- and 13-pointer.
Excellent: I saw plenty of deer and for the first time in 21 years of hunting, I was able to fill both of my buck tags with quality bucks (a 10-pointer and a 9-pointer).
Excellent: I killed my largest buck ever, a nice 8-pointer. I also have seen more bucks this year than ever before.
Good: Fewer bucks but bigger racks.
Good: Saw deer most every hunt. Was able to witness grunting/chasing a few different times.
Good: Seeing mostly small does and bucks.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Because my son who is 22 years old has caught on fire for deer hunting. He took his first deer, a doe, in November. It was his first shot on a deer, and he got her in the neck with open sights at 18 yards. It made me very proud. We enjoy just being there in the woods.
Good: Had many opportunities to harvest deer.
Good: Plenty of deer but didn’t see a trophy buck.
Fair: Hunting a new lease, so learning the lay of the land. Didn’t see many large bucks.
Fair: Saw very few bucks.
Fair: Four hunters only saw one deer, and it was a doe crossing a road. Hunted three days.
Fair: Didn’t see big enough bucks to shoot at.
Poor: I had no pictures of nice deer to hunt this year. In years gone by, we always had deer on camera to target. Disappointing to not have a buck you want to hunt.
Poor: Not seeing many deer.
Lamar Co. G-3, F-3, P-3
Good: Killed two bucks and two does, saw a lot of deer. New bait law seem to be helping our property.
Fair: Lot of yearling bucks, fewer does, no sign of mature bucks on the lease I hunt. Pigs are more plentiful.
Fair: Just didn’t see the deer as in previous years.
Poor: The deer on our property went nocturnal after the fourth week of the season.
Poor: Didn’t see anything except on camera at night.
Lanier Co. E-1
Excellent: Saw more deer this year due to thinning out coyotes.
Laurens Co. E-8, G-4, F-7
Excellent: I am still a “new” deer hunter, and this was my first successful season. It was my third overall but really my first taking it seriously.
Excellent: Killed nice 8-point on Nov. 11. Killed big 10-point on Nov. 28. Also killed four wild hogs.
Excellent: Had a very successful deer season. My wife and I were both successful with mature bucks. The kids also were successful with nice young deer.
Excellent: I am not certain the reason but I have never watched so many different bucks.
Excellent: Daughter shot her first deer, and my nephew shot his first deer No big bucks for me, but the kids made my season.
Excellent: Lots of rut activity.
Excellent: I saw a lot of deer this season. I even made a shot on a decent little 8-pointer with my bow but missed. I have seen two decent bucks this year but let them walk. I hope they make it to next year. We have had three good deer shot on our hunting club this year, an 8-pointer with a bow and a 10- and 9-pointer with a rifle.
Good: Killed nice 8-point. Saw a lot of does.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. More bucks than does though.
Good: Lots of does. Very few antlered deer.
Good: New property, poachers, tree cutting during season and deer weren’t as numerous as last year.
Fair: Only saw small deer.
Fair: I have seen plenty of deer but no bucks large enough to shoot yet.
Fair: Too hot.
Lee Co. E-5, G-1
Excellent: We have a healthy deer herd.
Excellent: Seeing more than an average amount of deer each hunt and killed one of my biggest bucks.
Good: Saw a lot of deer and saw several nice shooter bucks but unable to harvest one.
Liberty Co. G-1, F-3, P-1
Fair: Not as many bucks seen in our area.
Poor: I was under the weather, could not get out much. Looking forward to next season.
Lincoln Co. E-1, G-1, F-1
Excellent: I saw a lot of deer but just couldn’t get a shot on a few big bucks, but it has been a great season over all.
Good: Wish we could reduce deer harvest. I don’t have a magic date. I try and be in a tree in late October or early November around the new moon.
Fair: Did not see as many deer.
Long Co. E-1, G-1, F-2, P-1
Good: Saw plenty of game and enjoyed spending time with my family.
Fair: A bumper crop of acorns has had the deer scattered and hard to pattern.
Poor: I haven’t so much as seen a deer.
Lowndes Co. F-1, P-2
Poor: I saw the fewest number of deer this year than ever before. Our club sightings have been declining for several years. Twenty years ago we had lots of deer on our approximately 1,000-acre lease. Not any longer.
Poor: Lots of rain, few deer.
Lumpkin Co. E-1, F-2
Fair: I had four back surgeries this summer and was very limited on what I could do far as hunting this year. Didn’t get to spend near the amount of time in the woods as I normally do each year.
Fair: Saw a lot of deer just not big ones. Not much of a rut that I noticed or heard of either. Just small bucks chasing. Saw a lot of small bucks.
Macon Co. E-3, G-2, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Best year in last 15 years. Lots of does and young bucks.
Excellent: Tremendous rut activity. Harvest better than expected. Recruitment excellent. Very pleased with season.
Good: Less pig activity this year and saw several bucks that will be nice ones in a year or two.
Fair: Didn’t see any good shooter bucks.
Fair: Mature deer seem to be more nocturnal on my hunting property than in previous years.
Madison Co. E-5, G-5, F-1, P-1
Excellent: My hunting season was excellent because I got to hunt more than last year! The first lady thinks I went too much 🙂
Excellent: Plenty of high quality deer.
Excellent: Saw plenty deer and more bucks than before.
Excellent: I didn’t hunt but saw many beautiful bucks on my game camera.
Excellent: Lots of deer sightings.
Good: Was almost excellent but was real good because of corn—yellow gold for deer.
Good: I got a nice 9-pointer and a doe and saw several more, no good shooters, though.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and harvested a couple of decent bucks. Other family members I hunt with had success in the stand, and there were a lot of smiling faces in pictures this year. Doesn’t get better than that.
Good: Plenty of does to fill the freezer.
Good: Shot three deer.
Fair: No mature bucks.
Poor: No deer movement, not very many acorns.
Marion Co. E-1, F-2
Excellent: Got a 130-plus 9-point, saw a lot of deer chasing. Just a lot of fun every hunt.
Fair: Not a lot of deer movement. Also disruption from timbering on my hunting ground.
Fair: Warmer weather and dry summer may be the culprit. Overall the amount of deer that I have seen has decreased from last year.
McDuffie Co. E-1, G-2, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Saw lots of deer and was only at my stand for a few minutes before harvesting a nice deer.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: Killed decent 8 and saw deer every hunt.
Fair: I would like to see more trophy regulations, at least see the ones in place more strictly monitored. I would like a shorter rifle season. Maybe not make it buck only when it comes in. I think it being buck only makes it where guys who don’t hunt as much shoot younger bucks just for meat. If it were doe days, they might let younger bucks walk and harvest more does. Also I think that would make bucks have to move more to find a doe in estrus rather than having so many. I guess I’d just like to see a higher buck-to-doe ratio or a lower doe-to-buck ratio.
Fair: Very few bucks seen.
Fair: Haven’t had the opportunity to hunt much, plus it isn’t over. The big one has just come back around, probably should have waited to rate the season.
Poor: Rated poor due to not one mature buck seen all season on two different properties. Would say due to unseasonably warm temps and the rut was almost undetectable in our area. Finally, in the last two weeks I managed to get three does for the freezer, salvaging a bad 86 days of hot hunting.
Poor: Almost no daytime sightings, even on trail cams.
Meriwether Co. E-10, G-7, F-8, P-4
Excellent: Shot a nice buck and three does so far.
Excellent: Saw plenty of deer. My son and I both killed nice bucks with our bow.
Excellent: Lots of deer this year.
Excellent: Killed four mature deer. Seeing more deer this year than in the last 20 years we have owned this land.
Excellent: Had a lot of bucks on camera, all ages. Lots of does. I didn’t hunt much and shot a nice 8-point buck on Nov. 1. Harvested a nice doe during archery season. Saw deer just about every time I went hunting.
Excellent: Two monster bucks individually and two other 140-inch bucks shot on farm. Best season ever, and I’m 59 years old. See Fred Sanford Week 1 of Truck-Buck.
Excellent: Killed a 161-inch buck and three does. Lots of deer. Would have been even better if it would have rained for better food plots.
Excellent: I mostly take pictures, and I got great ones.
Good: I played cat and mouse with a big buck, just missing an encounter several times. The rut seemed be a trickle rut with some on again and off again action. Did get two late-season does to fill the freezer, so all is not bad, and the buck will be bigger next season.
Good: Filled one buck tag. Can’t seem to fill the second one.
Good: Didn’t get a buck. Weather caused crazy deer movement.
Good: Saw lots of deer. Not a lot of size to them.
Good: Population good but not overcrowded with does.
Fair: Not many deer seen. Weak rut.
Fair: Our sightings of all deer, not just bucks, are off 40 percent from 2017, even after adding corn to our food plot regiment. Neighbors maybe killing too many does.
Fair: Plenty of food for them this year.
Fair: Lower deer totals. Poacher problems in Meriwether.
Fair: Not as much doe activity as usual. Had few mature bucks and lots of young bucks.
Fair: Killed one doe. Have seen several small bucks. Overall numbers are way down the last few years. We don’t bait so that could be part of the problem. More coyotes, as well. We shoot them when we can, but they are still there.
Poor: Deer went nocturnal early on. Deer I saw were either button bucks or spikes. Too many doe days for too many years in the area. Everybody in the area is not abiding by the laws. They shoot every deer they see. Need more game warden presence in Luthersville area.
Poor: Haven’t deer hunted much this year. Been coon hunting all year.
Poor: No shooter bucks.
Miller Co. P-2
Poor: The deer numbers are down, along with the quality of bucks. The over shooting of bucks on private land and Mayhaw WMA have contributed to this. I have owned and hunted this property for 29 years and have noticed a significant decrease in deer quality over the last five to seven years.
Poor: Have seen deer about 80 percent of the time sitting in the stand. Lots of young bucks.
Mitchell Co. E-2, G-4
Excellent: We saw plenty of deer, and some good bucks were harvested.
Good: Saw deer about 50% of the time I went.
Good: Got one 6-point buck early in the season, looking for a nice doe.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and the weather was good thanks to year-round feeding program, a lot of food plots and a lot of hard work. You get out of it what you put into it.
Monroe Co. E-5, G-9, F-8, P-3
Excellent: Quality of bucks passed on.
Excellent: Plenty of deer. Healthy buck population.
Excellent: Best season I’ve ever had. Saw multiple deer every single sit from early to mid season. Both of my young children were able to take their first deer on their first hunts of the season. I killed my biggest buck to date, a 130-inch 12-pointer. Hunted public land and saw multiple deer and killed two.
Excellent: Two nice bucks and saw lots of deer.
Excellent: I saw more deer this year than the previous three seasons combined.
Good: Several good bucks taken. Lots of sightings with good number of deer seen each outing.
Good: I have not shot anything yet, but I’ve seen more deer this year than I’ve seen in several years. I love to watch them more than anything else.
Good: Good number of sightings.
Good: Saw a lot of young buck activity early. Between four of us, we took a few cull bucks. Little to no doe activity throughout the season on a 200-acre private tract that has relatively low pressure. Late season (after Thanksgiving) there was no activity at all. Our heaviest rut seemed to be the two full weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Ended my season with a doe, button and 4-point. Averaged three hunts a week.
Good: One nice buck.
Good: Not as many deer sightings but did see a pretty strong rut, which is not normal for our area.
Fair: Saw lots of deer early season, then been pretty nocturnal since.
Fair: Never saw deer chasing.
Fair: I had pictures of plenty of deer before the season. Florida hunters came up, walked all over the woods the weekend before season and the deer disappeared!
Poor: I have not killed a single deer.
Poor: I did not see anything after the start of the gun season. Two weeks left and I hope I can at least get one.
Montgomery Co. E-2, G-1, F-1
Excellent: I think the 4 or better rule is helping the quality of the deer.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer. Took two quality, mature bucks for the first time ever. Normally kill one quality buck per year.
Good: Good quality in deer this year—does and bucks. Healthy, well nourished.
Fair: Buck quality was below average compared to previous years with fewer mature bucks on the properties I hunt. From trail-camera survey and sightings, I believe the buck-to-doe ratio is out of balance with approximately two bucks to every one doe.
Morgan Co. E-6, G-8, F-5, P-1
Excellent: Took the 9-point buck I was after.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and harvested three mature deer.
Excellent: Saw several mature bucks and plenty of immature animals.
Excellent: Saw two good shooter bucks but couldn’t get a shot. Also saw a lot of does.
Good: Saw a lot of deer, just no chance to shoot one.
Good: Mild weather, good movement.
Good: Good herds, one buck for every four does.
Good: Population is up and buck-to-doe ratio is good. Steady turnover of mature bucks.
Good: Saw more deer this year than the past two seasons combined. Passed on three bucks 130-plus.
Fair: Didn’t see any of my target bucks but did let more than 15 bucks go. We have a shortage of does. I saw six bucks chasing one doe and three bucks chasing another during the rut.
Fair: Deer aren’t big enough.
Fair: I believe that hunting over bait has affected those of us who have small tracts of land to hunt. The smaller clubs who do not live close to where they hunt can’t afford to go down every weekend and fill up the feeders. The food plots dried up and were not very effective.
Poor: Not seeing deer since about mid November. We have a huge hog problem in the Hard Labor Creek State Park area. Coyotes, too. Haven’t seen any turkeys.
Murray Co. G-1, F-1
Muscogee Co. E-1, F-1
Excellent: Plenty of deer movement. Wife, daughter, stepdaughter all got one. Stepson harvested two, friend from out of state three, and I harvested five so far.
Fair: Haven’t got a deer yet, but I’m hunting on Benning, which has insane pressure.
Newton Co. E-3, G-5, F-2, P-2
Excellent: Lots of deer, lots of chasing. Saw several mature bucks.
Excellent: Saw many deer, larger antlered bucks. Good bucks taken in the county.
Excellent: Deer sightings were plentiful. Took my time and was able to harvest two deer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Saw a lot more deer this year than last year. We had one really nice 10-pointer taken on our lease that will score in the 140s. I saw an 8-pointer that wasn’t quite big enough this year but will be a good buck next year.
Good: Good deer herd.
Good: More deer sightings.
Fair: I was in the stand on 22 different hunts and only saw eight deer total. On two hunts, I saw only one deer on each hunt, and on two hunts I saw three deer on each hunt.
Fair: Deer moved a lot during the night, which made hunts less exciting because less traffic. Rut was eventful, but big one never came out.
Poor: Numbers of deer have been good. Buck quality has not been.
Oconee Co. E-1
Oglethorpe Co. E-7, G-9, F-10, P-1
Excellent: My son and I both harvested two very good bucks each.
Excellent: Saw many deer.
Excellent: Our club has 35 members. We have killed 12 bucks and 24 does. The last week of October and the first week of November were unbelievable. Deer running back and forth and at all times of the day. It was incredible.
Excellent: I got a 10-pointer with a rifle and two does with a bow. I saw a lot of young bucks and does this year. The first 14 days in December I have had nine different bucks in front of two cameras. That’s not counting the does.
Excellent: More deer seen than any previous year.
Excellent: Lots of deer seen. Fortunate to tag out with two nice bucks.
Good: Saw several deer, missed one and shot two bucks and still in the woods trying.
Good: Saw many deer.
Good: We’ve cut down on the number of does harvested for the last three years, and the population is making a comeback. Seeing more does and bucks.
Good: It seems like my numbers are reasonable. But looming CWD has had me totally freaked out, and I am not sure what to think of everything including lack of knowledge and “targeted culling” to why there has not been more of a national communications message from a national communications standpoint along with additional controls. For example, does the state patrol have any idea what is going on if they were to see a deer being transported on the highway? Who knows. It just seems like the facts and communications are sketchy at best. What a shame.
Good: Saw more deer this year than past years. My family harvested nice deer.
Good: We need way less doe days.
Good: Hunted a new lease for the first time this season and saw lots of deer, mostly does, but some good buck signs were found. It’s just a matter of figuring out the new property before a good buck is taken. A couple of decent 8-pointers have been taken so far.
Good: Meat in the freezer and passed some.
Fair: Our rut calendars were inaccurate, our food plots were less than productive, and predators were a major problem (coyotes).
Fair: Not seeing as many shooter bucks as in the past.
Fair: Didn’t see any big bucks.
Fair: Only young bucks. Very few does. Too many coyotes.
Fair: I have been trying to manage this property for the last several years. It’s only a couple hundred acres, but I have roughly 10 of it in food plots. I test the soil each year and apply fertilizer/lime accordingly. My young sons have taken a few small bucks and does over the years, but that’s it. Just not seeing the mature bucks that I thought I might by now.
Fair: Hunted a lot. Saw plenty of deer, no bucks older than 4 years old.
Fair: I haven’t hunted very much but have seen a fair amount of deer.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer, but the trophy bucks didn’t seem to want to show themselves to me.
Poor: Deer sightings were very, very low. Less than last year. Season is way too long. The limit is way too high, more killed than reported. Predator problems, baiting is unfair. Some can’t afford the amount needed to feed, especially with the hog problems.
Paulding Co. E-2, G-5, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Saw lots of deer and killed a decent buck.
Excellent: I’ve seen and passed on well over 60 does and a handful of smaller bucks. I did end up shooting two bucks at Paulding Forest, one huge 4-point and a good 8-point on their check-in hunt. Also harvested six does from Paulding, Polk, Bartow, Cherokee and Putnam counties. Both bucks and one of the does were on gun hunts, and the remaining five were taken with a bow.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Got skunked maybe twice out of 40-plus hunts. Killed two good bucks and girlfriend killed two. Movement was solid all season long.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Good: Killed two does.
Good: I saw a lot of deer.
Fair: Paulding Forest bow season dates are too hot. Hardly saw any deer during bow season on Paulding Forest. Would be more fair to bowhunters to keep Paulding Forest opened for archery only throughout deer season.
Fair: Season started off good, seeing lots of deer, just no shooters. As the rut phase came in, I didn’t see bucks chasing like I have in the past. Now in post-rut, the deer are mainly nocturnal. Seeing very few does.
Fair: Not many sightings.
Poor: Too few opportunities for either-sex hunts. Also, I don’t have access to private land, so I rely on quota hunts and WMAs.
Poor: Excessive either-sex days and bag limits, along with coyotes, have decimated the herd.
Peach Co. E-2
Excellent: Plenty of deer and good ratio of bucks to does.
Excellent: Best year ever, and I am 70. Only hunted limited days but saw 27 deer. Unfortunately 18 of these were bucks (not the buck-to-doe ratio you want). I killed four of the nine does I saw, so I wonder how long it will take before there are not breeding stock in this area. DNR has to make some special exceptions to kill more bucks when this situation occurs. Put one for myself in the freezer and fed five other families.
Pickens Co. E-1, G-1, F-1, P-1
Fair: Saw quite a few deer, saw deer more than half of my sits, which is great for my area. I just never saw bucks during shooting hours and only saw buttonheads on doe days.
Poor: I’ve seen few deer.
Pike Co. G-9, F-2
Good: Seeing deer on almost every trip.
Good: Saw more deer than last year. Had a number of bucks on camera.
Good: Saw several nice 8-pointers and better. Harvested nice 9-pointer, four does. I only bowhunt in Pike County on my private land, 32 acres.
Good: Saw deer just about every time I hunted.
Good: Saw a good amount of deer every time I went.
Good: Saw deer about 70% of the times I hunted.
Good: Starting to see more quality deer.
Good: Deer numbers have been good in northwest Pike County with more bucks surviving past age 2 1/2 years old.
Fair: Not seeing quality bucks. Need to have a statewide QDM.
Fair: Harvest was down on our property. Rut was strange this year.
Polk Co. G-2, P-1
Good: Not as many deer seen as last season.
Good: Had a lot of bucks. Neighboring property just shoots whatever they get a chance to. They don’t let bucks mature.
Poor: Saw only 10 deer. No sign of any rut. Saw one small buck. The locals shoot deer year-round. It doesn’t matter what size, they just kill it. They let their dogs run the woods. I think with everyone but me baiting, it has made what deer are on our property turn nocturnal.
Pulaski Co. E-1, G-3, F-1
Excellent: Lots of deer seen; shot one nice buck and a doe so far. Planning on shooting at least one more doe and another buck, if I see a big one.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Fair: I never saw a large or trophy deer all season.
Putnam Co. E-4, G-6, F-6, P-3
Excellent: At 69, just being able to still hunt and shoot is a blessing. Killed one doe and have let a lot go. Passed up a mountable 8-point. Seeing turkeys and squirrels along with deer is a blessing.
Excellent: Never pulled the trigger but could have filled a tractor trailer full. Deer coolers filled up, I am surprised we have any deer left, but they just keep coming.
Excellent: With habitat improvements, the deer herd on my property was healthy with several good buck to choose from.
Excellent: Saw deer every hunt except one. Killed a big 7-point and passed on several other bucks.
Good: Saw a lot of deer. I bowhunt only on my 30 acres. I let all the bucks walk, hoping to get some mature bucks. There were a couple old ones but never saw them during daylight. Pleased to see the ones I let walk are still alive now the season is over.
Good: Decent number of bucks seen, though no shooters (150+).
Good: Saw a lot of deer but would have enjoyed seeing more and bigger bucks.
Fair: Lack of big bucks.
Fair: Once the state let the north bait, the deer started coming to the bait at night.
Fair: Weather was a factor.
Fair: Only had 10 days I could hunt, and it was not peak rut.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer but never saw a significant-sized buck. Most were does and 2 1/2-year-old bucks.
Fair: Didn’t see the number of deer this year as in the past, but I think the quality of bucks is good. I hunt public land. I do think the number of either-sex days should be increased. In the past several years, either-sex days have been reduced.
Poor: Mostly small deer, bucks seem nocturnal.
Poor: Land was cut several years ago and brush sprayed last year. Very little cover, no browse and few acorns. Biggest buck seen was scrub 6-point. Got a lot of does and small bucks on cameras but all at night.
Poor: Seven-foot high fence on neighboring property restricts deer movement.
Quitman Co. E-2, G-2, P-1
Excellent: All members harvested a quality deer. We also saw lots of deer.
Excellent: Lots of deer and all of us got a good deer. Our best rut day in Quitman was Nov. 22, 2019. Chasing everywhere.
Good: Saw a lot of deer. Shot four does. Saw many small bucks. Just did not see rutting activity. Lots of scrapes, no chasing.
Poor: Deer hunting in Quitman County has dropped every year for the last 10 years. We haven’t shot does in five years or more. We shot only three bucks eight or better this year. We also think we have a cougar, and we have a load of hogs, which cause less deer movement.
Rabun Co. F-2, P-1
Fair: It was warm so late in the season I got a late start, since then have had few opportunities to go. Very limited amount of game when I have gone.
Poor: Very few deer left. Archery season along with rifle doe days has wiped out what few deer we had to begin with. Also, baiting on private property has reduced our population.
Randolph Co. E-2, G-8, F-1
Excellent: Bucked out with 10- and 8-point.
Excellent: The season still has some three weeks remaining, and it has great so far.
Good: Saw lots of deer.
Good: After Jan. 2 only small bucks and shy does.
Good: We have a very good acorn crop this year. Red oaks, pin oaks and water oaks are abundant, and deer daylight sightings have been very good.
Good: The rut was kind of off. We really didn’t see the big bucks during Thanksgiving like we normally do.
Good: Need to make bow season open later.
Good: A lot of activity.
Good: We saw plenty of deer this season, lots of bucks and does, yearlings not so many. I think the coyotes are getting a bunch of them. Mid summer had lots of pics with does having a couple of yearlings with them, but as the season went on, less and less pics with fawns. Passed on many bucks and does. Took a good 8-point recently and a couple of does.
Richmond Co. G-1, P-1
Good: Deer season was good this year because of cooler weather during the rut.
Poor: Not seeing deer at all.
Rockdale Co. E-2, G-4, P-1
Excellent: Saw deer almost every time I went to the woods.
Excellent: Plenty of healthy deer.
Good: Plenty of deer.
Good: I chose good over excellent just because despite tagging out I didn’t see as many does this year. This is probably only indicative of my specific area in Rockdale.
Good: Observed good number of deer each hunt.
Good: Have had more mature bucks on camera than in years past, possibly due to some guys loosing access to neighboring properties, only one poacher and better QDM practices over the past several seasons. Doe populations seem much lower this year, but food was less abundant, as well.
Schley Co. E-2, G-3
Excellent: Lots of deer. Hunted less then one hour last two days and killed two deer.
Excellent: We saw more deer than last year and killed a mature buck that we’d been hunting.
Good: Been seeing plenty of deer, just no great mature bucks taken this year. Lots of potential for next year.
Good: Freezer is full.
Screven Co. E-6, G-6, F-3
Excellent: Killed two really great bucks, saw plenty of deer.
Excellent: Nine kills this year, two of them 8-points.
Excellent: I saw a lot of chasing with numerous good bucks.
Excellent: Harvested a nice buck and have started on does. Still too many does doing significant crop damage. Deer management program needs to consider crop damage in agriculture counties. Too many hunters worried about horns and not eating deer meat.
Good: Killed four deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, more than previous years. Lots of does and young bucks. Very few 15-inch shootable bucks.
Good: It was just too warm to feel like deer season. Got one nice 10-point and let several walk to another birthday hopefully. Never could pinpoint the rut. Saw some early and in January.
Fair: Amount of deer seen, rut activity not as profound as they past four or five years.
Fair: Again, same as last season… 70-lb. does and immature 2-year-old bucks. Hunt hard and smart but still little success with a slightly better than average doe taken. Disappointing!
Spalding Co. E-1, G-2, F-2
Excellent: I got three deer!
Good: I saw plenty of deer. Not necessarily one I wanted.
Fair: Drought ruined my food plots.
Fair: Deer numbers way down.
Stephens Co. P-2
Poor: Seeing very few deer. Lots of food and water sources for them. Deer population just not like it was just a few years ago. Coyotes/hogs are a problem.
Poor: No deer.
Stewart Co. E-3, G-3, F-4, P-3
Excellent: This hunting season was my best ever. I shot two bucks, both were 8-points. This is the first time in 25 years that I have tagged out.
Good: Deer were plentiful. Hot and rainy weather was the biggest challenge in the harvests. A wet winter and upcoming spring will equal lots of healthy bucks in 2020.
Good: I had fun, shared laughs, swapped stories and made memories with friends.
Fair: Coyotes and hogs.
Fair: Not seeing a lot of quality-sized deer.
Fair: Very dry and tons of acorns.
Poor: Due to health reasons, I was unable to hunt this year.
Poor: Was only able to hunt for five days but did not even see a deer from my stands.
Poor: I’ve killed two 8-pointers this year but only saw one doe. I’ve seen no yearlings, and our entire club and surrounding clubs are reporting the same thing, a general lack of deer.
Sumter Co. E-2, G-5, F-2
Excellent: Best deer season ever.
Good: I rate my season good because I’ve seen plenty of deer—doe, young bucks and numerous 3 1/2- to 5 1/2-year-old bucks. Just haven’t been able to connect with a mature buck yet.
Good: We had lots of bucks seen and definitely experienced rut action during Thanksgiving week. We did not see any mature bucks this season.
Good: Fair number of mature bucks 8-points or above with more than ample does. More than average young bucks.
Good: Good deer population.
Fair: Our land was harvested and the new grazing is just now coming up. Just have started seeing deer.
Fair: Didn’t see many bucks.
Talbot Co. E-10, G-14, F-3, P-2
Excellent: Saw lots of deer.
Excellent: Saw bucks in all age categories and points. Killed first 10-point.
Excellent: Put out no corn this year. Worried about CWD. Due to work, most hunts were limited to Sunday evenings. Had to work through the rut. Still managed to see 95-plus deer out of the stand. Let two nice young 7s walk and a young 8, a 6 and a few other young bucks. Did shoot a nice fat 8 in the brush that was big bodied, but I probably should have let walk.
Excellent: On Nov. 16, I was blessed with two nice bucks, a nice 7-pointer early morning and a nice 8-pointer from a different stand at 5:30 that evening. There was no chasing, just feeding. My opinion of when the rut was strong was the last week of October. I have been a member of GON for many years, back when you first started. I love this magazine. Keep up the awesome work.
Excellent: Many big bucks. Gets better every season when you take care of your deer with protein feed. We use Buck Muscle all year.
Excellent: Saw more deer than in the past 10 years.
Excellent: Shot the biggest 8-point ever. Had been watching him on video for two years.
Excellent: Great rut. Heavy deer volume.
Good: Seeing more deer and more bucks than last season.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Had the opportunity at a few good bucks. Overall club had a decent year.
Good: Killed my best buck ever but still have a huge hog problem. Lease was being select cut most of the season, as well.
Good: Killed a nice-sized trophy buck.
Good: Saw deer consistently, but rut was not well defined.
Good: I filled both buck tags and got a doe.
Good: Deer numbers on our lease appear to be up significantly from only five years ago.
Good: I harvested a decent 9-point and a doe. I saw several bucks this year.
Good: Saw lots of deer, just waiting for a really mature buck.
Good: Doe-to-buck ratio is better.
Good: Started off good but not a lot of wide-open rut activity, and after mid November, it really slacked off. Overall, our club had a poor buck harvest.
Good: I killed a few deer, but I didn’t really see the rut action I was hoping for, but that’s on me. I should’ve been there when I wasn’t I reckon.
Fair: Very dry early season.
Fair: Saw plenty of deer, just very few chances at mature bucks.
Fair: Talbot County is over-hunted for deer. Far too much lead being slung at 2 1/2-year-old 8-points. Also, the season is far too long. Needs to go back to a more basic October to Jan. 1 season.
Poor: Very few deer showing up. All the bucks have been small. No shooters yet. Deer are there because trail cams are loaded with deer.
Taliaferro Co. G-9, F-6, P-3
Good: Saw good bucks early. Still need to reduce the number of doe days.
Good: Good buck-to-doe ratio. Good rut activity, though not as strong as the last couple of years. Our club and surrounding land managers are trying to protect younger bucks, and we’ve seen this paying off. It took about five years, but the fruit is beginning to show up.
Good: Saw a lot of does and medium-sized bucks in early rifle season. Almost went completely nocturnal until the weekend before Christmas and the does came back out in the evening. Didn’t see a lot of rut activity in the daylight.
Good: Four deer harvested, saw a lot of deer this year.
Good: Herd is more balanced with does showing back up. Recruitment had improved, so for the first time in many years the herd is in good shape.
Good: Only been one weekend. Passed up a small 8-point so it can grow. We trophy hunt. Lots of does. We’ll probably shoot a couple toward the end of the season.
Good: Got a good 9-point buck on the last evening of muzzleloader season. Saw a lot of young bucks and a lot of does. Great year!
Good: I saw deer almost every hunt until Thanksgiving. Only reason I did not rate excellent was because I would have liked to seen more mature bucks.
Fair: Saw a lot of young deer. No shooters. Not many does either.
Fair: Not much rutting activity and very little secondary rut at all.
Fair: Not many older bucks seen. Very few does seen.
Poor: I only saw one deer in eight days in the woods.
Poor: No deer. Too liberal of deer tags allowed by the state and coyote population increase.
Poor: Owned property that has produced 140 to 150s since 2004, have 12 cameras out since June through early January 2020, and only five racked bucks, three 2 1/2-year-old 9s and two 8s. Saw all through Nov. 5. The neighbors corn got them killed. Wonderful morning or afternoon silence broken by feeder noise. Even baiting turkeys during season this way. Feeder goes off, 10 minutes later, boom. Poor DNR rangers now with corning legal. Never baited, never will. So disappointing to read GON hunt stories that say, “He was coming to a feeder, and I shot him,” or “arrived just in time to get corn feeder loaded before afternoon hunt.” I guess if it’s legal, you have to publish it. Glad I’ve taken many mature deer. I won the 1988 Hillsman Budweiser Big Buck Contest with a buck I’d seen five times and killed still hunting that one buck at 18 yards. What a shame for the sport and animal to shoot them over bait.
Tattnall Co. E-1, G-4, F-1, P-1
Excellent: Three deer in the freezer.
Good: Seeing deer almost every hunt.
Fair: Little time to hunt and too much hunting by other hunters that shoot anything that moves.
Poor: Only saw deer first week of season; then all trail-camera pictures were after dark.
Taylor Co. E-4, G-8, F-4, P-1
Excellent: I hunted only the rut, first three weekends of November. Four-plus mature deer seen. Most rut activity witnessed in years.
Excellent: Saw lots of deer, lots of small bucks.
Excellent: 1) I shot two fat does the last day of muzzleloader week within an hour. 2) I shot a 10-pointer OTG. OTG hunting is my new passion. It’s very exciting. I have had deer walk all around me as close as 10 yards and never saw me because they were either following does or rooting for acorns. I hunted most of the season in a line of oak trees near a cutover next to a very thick bedding area. I walked in—not a 4-wheeler—the last quarter mile or better. 3) I saw deer about every time I went out (maybe 20 hunt days with two hunts/day) 4) My 14-year-old son shot his second deer ever hunting by himself. He was quite thrilled, too! 5) The weather was mostly perfect on the weekends this year. 6) Everyone in my hunting club either saw or shot deer.
Excellent: I was blessed to kill both of my target bucks this season. I put in a lot of time, effort and strategies to kill both of them. The first was my biggest bow-kill and was the first buck I had ever killed in September. The second was my second biggest buck ever. I missed him last year, and he grew more than 20 inches this year. Both bucks also made the magazine, which is also the first time that has ever happened.
Good: Didn’t kill a buck so far this year but have seen some good ones, just haven’t connected with my bow yet.
Good: Saw a good many of 3 1/2-year-old bucks. Buck quality seems to be getting better by the year. Lots of does.
Good: Saw deer on most hunts.
Good: Plenty of deer sightings, just not many shooter bucks.
Good: Killed two good bucks. Hogs gone.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Fair: Too much pressure from surrounding hunting clubs. Florida hunters with brown-and-down philosophy. Food plots planted too late due to drought.
Fair: Not seeing any big bucks. Too many people in club shooting young bucks instead of letting them walk.
Fair: I have not harvested a deer, but that is by choice.
Poor: Deer herd is still recovering from a slaughter by a peach grower on adjacent property. Two 10-points, a 9-point and an 8-point were all killed on neighboring lands. Only deer killed on my 110 acres was a spike my 11-year-old grandson killed.
Telfair Co. E-4, G-1, F-4
Excellent: Saw more deer overall and had two shooter bucks come by me, even though I couldn’t get a shot with the bow. Very good season!
Excellent: I have hunted the same land for 20 years or more. This was the best one yet. I didn’t kill anything, but I enjoyed watching them do their thing. It was not so after Thanksgiving. I wished I had planted something. I have found that hunting, fishing or whatever is not much fun if you don’t share the experience with someone.
Excellent: We have a 352-acre lease, and it is loaded with deer. We harvested two good bucks and saw lots of young bucks.
Good: I was able to kill a decent 8-point buck, and I saw plenty of deer during my hunts.
Fair: I’m a private-land hunter. I hunt on my own land, which adjoins to other properties that have been clearcut, which ran some of the deer out, but they’ve been trickling back in slowly. We have taken some fork horns and 6-points and some does but nothing really big.
Fair: I didn’t have any shooter bucks on camera this year on my property.
Terrell Co. E-6, G-1, F-2
Excellent: Management efforts paying off with excellent mature bucks and sightings.
Excellent: Killed 6-year-old 10-point. Many bucks on property.
Excellent: This is the best season for bucks on our 735-acre club in 19 years. We had an explosion in 3 1/2-year-old bucks. The does are plentiful and healthy. Had an evident rut the week before and the week of Thanksgiving.
Excellent: Harvested one 5 1/2-year-old buck and passed a few good young bucks.
Excellent: Lots of deer this year. Never sat on a stand that I didn’t see deer. Lots of young bucks make the future look bright, and several mature bucks were harvested.
Fair: Very few legal bucks.
Thomas Co. G-1, F-2
Good: Seeing more deer.
Fair: Lack of deer.
Tift Co. E-1, G-2
Excellent: I could have filled all my tags this year but did not have enough freezer room.
Good: We lost the land we were hunting.
Toombs Co. E-3, G-2, F-2
Excellent: Abundance of good quality deer.
Excellent: Children got to harvest several deer, and that’s what it’s about.
Excellent: Killed a nice 8-point, both grandsons got deer and saw plenty of deer from stands.
Good: I have seen good numbers of deer, and I have had several good bucks on my trail cameras.
Fair: The turkey population is down drastically in Georgia. DNR does zero to convict the poachers if someone gives them a lead. I do not know if they are incompetent, void of adequate training or the “good ol’ boy system.” I have worked with conservation and wildlife habitat as a life-long vocation, and I am very disappointed in the DNR. If you try to get something done about poaching, they just pass you around to others until you just give up.
Fair: Killing does, not many decent buck sightings.
Towns Co. E-1, P-4
Excellent: I’ve seen lots of deer. Wish I could see more mature bucks, but it is what it is. Pigs devastated my season last year, and I ended up trapping 32 and haven’t see one pig this deer season.
Poor: I am completely against the deer baiting. The arm-chair hunters throw corn out and shoot them in their yards. There is nothing to hunt for in the mountains when they are all in people’s yards. It takes the hunt out of hunting!
Poor: The population of deer seems to be on a continuous decline. It would be my suggestion (and I’m no biologist) that Georgia change the season and limits to be more consistent with states like Kentucky and Tennessee. Northern Georgia no longer has the “family farm” type crops, so food source is at a premium.
Poor: The allowance of baiting deer on private lands is greatly decreasing the chance of success on public land. Hunters who are willing to work for their trophy on public land have had no chance this year. All the game is being killed over a cornpile in people’s yard, and the ones putting the time in on public aren’t seeing anything. The deer have no reason to be on public land anymore if all the does and food are right beside someone’s house. This law needs to be changed or the deer population/buck population are going to be diminished to the point that no deer will be harvested on private or public. Please for the sake of the ones who actually want to hunt for their trophy, get the baiting law changed. Also, the limit of does being at 10 is absolutely ridiculous. Limiting the doe days to private lands has done nothing when that’s where all the food plots and does are at in the first place. Two does is more than enough for any hunter just wanting some meat in the freezer. I want nothing more than to see the deer population at its peak and there for the people who want to get out and hunt. Thank you.
Treutlen Co. G-1, F-2
Good: Considering summer and fall drought, have seen lots of does and yearlings. Got one nice 8-point buck, let smaller one grow.
Fair: Not many bucks seen.
Fair: Not as many deer seen as normal, think drought conditions early had impact.
Troup Co. G-4, F-4, P-6
Good: I haven’t had time to hunt near as much as normal but seen deer every time I’ve gone.
Good: Rated my 2019-20 season as good not because I harvested more deer, but I just saw lots more than normal mature bucks out of bow range. Really excited about next year.
Good: I haven’t been able to get out in the woods as much as I want, but from what I’ve seen, the deer herd is up from last year. Haven’t connected yet, though.
Fair: Didn’t see many mature bucks.
Fair: Didn’t see the number of deer I normally see. It could have been due to the abundance of food. We had lots of acorns on white oaks and water oaks.
Poor: Just not seeing many deer whatsoever.
Poor: Very few deer seen.
Poor: Season was very poor in northwest Troup. Very few deer sightings.
Turner Co. E-2, G-3
Excellent: My wife killed a 153 3/8-inch buck, my best friend killed a 142 7/8-inch buck, and I killed a 175 4/8-inch buck, in that order, all in November, all from the same property.
Good: Saw a lot of deer and turkeys. I also killed my biggest buck to date this year.
Good: Deer sightings on our farm were above average this year. Saw a number of 2- and 3-year-old bucks but not the beast I was hunting. Did harvest a couple of nice does for the freezer. Overall a great season.
Twiggs Co. G-5, F-4, P-1
Good: Saw a lot of activity.
Good: I have shot three does so far. Continue to get many pictures, although most are at night now.
Good: Saw plenty of deer and finally starting to see decent bucks more and more. That can only mean people are finally catching on to letting the young ones walk so others and mostly kids can have chances at good deer.
Good: Lot of deer sightings but very few shooters.
Fair: Over abundance of acorns.
Fair: Good deer sightings early. No deer during daylight hours after the middle on November.
Poor: No deer, too many bears, no feeders out.
Union Co. G-3, F-1, P-1
Good: Good bucks that are hard to kill.
Good: Saw the same seven to eight deer all season. On a good note, I saw more bucks this season than I have seen in all my 40 years of hunting combined.
Good: Our problem here in the mountains is we have way too many does. I keep a log, and this season I have seen at least 58 different does. I am retired and hunt almost every day. I have seen nine bucks less than 8 points. I have harvested one 8-point and one doe. I would recommend that spike bucks be protected. It is so rare here to see a large buck in the mountains. I have no less than six trail cams.
Poor: Saw very few deer on public. Hopefully this will change after the rule that said no does taken on public land. Did see a few deer on private. Let all young bucks walk.
Upson Co. E-5, G-10, F-2, P-1
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer. Most bucks were at least 20 inches higher this year. We started a year-round feeding program two years ago using Buck Muscle and starting to see the results of it.
Excellent: I saw only one true shooter—minimum 130+—while hunting, and he was a good one at 155 inches (shot by our guest). I hunted 10 days in a row, morning and afternoon from late October through the first week of November and saw an 8-point or better buck 16 out of 20 hunts. There were several hunts that I saw 15 to 20 deer with multiple bucks seen. I heard a deer snort/wheeze for the first time ever in my life, and I am 50 and have hunted for 35 years. It was an excellent season. My only disappointment was the fact the we did not get a picture of a 130 or bigger buck on our primary tract that we have invested the most effort and money in. We will continue to do so and hope to get something nice on camera next year.
Excellent: Have seen deer almost every hunt. Two of my boys have harvested deer. A friend’s child killed his first deer. A friend from out of state harvested deer on a weekend hunt.
Good: I saw more rutting action in our club than ever before. Unfortunately it was smaller bucks. We have some really nice bucks on camera We’re a managed club, the rules are 4 on one side and outside the ears. I’m not a huge fan of the outside the ears. I wish we’d move to age-based rules, but it’s been really improving in buck sizes and numbers. We’re only allowed two does, and numbers have been improving, but now I think we need to harvest more does. The food is scarce in late season, and the growth cages on the plots show the pressure on the plots. We haven’t harvested a nice buck there. Just a few kids have taken a couple of smaller ones. Typically the magic days are the first week of November, but if I had to choose a day, I’d say Nov. 5 for Upson.
Good: Saw several deer that I passed up, so I guess that it was an OK season but still not seeing very many does.
Good: Lots of activity and several mature bucks taken.
Good: I killed five does, my husband killed a doe, and our son killed three does. We let the small bucks walk, as did our other hunters on our lease. Deer hunting almost came to a halt before Thanksgiving.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Two decent bucks.
Good: Saw plenty of deer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer but horn quality was poor on bucks. Saw several bucks that appeared 3-plus years, but they lacked decent racks.
Fair: Didn’t see much of a rut in my area. Ran into a poaching problem on my club.
Fair: Very few older bucks, lots of does and small bucks.
Poor: I travel for construction work. Only got out one afternoon and saw no deer.
Walker Co. E-2, G-1, F-1, P-1
Excellent: I was blessed to take a buck and a doe. I also saw many deer this season.
Excellent: I saw a bunch of deer and several 2-plus-year-old bucks for a change.
Good: Killed a nice 9-point but have seen only about half the number of deer for the whole season as in recent years. I have seen fewer does and fewer nice bucks than in recent seasons. I hunt a farm with good natural foods and food plots, and I do not hunt over bait. I kill one to two deer each season and rarely shoot does. A lot of shooting by the neighbors since the state opened the Northern Zone to baiting. The lower deer sightings are likely a consequence.
Poor: Too many people on public land and the deer population has been decimated on the public land. There have been too many does killed, and there needs to be a restocking effort. John’s Mountain WMA is pitiful compared to what it was when I was a kid growing up hunting it.
Walton Co. E-3, G-3, F-3, P-1
Excellent: Shot a 143-inch buck in Rockdale and four does in Walton.
Excellent: Have only been a few times and have seen 42 deer total. No big shooter bucks but just incredible being out there and seeing deer each time.
Excellent: Have seen lots of deer.
Good: Harvested a buck and saw lots of good sign during firearms season.
Good: Shot a nice 9-point and saw another shooter buck a week later but was unable to harvest it. Saw fewer does and have fewer does on trail cameras. Lots of hogs on cameras at night. Hogs are definitely hurting deer and turkey populations.
Fair: Saw tons of deer, just not quality animals.
Fair: Mainly due to lack of deer on the property that I have permission to hunt. A great summer spot for the deer but not enough winter browse to keep them there through the latter months.
Poor: Deer very nocturnal.
Ware Co. G-1, F-2
Good: No big bucks.
Fair: I didn’t get to go hunting as much as I would like, but I saw deer every time I went.
Fair: Went one time, saw four does.
Warren Co. E-3, G-4, F-5
Excellent: Killed my target trophy buck and saw a lot of deer and great rutting activity.
Excellent: Saw more than 200 deer in Warren County and Elbert County and tagged out on two big bucks.
Excellent: I harvested my biggest buck ever, a Pope & Young Nov. 4 with my bow. Also my 7-year-old took his first deer ever. We have seen a lot of deer this year. Mostly bucks.
Good: We had a good season on our club. There were plenty of deer seen and some nice bucks taken.
Good: Lots of does. Saw several big bucks in September but no shot. Didn’t see a single buck the first week of November.
Good: Deer population seemed normal for our area.
Good: We’re seeing a lot of does, few bucks.
Fair: No daytime bucks.
Fair: Somebody’s cows on my property all season.
Fair: We planted food plots, and they produced, but the deer hardly came. Plus it was a wet season.
Fair: Not able to go as much. Lots of small does, only one decent buck seen.
Fair: No quality bucks. Seeing mostly young bucks 3 1/2 years old and younger. I’m seeing a good number of them early in the season but too many are harvested. We have only harvested two bucks off our property over the last six years but none in the last two years.
Washington Co. E-3, G-7, F-8, P-2
Excellent: While I did not have my very best success this season, my club as a whole had a record year.
Excellent: My grandson and I both killed mature bucks.
Excellent: Good rut action, lots of deer moving throughout the season, although the dry conditions early were a bit challenging for the food plots.
Good: Saw lots of deer. The weather was a little warm but still saw deer every week.
Good: We saw a decent amount of deer and a good ratio of bucks to does, and the bucks we saw were good quality.
Good: Lots of game with sightings of several mature bucks.
Good: Three deer harvested. Saw a reasonable number of deer.
Good: Saw plenty of deer, quality deer.
Fair: Small deer. Few mature bucks.
Fair: Poor white oak acorn crop. Warm temperatures. Missed prime time due to work. No rain during food plot planting.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer this year as normal.
Fair: Did not see as many deer. A lot less pictures on trail cams. Fewer mature bucks.
Fair: Doe count down, a lot of spikes and a few 2-year-old bucks. Very little mature bucks.
Fair: Due to a lack of rain, we found the majority of the big bucks were parking themselves down in the swamps by the oaks and not coming to the food plots or feeders. Last year with the heavy rains those areas were flooded and the bigger bucks had to leave the area and come to food plots and corn for food. We had numerous 2-year-old bucks last year and were looking forward to some 3 years old to scope out, but that never occurred.
Fair: Deer shortages and no large deer.
Poor: Due to the insane rule change that allows deer baiting, bucks now get harvested over corn by low-life “hunters” before they get anywhere close to mature.
Poor: Only saw two deer, and they were too far away to gamble a shot.
Wayne Co. E-1, G-2
Excellent: Our club has had a great year. We have a number of good bucks on camera. We manage our deer and only allow a certain number of does to be harvested and try to shoot only bucks with 6 points or better.
Good: Have not killed a deer yet but have seen more deer in the woods than some prior seasons. Passed on a small buck recently. Let ’em grow!
Webster Co. G-4, F-1
Good: Saw deer just about every sitting. Buck and doe sightings were about equal. Acorns were plentiful, and food plots in great shape.
Good: I would say Nov. 13 was the peak of our rut. We had a good buck/doe ratio and a decent rut, but it came and went pretty quickly. BTW, GON predicted Nov. 13 would be our peak, and I have to say that was spot on. Great job as usual.
Good: Saw lots of deer. Abundance of 8-point-plus bucks. Strong, albeit short, rut.
Good: There didn’t seem to be much rut activity where we hunt just outside of Preston on the old Lanahassee Plantation property that is now the Lanahassee WMA. We also have 625 acres next to the WMA that is owned by Weyerhaeuser. The deer numbers are there, but with the WMA that is quality buck only and archery only for the most part, I think most of our deer retreated to the WMA where they didn’t have any pressure. Looks like good quality food plots are in store for us this spring. I was able to harvest a nice 11-point during muzzleloader season and also took a couple of does for the freezer. We have a substantial problem with coyotes and pigs, which isn’t helping anything either, but I guess most of those hunting in south Georgia deal with these issues.
Fair: I had bigger bucks than ever before on camera, but less deer were seen this year during daylight hours on our farm than usual.
Wheeler Co. G-2, F-1, P-5
Good: I rated this season as such because even though I didn’t take a deer, it gave me the opportunity to scout some nice 3- and 4-year-olds on my property and imagine how much they can mature in another year or two. It also allowed me to spot a few new game paths. So before next season I need to buy three new game cams and more tree stands. Unless I can make time to build some raised hunting blinds about 15 to 20 feet tall. But hey I could go on and on.
Fair: Hot and dry weather.
Poor: Too much unchecked deer harvest and too many permit kills unchecked.
Poor: Four hunts and saw nothing during daylight. Trail cams full of deer during night.
Poor: Did not get in the woods as much as I had wished to.
Poor: Did not get to hunt.
White Co. F-3, P-2
Fair: Only saw three deer the entire season and hunted two WMAs.
Fair: Too many deer taken where I live at.
Fair: Way more does and few doe days in this county.
Poor: Only saw one small doe. Mostly nocturnal.
Poor: Hunted during the Nov. 26 to Dec 1 doe season and did not see any deer during that time. Also, less than 3 gallons of 5 gallons of corn had been eaten in five weeks.
Whitfield Co. G-1, P-3
Good: The reduced either-sex days have increased deer sightings.
Poor: Only got to go once and didn’t see deer.
Wilcox Co. E-1, F-2
Fair: Not seeing as many deer this year but haven’t spent as much time in the woods. Still, I normally see more just riding the roads.
Fair: Not a lot of deer sightings this year. In past years, I always saw at least a doe or two on each hunt. This year there were lots of hunts where I didn’t see anything at all. I had several food plots that were lush and usually attract lots of deer. I believe there are way too many does being killed, and when they are gone, it depletes the herd. I’m all for deer management, but hunters need to know what is on their property before killing everything that walks.
Wilkes Co. E-6, G-9, F-5, P-6
Excellent: A lot of deer sightings, sign and bigger deer. Harvested two mature bucks and a doe before December.
Excellent: Timber company we lease from conducted a large harvest operation (thin and clearcut) on our lease during the deer season, and we had the best year ever. Harvested several deer in and around the active cutting area after the logging crew had left for the day. Deer are curious and like to check out the latest activity when the machines get quiet.
Good: The season for me this year seemed to be two different seasons. The first half was good. Our acorns were there the first part of the season. The second part was slow. Our food plots were the second part of the season. Slow because of rain.
Good: Started blackpowder season in Greene county on Redlands WMA. Always spend the entire blackpowder week there until this year. Five days, saw no deer and no sign in any of my normal areas. I think the drought pushed them closer to river. The only sign observed was in impossibly thick areas between old pines. Moved to private land in Wilkes County for the balance of season. Saw multiple deer on a daily basis for the first half of the season. Very pleased with movement and number of deer. Saw nice bucks but not huge ones worthy of mounting as required by the club I joined. Multiple opportunities for does, which I took advantage of to get meat in freezer. Saw multiple bucks chasing on Nov. 2. Best day for me. Redlands reduced my rating from excellent to good.
Good: Saw deer and other wildlife movement on numerous occasions.
Good: Saw plenty of deer. Turkeys were plentiful. The food plots help a lot. The feeders kept game around.
Good: Been seeing deer almost every day I hunted. Rut activity seemed better than in past years or I was just there at a good time? Have seen a couple of nice bucks, but not the one I’m looking for.
Good: Saw a lot of deer this year. Not as much as 10 years ago. Bigger, smarter bucks. Saw 25 turkeys several times and two pigs seen all season. Much less than usual.
Good: Intensive year-round food plots, QDM practices.
Good: Didn’t hunt much but saw a good bit of deer.
Good: Saw a lot of deer.
Fair: I am very disappointed in the last two years since bating has been introduced in the Northern Zone. I’m seeing less deer, and local processors close down because they are full. I’m worried about the population. Never saw a real rut.
Fair: Baiting has increased the traffic into the woods by dumping corn and filling feeders. It has pressured the deer into moving at night.
Poor: Too many coyotes and too many hunters who lease land putting out and hunting over corn.
Poor: Not enough deer numbers. Seems brown is down is the mentality, and the harvest numbers seem to back it up.
Poor: My deer season was poor but probably my fault. I don’t see anything but small bucks, and we can’t shoot them in our club. I think we need to concentrate on shooting less does and allow any bucks to be shot.
Poor: Hunted three days at Thanksgiving and never saw a deer. Other club members had a very successful season.
Poor: Did not see anything.
Wilkinson Co. G-2, F-5, P-2
Good: Saw a lot of deer but not many shooters. More coyotes and wild hogs than ever. Weather didn’t cooperate on the days I could be in the woods, but when I was out, it was great to be there.
Fair: Killed two does but didn’t see a buck worth shooting.
Worth Co. E-7, G-2, F-2
Excellent: Seeing plenty of deer and good quality bucks.
Excellent: Lots of deer, lot of rut activity.
Excellent: Saw a lot of deer and killed two nice bucks to hang on the wall.
Excellent: Saw more deer and better quality than ever.
Excellent: Older and larger deer, good rut.
Good: Tagged out with two bucks both on Nov. 8.
Fair: Didn’t see as many deer as last year.
Nearly Half Of Turkey Hunters Hopeful For Future Reg Changes
Question 3: Would you be in favor of new turkey hunting regulations?
It’s not a secret anymore that turkey numbers across the Southeast have dropped in the last decade. The culprit—whether it’s overharvest, habitat loss, coyotes or chicken manure—is still up in the air. However, 895 GON readers responded to our cover ballot, and nearly half of them voted for either reducing the gobbler limit or making a regulation that says jakes are off limits unless you are a youth.
However, we did receive feedback from one-third of our voters who said they would prefer no changes. In fact, when looking at all the comments, you’ll see that some hunters are loaded with turkeys, the best they’ve seen in years.
All the comments are below.
• Time for change is way past due. Management is ongoing, not an occasional thing. If the current practices for wild turkey management continue, the wild turkey numbers will never recover.
• I see them all the time where I live and work in Bryan and Liberty counties. Quite a few on our hunting land in Taliaferro County, too. We just aren’t great at calling them in, LOL.
• I’m not sure what will help. We don’t see any turkeys anymore. Even the hens have disappeared.
• Open turkey season for a week before Thanksgiving.
• Didn’t see any turkey during deer season, but there are some turkeys in my area of Putnam County.
• Seeing bad reduction in Taylor County.
• Don’t see any turkeys on my land. Hoping to change that via habitat improvement and may need to take action to reduce predator and nest predator density.
• Didn’t see a turkey at all in Madison, Greene and Oconee counties. Didn’t see one turkey or hear one. I think there are coyote problems.
• I think coyotes are a big factor in the reduction of the numbers. Poaching may contribute, too.
• Plenty of turkeys in our area of Paulding County.
• In Elbert County, we have a small flock (seven hens, three gobblers) on 267 aces that’s never hunted. So hunting isn’t the issue, but your questions above are only directed at it?
• Coyotes kill a bunch.
• Reduce gobbler limit to one or two. Three is too many. Predator control is crucial to protect turkey nests and poults.
• Our turkey have vanished in Troup County.
• We are actually seeing more turkeys on our Colquitt County lease the year. We have gotten pictures of a group of 12 turkeys, and all are gobblers. We have another group of 17 with a mix of jakes, poult hens and adult hens.
• State needs to get serious about eliminating coyotes. They are the major reason the turkey population is falling.
• Above-average turkey population on our area of Sumter County.
• Do not turkey hunt but have seen plenty of birds in Calhoun County during deer season.
• I am most certainly interested in keeping our population of turkeys around. It wasn’t very long ago that we didn’t see any turkeys. There was a great deal of work done to repopulate turkeys in Georgia. Don’t want that to be wasted.
• I don’t turkey hunt, but I always see a lot of them during deer season. On Fort Benning, they seem to be doing fine.
• Turkeys are in trouble in Carroll County.
• I haven’t seen any turkeys at our place in Madison County in a couple of years.
• Is it loss of habitat, predators or pressure? Predators being the only one hard to regulate.
• Predators are a likely cause. Those regs probably need a look. National forest, feds need to quit worrying about their pension and get busy.
• We have very few turkeys on our property in Warren County.
• We generally see about three turkeys on our 1,200 acres in Jackson County during the summer. They are gone by late deer season.
• Too many coyotes.
• I turkey hunt on average about 30 times a year (120 to 150 hours in the woods) and only in Georgia and only in Upson and Lamar counties. 2019 was my 25th season. I’m one of DNR’s data takers. When I’m fortunate enough to kill three (eight of last 10 seasons), I go to the woods with my video camera and continue to “hunt” and video them. A couple of points before I comment on the turkey regs questions. 1) If there’s one thing that needs to be done, it’s to make a daily bag limit of one bird. I hate it when I see pics in your mag of someone who shot two or three with one shot. Each longbeard probably represents hundreds of turkey eggs that did not make it to 2-year maturity (and more eggs for 3- and 4-year-old birds). Turkeys aren’t doves. Stop allowing us to line up and shoot turkeys like they’re coots. 2) Georgia is being deforested in the areas I hunt. For the life of me, I can’t figure why this is never mentioned when discussing region-wide reductions in turkey populations. Georgia is a patchwork of small properties. Turkeys use such large swaths of land. Deer are much more adaptable, and even benefit from clearcutting. When clearcuts come back the property is useless to turkeys. Turkeys will use a cut for a year or two, but when it gets thick, they abandon it. I’ve experienced this cycle two or three times in Upson County. It’s undeniable. GON’s Questions: No Changes. I DO NOT vote for this. Something must change, but it must be science-based and not based on hunter emotions. I suggest changing the daily bag limit from three to one and implement a habitat improvement initiative, paid for with a $15 Georgia turkey stamp. Maybe free blue stem grass seed and an Extension pub, authored by UGA and DNR, on how to improve nesting habitat for hens. Reduce gobbler limit: absolutely not. I DO NOT vote for this. Reduce the season limit, NO. Reduce the daily bag limit from three to one, YES. The problem I have with reducing the season limit is biologically based. Q: Why does DNR allow hunters to kill 12 does? Because Georgia is overpopulated with deer. It’s about managing those reproducing in the population and focusing all the effort there. Reducing the number of male turkeys allowed to be killed would suggest there’s data indicating that not all reproductive hens are mated each year, and it’s because we’re killing too many males. I doubt this is the case. Gobblers are promiscuous, and over and entire season will mate with multiple hens. Reducing the number of gobblers per season will likely have little to no impact on hen mating success in an area. The gobblers not killed by hunters will still ensure that all (most) hens are mated each year. The real question is what happens to fertilized eggs after mating. I can get behind limiting harvest of jakes to youth only. The issue I have with all these questions is that they seem to be geared toward relieving pressure on the male bird population. That’s not the problem. The issue, in my mind, is what happens to the turkey eggs from the time the hens are mated—i.e., hens must have access to quality nest habitat, poults must have access to food and cover and poults must be able to minimize their exposure to predators. It’s not about the males, it’s about habitat loss, nesting success and cover. My 2 cents.
• Thanks for including the turkey stuff on the VOTES. I really think we are on the edge of a crisis. Large property owners will do the right thing to manage their deer and turkeys. The problem lies on the WMAs. I would greatly support delaying the opening of turkey season on all WMAs. Tuckahoe is relentlessly pounded the first two weeks of the season. I don’t like the non-resident hunters and the killing of jakes.
• Here’s something to ponder. If a deer hunter kills a limit of 12 deer, people want to crucify him. But if he kills his three-gobbler limit, people want to glorify him. All this while turkey numbers continue to drop.
• I think turkey season should start the first of April and end the last of April. Limit one per hunter.
• I am a Florida resident and have hunted in Georgia for about 30 years, mainly in southeast Georgia for doves, ducks and turkeys. Your magazine has been a main read of mine as it applies to my hunting interests. There has been some good thinking published in GON regarding turkey hunting. My take is this: too many turkeys are being killed. Florida, regardless of what their game commissions says, has seen turkey numbers decline. The “Osceloa Craze” has had a clear effect on turkey numbers. Poaching has increased in both Georgia and Florida. The season date shift is not the answer. I have tried to be brief. I have been turkey hunting for 60 years. I know turkey hunting. A step in the right direction is for Georgia to reduce the limit to two adult gobblers. Florida should be reduced to one. I have never thought this “youth hunt” thing was a good idea. It does nothing for recruitment of new hunters. It’s a joke. But if this must be continued, then gobblers only and one apiece. I won’t comment on deer hunting but to say I see a bunch of them. Thank you Daryl Kirby and Brad Gill. You are “doing good.”
• Reduce gobbler limit from three to two.
• No changes to turkey regs. Turkeys are doing fine in Oglethorpe County.
• Turkeys seem to have a hard time thriving in the thick Georgia pines. I’ve hunted Tennessee and Kentucky, and their population is always good. There’s more agricultural and open land. I wish Georgia would do more to control the predator population.
• I saw turkeys on my Putnam County property for the first time this year. I have about a dozen turkeys at my hunting lease. I saw them out hunting deer and have them on camera. I think that the limit should be reduced and jakes shouldn’t be harvested. Mature toms only.
• I am not a Georgia resident, so in the past I have not voted, as I believe that Georgia residents should make the decisions in their state. Having said that, I have decided to do so this year due to the state of the turkey population in Georgia. I believe that deer tend to adapt to habitat changes and heavy hunting pressure during the breeding seasons way better than turkeys. I have been coming to Georgia to hunt since the 80s, and there is a serious issue with the current turkey population. The quickest and easiest thing to do is to start the season later and limit the harvest of jakes to youth hunters only. These two items will have the biggest impact on the gobbler harvest. My personal opinion is that coyotes and loss of turkey habitat to the tree programs is the largest factors to the diminishing populations in the Stewart/Webster/Randolph/Quitman areas. Once the trees get tall enough and the underbrush fills in, turkey predators have a higher incidence of successful kills and turkeys in general will eventually migrate away from the planted areas.
• Need a fall gobbler season.
• Trap and/or poison predators.
• Huge increase in predators on our Morgan County property. Overrun with hogs, even though we remove 50 to 150 a year. Cannot slow them down. We trap some and have seen a decrease in coyote activity. The other predators, bobcats and raccoons, are increasing. All this on 1,100 acres.
• Yes, they need to come up with some action plans to address whatever is messing things up. I have a feeling it is likely at least 50% hogs, armadillos, coyotes, hawks, etc. in no particular order.
• Coyote and wild hog problems.
• Reduce gobbler limit to two and only one per day.
• Turkey season is like deer season. They are killing too many jakes and toms. The turkey population is way down, and they don’t know what’s wrong. It does not take a wildlife biologist to figure it out. The turkey population is down in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama and Georgia, and they don’t know why. Cutting down on the amount of turkeys you can kill would be a start. Weather has a lot to do with it. A lot of rain in the spring is bad for poults.
• Have seen fewer turkeys during the last two seasons. I contribute most of it due to high coyote population since we only have a couple of turkey hunters on our lease Chattooga County. We are not killing them.
• Coyotes are the problem, and we need a better solution to culling them.
• Turkey population on rebound in Macon County. Saw more turkeys during deer season this year than during past 10 years. Had imposed restrictive harvest past three years and began varmint trapping program. Results are very good.
• We have more turkeys than we’ve ever had in Worth County.
• Not sure what changes need to be.
• I have seen no change in the turkey population in Baldwin County. Many gobblers and hens seen.
• Our turkey population is doing very well in Randolph County. We have a group of five toms with very good hooks, a group of four that seem to be 2-year-old birds and a group of seven jakes. The last group of hens I saw two weeks ago numbered 14. This seems normal for deer season. We have participated in predator trapping with neighboring landowners the last few years.
• Very few turkeys for many years. We got after the coyotes and coons and now have a good flock.
• Seems like wild hogs are going up and turkeys going down.
• It’s probably due to the rise in coyotes.
• It seems the breeding is already over when it opens up.
• I’m not sure. We have turkeys on our Jasper County properties. Maybe limiting jake harvest is a possibility.
• I have witnessed turkeys staying on roost until late in the morning up until noon, and they seem to be much less vocal than previous years. I have seen dozens and dozens of turkeys since late summer up to the present day. I believe that the problem stems from the coyote population increasing. I had two separate encounters with coyotes during turkey season last spring while using a turkey decoy and calling. I have also seen an alarming amount of coyote scat and tracks and hear a lot of them regularly right at dark. I honestly don’t believe that turkey hunting is the cause of what seems to be a reduction in turkey numbers. I believe it is a result of predators, such as coyotes. There has been an incredible amount of natural food available this year, and I am curious to see if the numbers of turkeys that I have seen decline as food gets scarce as winter goes on. In summary, leave the regs alone until solid data can show that hunters are causing a decline, or if it is predators causing the decline, or if there even is a decline. It could simply be a natural ebb and flow found in nature or it could be that turkeys are adapting to an increased amount of predators. I’m simply not a believer in knee-jerk reactions.
• I don’t believe regulations will help or hurt turkey population.
• I saw 32 in the field behind my house in Brooks County on Dec. 17. I think we need to be able to shoot turkeys at least three days at Thanksgiving.
• I’m in favor of new regs if they are tied to the root causes for the declines. If just to lower harvest based on some arbitrary guessing or opinions, then they shouldn’t be implemented.
• I think the main reason is predators.
• Need to do more to reduce the number of coyotes.
• As far as the turkey population on our Elbert County tract, we have a good flock. I saw lots of turkeys during deer season and hear them every spring. We only shoot toms on our club, so reducing jake harvests would not bother me.
• I have seen an increase in flock numbers this year. Ultimately, it’s up to hunters to only take what they will eat/use.
• We have seen a decline in the turkey population in Clay County, and I think it’s mainly because of the wild hog problem. It’s my belief that the hogs are keeping the birds run off and eating the eggs during the spring laying season.
• I’m old school, so when Georgia raised the bag limit to three gobblers, I knew our turkey population would start to decline. I’ve been hunting turkeys for 40 years and have never seen it this bad. Please, please reduce the limit to one gobbler, and let the season run from April 1 to May 15. Please help us! Please. Thanks for all that you good folks do here for us.
• Yes, all of the above. I agree our turkey numbers as a state are down in many regions. A later season and limited gobblers to one per person is not a bad thing. Look at some of our neighboring states doing the same.
• Predators continue to hurt the population.
• Twenty years ago we had a healthy turkey population in my area of Elbert County, and now we no longer have a turkey population. Yes, I think changes need to be made to help the wild turkey.
• Need to reduce gobblers to two and maybe one hen.
• I also am in favor of leaving turkey hunting regulations alone. The only one I would consider is limiting the harvest of jakes to youth.
• Stop the baiting with corn. I believe the mold that is growing on corn is killing turkeys.
• Good flock of turkeys in Telfair County.
• Because of the sheer number of coyotes, hogs and raccoons, there is no reason to change the regs until we figure out how to control the animals that eat the eggs. Without an egg, there is no turkey.
• How about doing the turkey and deer a favor and find some way to eradicate all these coyotes.
• The timber was cut a few years ago, and I have not seen a turkey since then.
• I don’t know anyone hunting them at this time. I still see turkeys while deer hunting. There are too many coyotes in the woods now. It’s a wonder we see any turkeys, quail or deer anymore.
• I do not get out turkey hunting a lot, but I would be fine with any changes that would help increase the population.
• Whatever is best for the population.
• Don’t know, probably coyotes.
• More honest hunters need to obey the harvest limit.
• Very few turkeys in our vicinity of Gordon County.
• There are multiple flocks on our 200-plus acres in Monroe County.
• I don’t hunt turkeys but have hunted the same lease in Jasper County for 19 years. The turkey population has dropped dramatically during this period, and the coyote population has exploded. I used to see 50 turkeys at a time and now don’t see but a few. My suggestion is for the state to take some kind of action to greatly reduce the coyote population.
• Limit to two gobblers and prohibit the killing of jakes.
• I haven’t seen much change, if any, on the property we hunt in Jasper County.
• We have several flocks of turkeys on our property on the Flint River in Taylor County. They are probably numbering in the hundreds.
• These suggestions are good. They are needed to help save our turkeys because coyotes take a toll on fawns and turkey chicks.
• The turkey numbers dropping coincide with the legalization of deer baiting in Georgia. Predators are waiting at the feeders, be they human or animal. Also, moldy corn does not help.
• Do what is scientifically advisable to improve the numbers and quality.
• In Lowndes County, our turkey population has been increasing but deer is declining a lot.
• Have seen more jakes, hens and gobblers in Taylor County than in my 59 years of hunting them.
• I see enough young jakes. I am pleased with the seasons and rules regarding turkeys.
• Coyotes are definitely a problem.
• The coyotes are taking the turkeys away from us.
• It’s got to be the coyotes. Incentives to kill like the GON Coyote Cull should be better rewarded and promoted.
• No one needs to shoot a jake.
• I think someone needs to look into the spreading of chicken litter on farm fields. I have noticed a big decrease in turkeys on the farms that started using litter in Hart County.
• Further studies needed. Better predator control.
• Would like a fall season as well as spring season.
• Reduce based on number of turkeys seen during season. Less in last two years versus prior five or six years.
• I harvested a super jake with a double beard and another with a 12-inch beard, both from Paulding Forest WMA. I’ve been seeing lots of birds while deer hunting. I’m not seeing a bird shortage, so I’m not really supportive of a change. I hunt smart and hard. Harvested one the year before with the same effort. I don’t see how decreasing numbers will do anything personally. In the future I may support a two-gobbler limit, but in my many years of hunting turkeys, I’ve only once killed three. Public land should allow more opportunities for predator hunting, as well as more prescribed burning (not during nesting period). Paulding Forest is taken care of great.
• Coyotes seem to be running rampant in Gilmer County. Healthy packs.
• We have problem folks in close proximity to property. There are at least a dozen dogs they let run everywhere. No chance for turkeys to populate.
• I’m not sure it’s as simple as restricting harvest numbers. Maybe more about banning burning during nesting periods. Habitat destruction sure doesn’t help.
• The jake idea is bad because you may have a novice adult or a bowhunter who gets an opportunity.
• Not a big turkey hunter, but I see a lot of turkeys on my trail cameras.
• Coyote population also impacting turkeys.
• In Stewart, we have an over abundance of hens, gobblers are few and far between. Same situation in Talbot County.
• I do not turkey hunt. Several years ago we would see turkeys on our property in Jackson County regularly. I have not seen a turkey or any sign of turkeys in at least five years. I would like to see them make a comeback.
• The turkey population is not just a Georgia problem. Some buddies and I tried to book a Rio hunt in Texas this spring, and the outfitter we were wanting to hunt with is not booking this spring because of population decline. Now that’s Texas of all places. I would like to see the limit dropped to one mature bird for one year, just to see what happens.
• Before the state bought the Lanahassee land, we also had 1,286 acres of that property. The first three years we had that acreage, I hunted the Lanahassee creek bottoms and harvested at least one or two turkeys each year. With that said, during that time we never had a picture of a wild hog. Three years in, we got our first photo of hogs, and they have increased to significant numbers today. For the past three years, we haven’t seen a gobbler and have barely heard a gobble during the season. We have always had coyotes and bobcats, the only thing that changed was the presence of wild hogs. The question remains the same: What is the Department of Natural Resources going to do about the hog problems that continue to get worse every year? Sadly, we have people in our club that enjoy hunting turkeys but have quit hunting during turkey season because of the decline in birds. That certainly isn’t what the state of Georgia needs. People have decided to quit hunting, and we need more hunters.
• I saw a flock of 15 turkeys every hunt.
• I haven’t killed a turkey since the online check-in was introduced for turkey hunting. I’ve yet to kill a turkey, so I haven’t been able to check one in. Some of this is on me. Getting married and having kids slowed my hunting frequency down some, but in the past two seasons, I have seen at least 20 jakes between two properties in Carroll and Upson counties. Our property in Upson three years ago I saw a large groups of jakes, at least 10. Then last year I maybe heard four birds gobble all year down there. This past season in Carroll, I saw a large group every hunt, at least eight to 10. I’m curious to see how they are this year, but something has been weird. Why so many jakes in Upson one year, and then very few birds the next? I’m curious, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if jakes were limited to kids only. Maybe even for a first bird, but I’m not sure how DNR could regulate that. Most hunters I know haven’t killed a limit in the last couple of years. So changing the limit may not be the issue. Something else is going on. I know birds move a lot, but why so much here lately if that’s what they’re doing? Our property in Carroll hasn’t had birds in four years. We had killed at least one a year until four years ago. Then they just left.
• Reducing the number of gobblers available to each hunter to two would provide an opportunity for the population to recover. If this is not establishing a large population, reduce the number to one.
• Maybe pigs and coyotes are the problem.
• I think predators are a huge problem.
• I don’t know the exact fix to the problem but definitely agree with implementing rules or regs to help the situation.
• Two years ago in the spring, I had a flock of turkeys on the farm in Tift County, three gobblers and 14 hens. No one around here even hunts turkeys. In 22 years, I have never seen a coyote, bobcat hardly, hawks and no owls. We have two coveys of quail that have been here several years. I do not know what has happened.
• I have seen a decline in turkeys on my land until this year. During deer season, I have more this year than previous years.
• We stopped hunting turkeys four years ago due to declining numbers. I think the season should be closed for a few years to see if the population will recover.
• I’m convinced turkey numbers are down due to lack of ideal nesting cover. Low timber prices are breaking cycle of succession.
• Too busy fishing in spring to turkey hunt.
• They need to let the coon season go all year. It will help the turkey population.
• Turkey harvest should have never been raised to three. I feel that hogs and coyotes my be a contributing factor in the reduction of turkey numbers.
• Don’t hunt turkeys, if I did I would probably be divorced.
• Most turkeys that are left are drawn off the public land onto the private property with feeders and food plots.
• I’d like to see the season end earlier and limit go to two. With season ending toward the end of April, that would help save gobblers for at least two weeks, depending upon end date, and help late breeding in areas that are hunted hard. Population is low and a limit change would be sure to help. Bringing trapping back would also be a plus. The GON Coyote Cull is helping. Put a bounty on coyotes and other predators, but start it earlier. Start a bounty after deer season to March 1 and then again in May like it is now.
• I think while also reducing the gobbler limit there needs to be a heavy emphasis on habitat across Georgia state lands.
• I know it would be very hard to do, but I would love to see Georgia have a limit of one turkey of any kind from the Saturday before Thanksgiving up until noon on Thanksgiving. That turkey would count against your annual tag.
• Need a spring and fall season as we are overrun with turkeys in south Georgia.
• Coyotes! Need a way to eradicate these things!
• Don’t hunt turkeys but have seen a few while deer hunting in Burke County.
• Think habitat loss and predator impact is the greatest driver for population declines.
• I am seeing plenty of turkeys on our Baldwin County property, so I have no educated opinion on the issues.
• Do not hunt turkeys but seeing more than usual on our property in Sumter County.
• I see good turkey numbers in Burke County.
• I noticed reduction in turkeys when you started dropping canisters from planes to help reduce rabies in coons and skunks. Make sure vaccine is not killing turkeys.
• A ton of hens are around me in Twiggs County.
• Encourage predator hunting. Maybe a bounty system. Raccoons and possums are particularly tough on turkeys, not just coyotes.
• Reduce gobbler limits where population dictates, but not for every area.
• Get rid of the coyotes and hogs.
• I think the number of coyotes, raccoons, fox and bobcats are the biggest impact to the turkey numbers, especially during nesting time.
• Wouldn’t change season dates. Turkeys on my place in Terrell County are nearly through breeding when season comes in.
• You guys want to impose reducing the turkey harvest numbers? You’re joking right? Every single man, woman and child in Georgia, or even outside of Georgia, can kill 10 female deer in one year. Why? Is it the insurance lobbyists paying your little lawmakers so that less animal to vehicle collisions occur? I don’t know, but you better keep your grimy hands off our turkey numbers. Half of the stuff you put in this magazine is all speculation. Do not change the date, do not change harvest numbers. Do not even touch my right to kill jakes. I want it to be very clear that the turkeys should be left alone.
• We have actually seen an increase in turkeys on our 300-plus acres in Monroe County. However, I believe this is due to the logging activities on an adjacent property taking away habitat.
• Hens account for the population, not gobblers.
• From what I’ve seen in Meriwether County, we have plenty of turkeys. We can’t plant deer food plots because turkeys eat the seed before it germinates.
• I am satisfied with turkey season, but part of the problem is overkilling the limit. Plus the main problem is coyote, wild dogs and big bobcats that prey on them in our hunting woods.
• As for the turkey hunting, DO NOT TOUCH IT. I tagged out last year and saw more turkeys by the end of the first month than in the five previous seasons. Leave the turkeys alone. If the population is hurting, than impose more trapping and predator hunting initiative. Do not punish the honest hunter who takes care of their own land. Turkey hunting is and always will be my favorite hunting season in Georgia. I’m sick of you guys changing stuff. Three turkeys a year per person will not change. Turkeys are thriving, and you guys sit in an office and tell us what you “know” about the woods.
• Turkey population is at an all-time low by my observation. The population on my Warren County club is gone. We have perfect turkey woods, big mature hardwoods bottoms, good nesting habitat and year-round food plots, and they are gone. Ten years ago it was nothing to hear eight to 12 turkeys gobbling on the roost. We have never harvested more than three mature turkeys a year on 3,200 acres. Now you won’t hear or see a turkey all year. Something needs to be done by DNR quick, or our grandkids aren’t going to have any turkeys to hunt.
• Plentiful hens on hunting properties in Screven County.
• Add fall turkey, either-sex season.
• I don’t usually hunt turkeys, though I want to start. I have been working on my place in Coweta County and opening up my hardwood bottoms. I see turkeys somewhat regularly, but they seem to travel more than the deer. I have a resident population of foxes, a bobcat or two and a bunch of raccoons, so I do plan on lowering the coon populations but will give the foxes and bobcats a pass. I have a neighbor who traps and hunts the coyotes, and he is doing a number on them.
• Too many unrecorded turkey kills and predation. Has anyone done a study on the effects of aflatoxin on turkey reproduction since legalizing corn?
• We definitely need to do something. I would like to see a shorter season and a one gobbler per day limit, and no more than two gobblers per year. Turkeys are way down in my areas in Jasper County from where they were just a few years ago. It’s scary the way they have disappeared.
• Hogs are part of the problem.
• Limit gobblers to two birds per season. Coyotes are really hurting the turkey population in the area of Taliaferro County where I hunt.
• In Hancock, I am actually seeing more turkeys this deer season than last deer and turkey season; however last year was the worst for turkeys in a long time.
• I have seen more this year than any year before.
• Fall season and hens.
• Turkey population has dropped dramatically on our Colquitt County property, not sure of reasons why.
• We had more turkeys then deer this year in Washington County.
• We should treat our turkeys as deer. Hunter gets two gobblers as is with two bucks.
• I’ve got more turkeys than I have ever had. We killed three on our property and saw many more gobblers.
• Not seeing many turkeys at all here in Monroe County.
• More turkeys on my property in Schley County than ever.
• Start season a few weeks earlier, end earlier. Mating has already begun, and some hens already bred by time season begins. Late season during current schedule is nothing. Breeding already complete.
• I don’t turkey hunt on a regular basis, but I would say the coyotes are out of control, as well as the wild hog population. The hogs are definitely hurting food sources for all wildlife. In Towns County, certain locals have, for years, trapped hogs in south Georgia only to relocate in the north. The population is out of control.
• Numbers are down where we hunt in Wilkes County.
• Why three-bird harvest limit? Reduce this immediately to one.
• Chicken manure is killing them.
• Maybe shorten spring season and add maybe a fall season.
• The turkey season is too long! Would like to see the quota dropped to two birds a season.
• Not seeing many gobblers in Gilmer County.
• Predation is the problem.
• Push for a larger reduction in predator numbers, specifically coyotes. Coyotes have hurt turkey, fawn and quail populations on our properties.
• Turkeys seem to be doing real well on our club in Jones County.
• We have more turkeys in Dawson County than we have ever had. The key to having turkeys or deer is planting food plots and supplement feeding. Just relying on the government to do it will not produce game. Don’t change the regulations because you’re not doing your part for good management! And thus make the ones who are suffer!
• Too many hens!
• Have seen an increase in the turkey population on our club in Talbot County.
• More possums, raccoons and such are destroying the turkey nests, eating their eggs. Make it more popular to take these small-game animals.
• I hope someone reads my comment. My family owns 1,800 acres, and we have hunted turkeys on that property for many, many years. The most birds we’ve ever killed in one year may have been four total. Last year and the year before it was one or two. Reducing limits or changing seasons will have zero impact on the population. Possibly taking jakes out of the harvest and even saying one bird per day would help very slightly. We have a major problem with predation. Regulating the tip of the iceberg is a joke and creates frustration. Open year-round predation control on all predators. Corn feeders now litter the landscape, and predators are getting fat and healthy.
• Turkey population seems to be increasing in my area of Columbia County.
• Start season a week earlier.
• Too many coyotes.
• 2018-19 was the poorest turkey season in many years.
• Don’t see many turkeys in Baldwin County compared to when I hunted near Valdosta. A few gobblers early, then hard to come by.
• I don’t turkey hunt. A few in our Putnam County club do and have killed a few. Our land is not turkey friendly.
• In Oglethorpe, we used to have large flocks of turkeys. We seldom see a turkey, young/old, male/female anymore. We did not bother to hunt turkeys last year.
• Coyotes are decimating turkey nests and the young of the year. Please incentivize all hunters to pull the trigger on every coyote they see while hunting. Suspend all turkey hunting until a funded program is set up.
• I don’t not turkey hunt, but as a landowner in Jones County, I believe that I see less turkey now than I did 10 years ago.
• Coyote numbers are outrageous where we hunt in Washington County. Raccoons, as well.
• It wouldn’t hurt for WMAs to actually be managed for optimal feeding opportunities such as food plots that actually contain food items instead on fescue grass.
• In my opinion, there are so many things that make these birds struggle. From ants to possums to raccoons to coyotes, foxes, etc., they have a hard time, especially if the habitat doesn’t or won’t support numbers. It’s sad the WMAs aren’t managed any better than they are these days. Of course it’s government and most everything government is poorly managed, so what’s new? They have hundreds of thousands of acres, and it’s terrible the numbers aren’t any better than they are. No excuse for them to have control of it if they aren’t going to or can’t make it better hunting or habitat. For instance, they do not plant food plots, and that’s a big part of supporting habitat across the board.
• In our area of Banks County, I believe fire ants are a problem with reproduction.
• I’d be greatly in favor of reducing the gobbler limit. Additional permits for WMA quota hunt harvest would be fine. Our turkey numbers seem to have rebounded over the last three years or so, mostly due to timber maturation. Once the pines returned to a height acceptable for roosting, our numbers clearly started increasing. We also shoot every non-native, invasive coyote we can.
• I would like for the limit to go back to two gobblers per season. Poult survival seemed much better this year.
• Need to do something about the coyotes. That’s what is really hurting everything. They eat anything that moves. Really upset that DNR got them started here. Now they need to do something about them.
• What happened to the turkeys at Di-Lane? It’s managed to the hilt, tons of money being spent.
• Eradicate coyotes, bobcats and feral cats.
• Encourage coyote harvest even if that includes the state initiating a bounty program. Additionally, it’s my opinion that in many areas, wild hogs are out of control. Why states like Georgia, Florida and others continue to “manage” this non-indigenous pest as opposed to taking a more eradication type of an approach is beyond me. While wild hogs don’t necessarily seek out turkeys nests, it’s been documented that where hog numbers are high, they have a detrimental impact on turkey recruitment. A more aggressive approach to hog hunting/harvest needs to be implemented across the state but particularly on public lands since the state has limited management authority on private lands.
• I think areas with high coyote populations are seeing a big decrease in turkey numbers (and even fawns for that matter). At some point DNR needs to start addressing the coyote problem and not just covering it up by changing bag limits.
• The season could be shortened to help with game pressure.
• Don’t see many around Lamar County anymore.
• See turkeys on our club in Clay and Randolph counties.
• People need to be smart enough not to over hunt them. If you know you had a bad hatch of jakes last year, don’t kill your three anyway. I think people need to manage their own flocks and not rely on the DNR to do it for them. If in fact there is something going on in genetics that is hurting the hatch, then maybe DNR should step in.
• I think they should open bobcat and fox season year-round and the use of electric game call for those predators.
• Four or five years ago, I would see 70-plus turkeys in Putnam County during deer season. Now I hardly see any.
• We have one tract in Meriwether County that is loaded with turkeys, and it’s not near any agricultural farms, etc. Our other tract has had very few turkeys in the last two years. They say it’s because the farmers are spreading chicken manure.
• On my lease in Effingham, I do not hunt turkeys, but I do see a decrease in the numbers due to coyotes and hogs.
• Kill every coyote you see and find someone who knows how to trap them. You’ll see growth both in the turkey population and the deer population by taking out predators that feed on turkey eggs and deer fawns.
• On our property in Gilmer County, we have not seen a notable reduction in the turkey population. We see turkeys almost every day, particularly when I am putting corn out on a regular basis for the deer.
• People need to trap more and kill the feral cats and dogs.
• Add a fall season.
• I’m not sure what the answer is.
• I hunt turkeys in Lumpkin, Dooly and Crisp counties and have seen and heard more in the past three years than I ever have.
• I rarely have turkeys in Columbia County, not often enough to hunt them. Hogs moved in and wildlife has declined.
• No turkeys on my land despite there being suitable habitat.
• Stop prescribed burning during nesting season. Too many are being cooked before they hatch.
• Two gobblers in the spring, one in the fall. We should be able to kill one tom for Thanksgiving.
• I am seeing more and more turkeys each year due to selective harvest.
• Two things: 1) Lots of rain in 2017 and 2018. Bad for nesting. 2) Coyotes.
• I would even be up for one to two years of no turkey season to help the population get back up. Maybe cut the season back to the end of April.
• Most people don’t kill three turkeys. Leave it alone. We have a good season that gives us several opportunities to hunt. I travel to hunt and work full time, so I can’t go as much if the season is changed.
• I think the turkeys are doing well in the areas that I hunt, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a shorter season. Also, lower the bag limit from three to two.
• Clearcutting is taking roost habitat away. Coyotes are worse than ever.
• I am seeing more wild turkeys in Gilmer County.
• Recruitment in Webster County suffered in past years. Saw many more gobblers this year during deer season.
• Don’t turkey hunt, but I did not see any turkeys while deer hunting in Taliaferro County. I also hunt in Butts County where I had a lot of trail-cam pics of turkeys there.
• I have a lot of gobblers but would like to see more hens.
• In Paulding County, I saw a group of 15 turkey hens the other day when deer hunting. Would it hurt to allow one hen per year?
• Need nesting predator control and coyote control. Not enough trappers since fur market crashed.
• Simply not sure what is happening and how best to improve it.
• Coyote reduction should continue and have a bounty.
• Coyotes are the problem.
• I don’t hunt them much. I usually see them in my area right before and after the season. I suspect coyotes and raccoons are big-time turkey predators; especially raccoons because not many people hunt or trap them any more. I wouldn’t think that the male turkey population is so low that hens aren’t getting bred, so I don’t think reducing the bag limit would be helpful.
• Let the biologists do their job.
• Reduce turkey limit to one gobbler and one jake. It is important to allow jake harvest as it allows new hunters a better chance of harvest as they learn the sport.
• A lot less birds than there were 10 or even five years ago.
• Need a stocking program.
• Too many young birds are killed, and I think we have a predator problem, as well.
• Coyotes are bad. No matter what you do, it’s hard to check turkey hunters for harvest records. They don’t go to a cooler for processing. The turkeys in my areas in Bibb County has dropped dramatically. Six years ago you would hear three to four gobblers in a morning, but you are lucky to hear one now.
• Turkeys are in abundance in my area in Forsyth County.
• Turkey regs need to change with not only later start date so they can successfully breed prior to hunting pressure, but also a reduction in bag limit to two birds. Too many guys out there just killing three so they can say they got their limit. Lots of young birds taken because of this and change in regulation is the only way to address population issues we are experiencing. Later start date coupled with two-bird bag limit would go a long way toward improving everyone’s turkey hunting here in Georgia.
• Kill all the coyotes you see.
• Two gobbler limit for adults and one jake for youth.
• Turkey are definitely much harder to find in recent years.
• Turkeys seem to go almost silent when they are on the ground. Abundant coyote scat everywhere you go.
• Population is definitely down in Emanuel County, but I have seen an increase this fall.
• Poor habitat reasoning. They overprescribed burning, leaving open woods. I have seen same woods burnt every year over and over again. Turkey are not the best at choosing nest areas. I think coyotes are a problem, but get the fire out of the natural woods. If they don’t know how to control wildfire at Cedar Creek by now, they never will.
• We have had a good turkey hatch this year in Meriwether.
• Start restocking program again.
• Offer a bounty for coyotes killed.
• I don’t hunt turkey and don’t know about everywhere else, but they’re everywhere on our club in Telfair County.
• Yes if it’s based on science and not a knee-jerk reaction. Like what they are doing up North with grouse, I would support the closure of a season if it could be shown to benefit the species with hard data.
• Not sure on this one. Possibly reduce gobbler limit, but turkeys are doing fine in my area of Haralson.
• Bounty on predators.
• Shorter season and a fall season.
• In Hart County, turkey population seems to be less than three or four years ago. Not sure the cause.
• Depends on what the changes would be. I have seen a large abundance of turkeys in Jones County during deer season. We just need to get rid of coyotes, they are plentiful.
• Why not have a fall season like some northern states?
• Coyotes, hogs, bobcats and other predators are the problem on my lease. No turkeys at all it seems. Spend all turkey season and maybe hear a gobbler 2 miles out if the wind is right or calm. Stopped turkey hunting four years ago to kill hogs.
• Coyotes and hogs hurt turkeys.
• Haven’t seen turkeys on our land in Hall County.
• We have an over abundance of turkeys in Long County. I would like to see Georgia give hunters the opportunity to take a fall hen or two.
• Fewer turkeys seen or heard in Wilkinson. Seriously need to do something about coyotes.
• The turkey numbers look to be at a all-time high where I’m at in Paulding.
• Leave it to biologists.
• Coyotes and coons too plentiful.
• One bird per year for two years, then two birds for three years.
• Most likely the increase in coyotes have a direct relationship to the reduction in turkeys. I have not noticed a decrease in turkeys sighted during deer or turkey season, so I think there should be no changes. If hunters are having issues on their own properties, they should self-impose the regulations they desire and not impose them on others who are not having those same issues.
• In my area of Chattooga County, the biggest problem is coyotes and raccoons. It’s very common to see a bunch of hens with only a few poults, which in my mind says that most of the hens were not successful in raising their clutch.
• Turkey sightings have been non-existent the last two years in Newton County. In years past we were seeing flocks of 30 and 40 hens. Gobblers were very plentiful, also. Don’t know what has happened but something needs to change.
• Don’t change anything. I have talked to a number of people in our area in Dawson County, along with several of our club members, and this past summer was one of the best hatches for poults we have seen in many years. We didn’t start seeing poults until the second week of archery season, which had us concerned. When rifle season rolled around, we started seeing flocks anywhere from 18 to 37 birds. These numbers have been seen on multiple tracks on the same day by our club members. We are excited about this upcoming turkey season. Things could change the closer we get to turkey season, but either way the last three months we have seen more birds on our club than we have in the last five years. Keep up the great work that y’all do for this great state!
• Need to reduce coyote, raccoon, possum, armadillos and hog numbers.
• Just not seeing a lot of turkeys. 3,000 acres of managed property and turkeys are disappearing.
• I don’t turkey hunt in Georgia but see a good bit while deer hunting Elbert County.
• We have seen a reduced amount to no turkeys in Richmond County.
• The problem is the coyotes eating all the poults. Out of one nest of three to five eggs, more than likely none will make it. Now out of three nests and 15 eggs laid, maybe one bird will make it for a year. And the armadillo eat the eggs, too. Our predator population is way out of balance, such as raccoons. We have more of them than deer.
• Don’t see how gobbler harvest would effect numbers so drastically.
• We have seen an obvious correlation between hog, turkey and coyote populations. When our Taylor County club of 1,000 acres was infested with hogs, coyote numbers were up significantly and turkey populations plummeted. Now that the hogs have mostly been eliminated, we have seen the turkey population on the rebound.
• Our turkey numbers in Columbia County are really good, better than in past years.
• Coyotes are the biggest harm on turkeys. If we get a grip on the coyote population, turkey populations will increase.
• I still see a lot of turkeys in Putnam County.
• The turkey population is definitely on the decline. I would support doing away with turkey season for two years to see if it makes a difference, which it may not. Many, including myself, believe the turkey population is hurting from chemicals or chicken manure being put on crop land. I believe this because the turkey population in the swamp areas seem to be doing fine. But the agricultural areas are suffering drastically. I could take you to numerous farms that four years ago had turkeys everywhere, and now you can’t see a turkey on the property, not even hens.
• Coyotes are killing huge amounts of turkeys.
• Coyotes, raccoons and opossums are nest raiders and turkey killers.
• Two gobblers is enough per person, don’t need three.
• I saw lots of turkey kill sites on my property in Douglas County from the coyotes. I have not seen many baby turkeys the last few years. I am sure the coyotes are getting into the nest, also.
• Get good data first. Get good harvest data through tagging and reporting.
• I think Georgia should focus on predators to turkeys opposed to imposing regulations/changes to turkey season.
• My supplemental feeding for game animals on my personal property and on my hunting club in Laurens County seems to keep plenty of turkeys in the area. Trail cameras show an abundance of turkeys.
• Not sure but there needs to be more emphasis on killing coyotes and bobcats to help with the population of gobblers.
• Too many hens. Have a weekend when you could shoot one like the old doe days.
• Encourage more predator hunting.
• It’s hard for turkeys to live in pine plantations.
• WMAs also need to be monitored better. To many turkeys being snuck out.
• Coyotes are the issue.
• Who shoots a jake? I think a lot of people shoot more than the limit because it is too hard to enforce. Not like a dove shoot. Also, there are many more birds of prey now than when I was a boy.
• Another option would be to reduce the season.
• We had an excellent population a few years ago in Brooks County. In one cycle, we lost probably 80 percent of the birds. Got to be disease.
• I think predators such as hogs and coyotes play a role in this. There may need to be a shorter spring season and introduce a short fall season.
• I have deer hunted our property for about 15 years and have never had a good turkey population, but it is almost non-existent now, and we have never hunted turkeys on this land.
• Trap raccoons and possums all year. They are just as destructive as coyotes.
• Doesn’t matter to me.
• We are overrun with turkeys in Talbot and need to start a hen season.
• Predator control would help.
• We have a ton of mature gobblers on our property in Early County and have seen a good number of offspring this year.
• Too many coyotes.
• Hunt from sunrise-noon statewide. Limit gobblers to two and no jakes.
• Gobbler numbers are down while hen numbers are through the roof in Lee County. Introduction of a fall hen-only season would allow a slight reduction in hen numbers. This would allow for more nesting area for each hen. With predator numbers on the rise, I believe this could help lower the predation of poults and hens.
• Reduce from three to two.
• I started turkey hunting last season and do not have enough experience to frame a hard opinion on the subject.
• Seem to be less turkeys this year in Wilkes County. Have not seen turkeys as often this deer season. Have seen flocks of 20 or more birds in the past. This year’s flocks were about 15 to 18 birds. Typically see one flock of gobblers and one flock of hens during deer season.
• One or two a year.
• Probably need to only reduce by one. I didn’t see many turkeys this deer season in Jasper County.
• Why would you want to kill more than one?
• Make season shorter.
• Must do more to thin out the coyotes.
• More growth into turkey and deer areas is the problem.
• I’ve definitely seen a reduction in turkey numbers in Jasper County.
• In Newton County, I know we don’t have as many birds as we did. More people, less birds.
• Encourage coon hunting, opossums and other varmints that get the eggs. Also need to have habitat improvements for nesting.
• Have a weekend season before Thanksgiving.
• Max should be two.
• They hang around our area and tend to hatch off near my house and find food. I take care of them to keep populations stable.
• Timber land management is the cause. Burning underbrush should be regulated to not interfere.
• Numbers in Coweta have significantly declined. I have a self imposed a one-bird limit and no jakes, but more needs to be done.
• I have seen a lot of turkeys on my land in Hancock County.
• I see more turkeys then ever in Paulding County. Wish there was a spring and fall turkey season.
• I have not noticed a reduction in numbers of turkeys on our Upson County property but can not speak for the state. I would not like to see the season start any later, not opposed to lower limits, and not opposed to limiting jakes to youth if in fact the state is experiencing lower numbers.
• Reduce the turkey harvest limit to two gobblers, both of which must be mature (defined by gobblers having beards at least 6 inches long or full fans). The only exception to this should be to allow jakes to be harvested by youth hunters, but then only on the Youth Weekend prior to the start of the regular season. Also, limit the turkey harvest to one gobbler per day per hunter, thus preventing the killing of entire gobbler/jake flocks at one time, especially prior to winter break-up. But do not start the turkey season later or shorten it!
• Encourage predator hunting, including raccoons. The coyote population is out of control. And why is there a season on bobcats? They are hard enough to kill as is. Why have a window on it?
• I’m not sure, possibly prohibit the harvesting of jakes, but I’m a believer that coyotes may be the culprit in low turkey numbers.
• Saw more turkeys while deer hunting this fall than I’ve seen in the past few years.
• Turkey numbers have been declining for years in Greene County. Reduce the gobbler harvest limit to two and make the season shorter. Put an emphasis on killing coyotes and bobcats. Have called in numerous predators with a turkey call and killed the coyotes.
• I never see turkeys on our Schley County property.
• Plenty of hens in Meriwether.
• Coyotes are the problem.
• I think predator control is the key. Coyotes are having a devastating impact on both deer and turkey.
• In the mountains, I’m seeing plenty of turkeys.
• Coyotes are out of control.
• DNR should do more to provide turkey habitat improvement technical assistance to private landowners. Georgia recently introduced a DMAP program to provide deer management assistance. We need a “turkey” or combo version. Also, private landowners should be allowed permits to trap nest predators (coons and possums mainly) just prior to and during the nesting season.
• Seeing six toms at a time in Oglethorpe County.
• Definitely saw fewer turkeys the last few years in Washington County, although it was a little better last year.
• More people are getting into turkey hunting, therefore more gobblers are dying every year.
• Maybe open a hen season in the fall.
• Only saw four gobblers this year on camera in Coweta County, no hens.
• Definite reduction in turkey population on our area in Oglethorpe County. No idea what is causing this but hope WRD can figure it out.
• Once the biologists determine the cause, address the issue.
• Two is fine.
• On my property in Randolph County, I believe the predators are putting a hurting on the turkeys. We even found some nests where the hogs got to the eggs.
• The turkey flock in Dodge County has grown in the past two years. We have a flock of at least 30-plus birds on my land alone. The issue that I do have is with coyotes. Coyotes have also grown in numbers.
• Two gobblers a year is plenty.
• Predators have increased on our land in Schley County. Possibly allow trapping for predators year-round to reduce numbers of predators to help the turkeys and deer.
• Restock from other states with heavy bird numbers. This program worked before and would work again. Focus on the issues of predator control and lobby for more logging on national forest lands to return the natural process to the woodlands.
• There are definitely less turkeys. Maybe go to two gobblers.
• Habitat changes due to hurricane and storms in the last few years are thought to have had an impact on turkey populations.
October Dove Season Most Popular Answer Amongst Dove Hunters
Question 4: What did you think about the change in dove seasons this year?
Question 5: Do you dove hunt in the old Northern Zone or Southern Zone?
The GON phones rang and rang after hunters realized they couldn’t hunt their dove fields in October. They were upset! So, we asked hunters on last month’s cover ballot so we could get a better thumbnail on the percentage of folks who preferred the October dove season.
The results came back that 46.6% of the old Northern Zone dove hunters and 49.5% of old Southern Zone dove hunters preferred dove seasons like they used to be, with an October season.
All the comments are below.
• Would like three seasons for Northern Zone, have first two weeks in September, two weeks in late October and two weeks in the middle of November up until Thanksgiving. They basically took two months away from us and gave two months to Southern Zone dove hunters.
• Dove season needs to start on Labor Day no matter what day it falls on.
• I enjoy the late January dove season. When I first started hunting doves in the 60s, the season opener was the last Saturday in September. I wish it had stayed that way.
• My partner and I dove hunt at Redbone Hunting Preserve near Barnsville. During the first part of the season, we bagged collectively 57. Since the season reopened in late November, we’ve shot seven. From my point of view, we swapped two good months of hunting for two bad ones.
• Dove flight was not very good this year the first couple of weeks. There seemed to be a reduction in the number of migratory birds, and the ones we shot were probably local birds.
• I’m an opening-day dove hunter myself. If I had property to manage, it may be different, but I don’t hunt enough for me to have an input.
• If I decide to hunt doves again, I like the new seasons.
• Dove hunting is something they can’t fix. They should be in charge of a cock roach, but I am afraid they would mess that up and feed them Raid. Then they would hire a biologist and spend millions to find out what happened.
• We had lots of doves in October and almost none later.
• Love to dove hunt but haven’t had the opportunity in the past few years.
• I usually only hunt the first weekend.
• Dove season comes in way too early. Let it cool off some before the season comes in at all.
• I think no October season will help.
• Our resident birds got hammered in September and not enough Yankee birds to have decent shoots until January. If we give ’em a break in September, we can have some good mild weather shoots in October.
• Actually, the early deer season makes dove hunting in October impossible. The deer hunters migrate in and think they are the only ones who matter.
• Season should be longer with no or few gaps. Migrating birds will come and go in a matter of days, and hunters should have the opportunity while birds are in their area.
• I just went the one time in September, and I limited out.
• Moving season dates around could be mitigated if fields could be baited. In this manner, fields that can’t supply feed for both seasons can be supplemented with bait. DNR could utilize their limited resources to enforce doves limits instead of patrolling for baiting.
• I did not hunt them this year and have not enough in the past to have any real thoughts.
• I don’t dove hunt any more. A torn rotator cuff ended my shotgunning career.
• I missed the hunt this year but typically do my hunting early in the season.
• I suppose south Georgia would benefit from a later season as they did many years ago, but peanut and corn fields are prime in mid October in middle Georgia.
• Usually only dove hunt the first two weekends of the season in September and occasionally a hunt around New Years.
• I’ve seen a ton of doves on my property and my leased property. I personally haven’t seen a decrease in the amount of doves. If anything, I’ve seen a lot more this year. So I’m not sure the dove issue or lack of one needs to be changed at all.
• No October season works for me, but that is not saying much.
• Usually shoot opening day only.
• I don’t hunt doves after the opening weekend of dove season due to wanting to hunt whitetails over doves.
• Couldn’t hunt this season.
• Real hot on opening day of dove season. In January, there is no feed for doves.
• Dove should be year-round. Fewer people hunting doves in Georgia.
• There were a lot of doves this year on opening day in Gordon County, and I did not get to hunt the later seasons.
• I’m deer hunting in November.
• I don’t dove hunt, but all hunting seasons need to be looked at for all hunters. It seems that all the state and some people are worried about helping just deer hunters. There are some hunters like me who small game hunt only.
• Love to hunt them, just don’t have anywhere to go.
• Want to see how the late season works for a couple of years. We had a hunt the weekend before Thanksgiving, and zero doves showed up. I was deer hunting Sat., Dec. 15 and had more than 100 doves feeding in the planted corn field.
• Typically only hunt opening weekend.
• If we had a second season in mid October, the fields would still have a good standing yield, and it would not interfere with peak rut dates in late October and mid November.
• I only hunted on opening day.
• We planned on a second dove hunt, we had plenty of dove and even planted a late wheat field, but by the time season got here, the doves had left.
• We didn’t dove hunt in the second phase since we were focused on deer hunting. We hunt both (dove and deer) on the same property, so in fairness to other deer hunters, we opted not to hunt dove.
• No dove hunting during deer season.
• I usually only hunt during the first dove season.
• November is rut buck time! Not going to dove hunt during the rut.
• Liked the old way because many old dove hunters know when doves move in. You need to be able to shoot anytime because they will leave at a minute’s notice.
• First year dove hunting in a long time.
• I agree that the new seasons mess up the fields that are planted at the usual best planting times.
• Don’t split season. Not many dove hunters anymore.
• At 60 years old, I do long for my teenage days of dove hunting. I may be wrong, but those hunts were great.
• I didn’t like the season dates of dove hunting because it missed the peak wildlife plots we had planted, and we didn’t attract as many doves as usual.
• Would like dove season to start at daybreak on opening day.
• Prefer legal hunting of doves, when open, only from 3 p.m. until sunset.
• I prefer that dove seasons go back to being divided between Northern and Southern zones. I live in Jeff Davis County (old Northern Zone), but I own land and hunt in Telfair County (old Southern Zone), as well. This offered opening day shoots at the beginning and end of September.
• Dove comes in too early and too many unchecked kills at baited areas.
• I don’t hunt doves in Georgia, but in Florida, it seems that most of the doves are resident populations. By the time the first two weeks are over, the number of doves are limited, and I don’t seem to notice an increase over time. In other words, it doesn’t seem that a noticeable migration influx occurs.
• For the dove season, I missed the October season this year. For the folks who spend the money for sunflower fields, that second season is a big plus. If you have an off growing season and the field comes in late, you may only get one shoot in. Having that October season gives more opportunities to shoot and hopes of cooler weather with more utilization of the expensive fields. With that said, I am loving the late end date this January.
• Like the later lasting season. There should be an October season with at least two weekends included. Opening day is good. Have a two- to three-day season, including Friday and Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend. Open season in December and go through Jan. 31. My two cents.
• Why do you have to wait until noon on opening day? The only day you have to wait!
• I have early and late-season fields. We kill many in September and November but lacking an October season cuts into hunting opportunities.
• Birds did not assemble on our Terrell County farm enough to shoot.
• Generally only hunt the first couple weekends.
• Shoots are better when the weather is more forgiving.
• I’m not an avid dove hunter and didn’t plant a crop, but I would agree with the notion that a split season would nullify the hunting over the planted fields.
• Labor Day is way too early, too hot, too many young birds. Most places shoot all their local birds that weekend and don’t do much after that. We have actual migratory birds that show up after the season is out. I would prefer the first season to start in mid October, the second season the week before Thanksgiving and the third season the week before Christmas until the end of January.
• Move first season to October. Too hot to hunt in the first part of September. Love the fact that it stays in later.
• The first season in south Georgia is too hot to enjoy dove season. Have two seasons, the first from Oct. 1-31 and the second from the weekend before Thanksgiving until January. It makes no sense to have a week break between the second and third seasons. What does the week break accomplish?
• Start the season two weeks later and hunt October.
• My understanding is only a certain number of days per year are allowed for dove season. Why not make the days only on the weekends, that way you can cover more of the season?
• Allows for some migratory doves to show up.
• Too hot first season, no fun hunting in 100-degree weather.
• Only dove hunt first weekend of September on occasions. Unsure of other dove seasons and performance.
• We always have more birds December through January. I love the new dates.
• Why not a season that is not split? Just adjust the dates.
• I would like to see the whole season open from beginning until the end with no split season.
• The dates are not that important because 80% of doves would die of natural causes without a hunting season.
• No October seasons because it’s colder weather and there are more birds.
• Down here in south Georgia, it was so hot that a lot of us didn’t hunt much at all. The corn was harvested in our fields, late September, then it started raining. By mid-October, all the corn on the ground from the harvest had sprouted. No food, no birds. No hunting allowed in October, so this last season was a bust. Have not seen any doves in either field. I guess all the birds are in south Florida and southern countries like Costa Rica.
• South Georgia needs to start the end of September.
• Does not matter to me. I’m just getting into dove hunting.
• I know in Stewart and Webster counties I saw tons of doves working the harvested fields this year.
• I think dove season should start the first of November and end the last day of January.
• Middle Georgia can plant peanuts and corn just like south Georgia! Early season and October are too hot anyway.
Misc. Comments Sent Through VOTES Survey
• Wish I was a paid member when I shot my big buck to enter the Truck-Buck.
• Putting corn out and then putting up a camera over the corn to pattern a buck is NOT hunting.
• I don’t know what the state can do to increase compliance of reporting deer harvests, but something needs to be done. I hear far too many stories of hunters who report does instead of bucks or don’t report their harvest at all. I hear of deer camps where hunters complete their harvest form at point of kill then transport deer. Then they cape and quarter the deer and destroy the harvest report if they aren’t stopped and print another one so there is no record of the harvest. An anonymous phone number doesn’t help if one doesn’t actually know the violator.
• Wish we had a shorter firearms season to improve age structure of mature bucks.
• Coyote population.
• Reduce doe harvest and make shooting less than 4 total points illegal.
• Get control of CWD. I am afraid it could be the destruction of deer and deer hunting. What a shame.
• I hunt WMAs a lot. We need more food plots on the ones in my part of the state in southeast Georgia. In regards to fishing, gar and mudfish in Cogden Lake (Penholloway WMA) need removal.
• I think in Hancock County it needs to be one trophy buck and one small buck for a few years to see what happens, and doe limit should be less. I’ve been hunting for over 45 years. Thanks.
• Need more free boat ramps.
• I would like to see the alligator season held earlier in the year. The last two years the nights started getting cooler the last half of season, and it effects the alligator movement, especially when hunting at night.
• Stiffer fines for lawbreakers.
• Thanks to GON for all the information I’ve gained as I just started big game hunting. I don’t post much but have absorbed a ton of information from past threads and other members.
• We need to change how many does allowed in a season from 10 to five. There is no need to shoot that many deer. This will enable more deer for youth and new hunters to see.
• Would love to see doe days again to keep deer populations growing.
• I think we are allowing too many deer to be harvested. Cut back on doe harvest!
• Wish rifle season would open a week later for deer. More time for bowhunting and muzzleloader.
• Too many car wrecks and 90% of hit deer are does.
• Personally I think a hunter getting 10 doe tags is too many.
• Take Pike County to a mandated quality program like Meriwether County.
• Too many either-sex days during deer season.
• We need help in reducing the number of coyotes. We need to reduce the limit on does. With coyotes and such a large limit, the doe population is hurting. I have been hunting 40 years, and it is shameful. Thank you.
• I deer hunt in Dawson County. I believe the either-sex days during modern gun season should be allocated to designated weekend days, e.g. first four weekends in a row and the last weekend, when most hunting activity occurs.
• We need a better way to control coyotes.
• Bag limits seem be controlled by the insurance companies, not the DNR.
• Wish that us small-game hunters would have more time to hunt. Hard to coon hunt deer clubs when they are afraid that dogs run their deer off. Be nice to extend coon season to either all year like in Alabama or extend it to the end of March or sometime in April.
• Doe harvest needs to be reduced in many areas where there are low deer numbers.
• Encourage more hunters to only shoot bucks that are at least 3 1/2 years old.
• Need to start bobcat season when gun season starts because I see them but can’t shoot until Dec. 1.
• Why on some deer/dog quota hunts does DNR tag deer and others you have to tag deer? DNR should tag deer on all quota hunts!
• Wish more info was available on the legality of hunting coyotes and other predators with thermal scopes at night when also using an electronic game call.
• Too many turkeys in the southeast Georgia thickets.
• Why are we required to record a harvest number but processors and taxidermists aren’t required to report them? Or was this the intention, and it’s just not being checked?
• More instructions. Hunters in this area have no concern for size. They are killing or are allowing the young hunters to kill anything that walks. That could have a lot to do with the deer moving at night.
• There should be a minimum acreage size to hunt deer with a firearm.
• The either-sex days need reduced on the entire portion of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Not just the portion east of I-75.
• Although this year was not great, I am very hopeful for a great 2020 hunting season.
• I would like to see deer season end at the end of January and bow-only for the entire month of January. I think turkey season starts too late for Dodge County.
• Eliminate baiting/feeding in the entire state. Fair game/fair chase hunting only.
• I would like to see a quality buck standard statewide other than just 4 points on one side. I have seen many 1 1/2-year-old bucks that meet that standard.
• Maybe DNR could get more involved with helping control the coyote problem with a contest with prizes or a bounty.
• Dove activity has been down for the past two years.
• We have a very serious hog problem on Long Creek in Oglethorpe County. We have more hogs on the property than deer and turkey combined. Do not know if the hog problem can be solved due to hog reproduction rates?
• Maybe make hunting dove over bait legal. For noodling catfish in Georgia, I think it should be legal to use a pole to move catfish from the back of deeper holes to the front so you can grab them. Some holes are 10 to 20 feet deep. It’s impossible to grab those fish. It’s already kind of hard because some lakes have boat ramp restrictions that don’t slow the building of more ramps. This is where most people in Georgia catch their fish. Besides these and a shorter rifle season, I’m pretty happy. Thanks for your efforts.
• There needs to be a study done by biologists about deer populations in counties with low deer populations.
• Earn an additional buck for taking a predator.
• Some of our out-of-state hunters need to learn not to shoot everything they see.
• Coyote and wild hog hunting on public lands needs to be opened up more. Both are detrimental to other game species. Turkeys reduced to only two gobblers per season with no taking of jakes, except for one per season for 12 and younger. I would also like to see more dove hunting opportunities on public land. For instance, weekdays being open to hunt doves instead of just Saturdays.
• I would like to see an extended archery season until Jan. 31 for the entire state, not just certain counties. I also think three months is a long time for a deer to be hunted with rifles. I would like to see some of the rifle season taken away and replaced with primitive weapons. Possibly keep rifle season third Saturday in October until first Sunday in December. Then primitive weapons the rest of the season, but I also realize that misses some of the southwest Georgia rut.
• I believe saltwater trout harvest should be changed. I agree with the size limit but should be allowed to keep maybe three below limit to help make a trip worthwhile when most trout are below the size limit.
• Three-buck limit to allow cull bucks in Harris County.
• I think Georgia is being well managed for all wildlife species.
• I’d like to see counties do the beam-length limitation on bucks.
• Poachers are still a problem. More money to DNR to increase manpower.
• Need more doe days.
• Every hunter I talk to agrees with this: I would like to see the hunter orange clothing requirement be changed to optional on private land.
• Hunting seems to be becoming a rich man’s sport. Lease costs continue to rise and becoming more scarce.
• We need to add a third buck to our hunting license.
• Quail are extinct.
• I think the number of largemouth bass you can keep should be five and not 10. Spotted bass should stay at 10 but not largemouth. Most bass tournaments only allow five to be weighed in.
• Need to allow bear hunting over bait. They are nothing but a nuisance in my opinion.
• People need to be educated on how to age a deer by pics or on the hoof! Too many young bucks are being harvested. If people will let some of these bucks live anther year or two, we’d have much higher-scoring bucks to hunt. People are shooting 4-year-old bucks and think they have done something.
• Would like to see start of bow season backed up to beginning of October.
• Need to maintain habitat for more than just deer and turkey. I would love to see more focus on quail and getting grouse back.
• Need to do something about coyotes!
• Not much on my mind. I’ll continue to kill deer.
• Stop baiting.
• Let’s be real about buck-only days. Are two days, like in Long County, really making a difference?
• Need more PFAs and WMAs for the not-so-rich hunters out there. The people who hunt for food need places to go that don’t make hunting such a high price that you could go to the store and buy your food. Not worth it when you are renting land to hunt.
• Would like more counties to be QDM.
• Duck hunting is a huge industry. How do we make the Atlantic Flyway more productive in Georgia?
• Would like to see more counties go to 4-point or better on all bucks.
• These Florida hunters come to Georgia and shoot the same size deer they have Florida. Why is that? Need to get a handle on the dog clubs, as well.
• I wish there were more game wardens.
• We need more buck tags in Georgia. The deer population is in good shape. Why not be able to kill an extra one? WMAs need more bowhunting opportunities.
• I don’t like the baiting law because the next generation will not know how to look in the woods to find a food source and hunt deer. They will just know to go to an open area and pour out corn. Kids will not know the difference between a red oak and a poplar tree or a blackberry from milk weed. Just my thoughts.
• It’s time to get ready for trout!
• Shoal bass need protection.
• Not sure why the deer population is so low on Region 2 WMAs. I have been hunting in the northeast Georgia mountains for 40 years and see less deer than the years before. I’m fine with it because hunting is much more than harvesting a deer, but for young and first-time hunters, it is definitely disappointing to hunt eight days and only see three does. I took two new hunters this season, and one of them got his first buck on Chattahoochee WMA. Wish the population was higher.
• Harvest reports need to be more user friendly.
• I will not shoot does on my property just because we do not have many deer.
• Non-resident license fees are outrageous. I own land in Georgia, pay taxes on the land, spend money on fuel, food and merchandise and equipment.
• Everyone should only take what they need and nothing else. I spent a lot of time and money this season and killed nothing. Enjoyed every minute of it.
• Reduce number of does a hunter is allowed. Do away with doe days and issue doe tags that can be used at any point during the season.
• In Stewart County, deer population is down, based off sightings and trail-camera pictures. We do well on controlling pigs on 2,500 acres, but the entire deer season is off, and everyone in the area has the same complaint. I understand QDM and the state’s desire to have one to two deer per square mile, but it’s hard to maintain a hunting club of 25 people with one or two deer being killed a year. Between food plots and supplemented feed being done by everyone, I think the state needs to look at their desired deer ratio and reduce the doe tags. Regardless of what people report, they are killing and relying on processor numbers, and this is not effective. Most deer leave a camp in a cooler, and I believe with the current thinking the hunting industry in Georgia will be put out of business.
• As a very involved member of QDMA and DU, I believe we need more youth involvement or opportunities for youth to get outdoors. Working with local QDMA chapters and DU chapters to get kids involved could help with the lack of involvement of our youth.
• Coyotes are taking over.
• Push the start of deer season out two weeks and extend for two weeks in south, south Georgia.
• Make bear season in central Georgia two days instead of one.
• Dog hunting for deer brings too many problems and should be illegal in Georgia.
• Trapping needs to be stressed more, as well as hunter education on general management. It used to be taboo to kill a doe and numbers grew. Now it’s taboo to kill a small buck. Kill does instead, and many are complaining about decreased numbers. Education is key.
• Lack of timber harvest on mountain WMAs and national forest has caused stagnant forests and a shortage of nutrition for the animals. Additionally, high predator numbers have decreased the population of deer and other animals.
• I am not a fan of the doe-day system in Georgia. Doe days started at the beginning of the peak of rut in Upson County and in many parts of the state. The deer coolers filled up too fast because of this and created issues for people who shot deer and had no place to take their deer for processing. Wonder why you see some carcasses on the side of the road? I would keep it simple. If you are trying to manage doe population, then do it by county and limit numbers to be harvested by county. But we should not have a season for does. It should be a season wide, open opportunity to shoot a doe. We have too many already in my opinion.
• I would like to see deer season cut off on Jan. 1 as it used to be and not extended to mid January.
• Extend Georgia duck season into February.
• Antler restrictions for any buck harvested statewide. Every buck should have 4 on one side and enforce the two-buck limit. Hunting is big tourism for Georgia, and the ones who are serious about killing mature bucks are the ones spending the majority of the money. Georgia needs to do everything they can do to grow the deer population, most importantly the mature deer population.
• Why are we not able to change the legislation/law that requires combat wounded vets to renew their disabled hunting license every three years? My wounds will not change in three years and my license is often held up due to waiting for the VA to provide documentation. This is a simple legislative change and needs to happen on behalf of our vets. Thank you.
• Has baiting had any affect on deer health?
• Either-sex days are still messed up. First two weeks of gun season and after Thanksgiving should be the regs for either-sex, not Nov. 5 on.
• Would like to see deer season pushed back a month.
• They need to re-evaluate their handicapped definition. Just because a hunter is not missing limbs doesn’t mean they aren’t handicapped. I am a lung cancer survivor and can’t walk any distance.
• I think cellular game cameras should be banned. It gives hunters too much of an advantage.
• The state legislature should take up a vote on the deer harvest. There is no way biologically they can say it’s healthy to harvest 12 deer per hunter. When I was younger, it was a limit of three, and then it went to five, which is plenty of deer for a family.
• Need more youth firearm deer hunts during archery season. Need help with poachers shooting from road as always.
• Allow baiting for bears. There are way too many in Dawson County and surrounding areas. Spring bear season would be best to get rid of those large boars that don’t move much in bear season.
• Change regulations to two bucks with no antler restrictions.
• Georgia needs to implement a fall season to harvest hens. There are too many hens in my opinion.
• With such hot weather in September, I believe bow season should start the first of October. Gun season should start first of November and end the last weekend of January.
• Do away with baiting! I’m sure I’m one of the few who don’t like the baiting concept, but deer hunting is just not the same with all that yellow candy (corn) out here.
• Longer archery season, longer muzzleloader season, less modern firearm season, similar to Kentucky and Tennessee.
• Too many coyotes.
• It would be nice to have stronger regulations on dog hunting. Dogs run all over, and they keep the deer stirred up.
• Start deer season a little later and end a little later.
• Several days seeing 20-plus deer in one sit. Wouldn’t change a thing even if I could.
• Lower the doe limits. Start of bow season is too early.
• Change around either-sex days for Upson County.
• I need to win lottery, so I can hunt more.
• Bring back smallmouth bass to Lake Blue Ridge or stocking F-1 largemouth in Blue Ridge.
• Prohibit hunting over corn as it used to be. Too many people today call themselves hunters when they are just baiters and shooters.
• Waterfowl: Georgia hunters are starved for waterfowl hunts. Would love to see more articles in the GON magazine that talk more about what the state is doing to improve or conserve waterfowl. I also like the new structure for duck season ending Jan. 31.
• If invasive species like wild hogs are really a problem, then make that available to hunt during any non-deer hunt. It’s so hot during the spring/summer, it’s not worth going in the woods. Hogs should be allowed any time it is legal to hunt.
• I don’t think that the DNR know what they want concerning the doe harvest on WMAs. Most QDM hunts restrict the taking does until the last day. Most go home instead of waiting for the last day. That’s just stupid on DNR. Why can they not change that rule? Most hunters don’t even see does on the last day because they have been highly pressured for two days already. Is it deer herd management they are looking for? Next is disability areas. You go to WMA areas and look at the area given for access. The area is the least desirable area on the WMA. Most are so far from the camping area. Yes there is a better access to (vehicle), but it’s still open to the regular hunting public, and they over run the area and then complain that us with disabilities are driving in and they have to walk and it messes up their hunting. I do talk with the wardens and biology personnel concerning the disability areas, and they give you the impression that they really don’t care. I once asked where the disability areas were, and they told me that the whole WMA was disability accessible. I then asked about going around the gates, going past the foot-traffic-only signs, the earth burns and other no vehicle signs. They told me don’t go past those areas by other than walking. How is that whole WMA accessible? Shooting range usage. Why don’t they restrict range hours on managed hunts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.? Ranges are open from sunup to sundown. Most hunters are out of woods by 11 and return at 2. You sit on a great quiet morning and evening and hear 100-plus shot every hour all day long. They have all other kinds of rules that need revisiting on WMAs. For example, no noise before 6 a.m. in the campgrounds. Most hunters are up by 5 a.m., cranking vehicles, dressing, cooking, making coffee and loading their vehicles. How silly is that rule? You come to hunt, not to sleep in. I went on a state park hunt once and the park ranger stated he did not want to hear a shoot before 8 a.m. Legal shooting hour more than an hour earlier. We all in the mandatory meeting questioned his statement. He wanted to argue, and I had to show him the book. The game warden for that area fondly confirmed that his statement was incorrect. I will be at some of the meetings for the upcoming year. I hope that they will change some of their rules and listen with an open mind. Not all of the public-land hunters are stupid.
• Where I hunt in Glascock, I would hope that we go back to the old seasons.
• Have problems with dog hunters trespassing.
• Leave duck season open the weekend before Thanksgiving and leave it in until January.
• The deer limit is too high. No one needs 12 deer. Just because the limit is 12 does not mean that you have to kill 12.
• Reduce Florida resident, non-resident license Georgia fees. They are unrealistic.
• This won’t be popular but shorten deer season by one month. Two-buck, two-doe limit with both bucks having at least 4 points on one side.
• I just think deer sightings will drop drastically if doe days are not shortened. Just like a few years ago it was difficult to see deer consistently.
• Need better tools to control coyotes and pigs. Coyotes have greatly impacted my turkey hunting. I kill multiple coyotes annually coming in on my calls.
• We live and hunt in great state.
• I would appreciate an article on fishing the Ogeechee River.
• DNR generally doing a fine job.
• We need to get help with the wild hog problem. I own 1,300 acres in Randolph and Terrell counties, and we are overrun with hogs. We kill 100 plus every year and are not putting a dent in them. Every feeder we have is fenced, and most of the food plots, as well. We thought that might send them elsewhere but no signs in them leaving.
• Something must be done to lower the bear population in north Georgia. Way too many bears.
• I believe the doe limit should be reduced to six from 12.
• More gun dates for does on WMAs.
• Georgia needs a better QDM regulation.
• Need to get rid of all the yotes.
• Twelve deer is too many. Two bucks and four to six does is a lot of meat.
• Coyotes. Something has to be done to protect the yearlings for next year’s herd.
• We need to reduce the bag limit on deer in order to raise the total population back to where it was several years ago.
• Need a bear season added to Bleckley County.
• We need to make it easier for hunters to provide habitat for ducks. The stream regulations are too difficult to navigate.
• We need to lengthen the season on raccoons, fox and bobcats. We see more and more of them on our lease, which impact turkey, quail and rabbits.
• We need statewide trophy management.
• Too many bears in the mountains.
• I would like to see baiting banned statewide. I do not agree with it at all. It’s the lazy man’s way to hunt. Everyone wants instant gratification now, and hunting is not about that. Put in the work, hone your craft, and you will be successful. Shooting a deer over corn is not hunting.
• State should allow out-of-state trappers to get a coyote-only license to trap yotes for a nominal fee, not $300 to $400.
• Stop all dog hunting, especially bear in north Georgia.
• I don’t agree with hunting over bait. We need to move to the next level toward trophy management statewide. It is way too hot during bow season. Everything needs to be delayed about three to four weeks.
• I don’t like baiting for deer, it’s what I call deer suicide.
• I wish hunters would not shame other hunters on social media over the deer they harvest. Every hunter harvests the animals that makes them happy. If a hunter is happy with his “trophy,” who are we to criticize him/her? Let’s all try being supportive of other hunters and not shame or criticize them.
• DNR is doing a great job. Thanks.
• Need a break in deer season to promote small-game hunting.
• Should have longer archery season and shorter rifle season kind of like Kentucky’s. Would be nice but still have a week for youth hunting.
• I like being able to bait deer. We see a lot more deer and bucks this way in the north woods of Jackson County.
• Would like the DNR more involved on coyote management. They need to be better managed. GON does a nice job of promoting coyote management. I don’t hear much from the folks at DNR.
• Love GON and the stories. All the information is great and the fact I can get the hard copy makes a difference for me.
• Reduction in predators. Coyotes and hogs in particular.
• The majority of people don’t hunt predators, so having bobcat season open to coincide with deer hunting would be helpful.
• Need more rabbit hunting days with the deer season extended. It leaves only a few weekends to hunt without deer hunters in the woods.
• Statewide coyote bounty year-round.
• Fewer does killed.
• Well I don’t know if anything can be done to improve the north Georgia WMAs, but sure would like to hunt them again. I once only hunted them but haven’t in years. I hunt private land now, and I see a lot more deer.
• Things are fine as far as I am concerned.
• Need to get rid of wild hogs and coyotes.
• Start gun season second Saturday in November.
• Love hunting and fishing in our great state!
• We need more trophy-managed counties. Haralson and Wilcox counties would be a good start.
• More on hunting with hounds.
• Would like to see some kind of statewide size limit for crappie.
• I would like the Chattahoochee Bend State Park hunt to be on a weekend or over a holiday so that I can take my son without him having to miss school.
• I would like to see trophy management, except for youth hunters 16 and younger.
• More antler restrictions within the counties and WMAs. I know that the biologists says no, but we should try it for a period of time, say five years. Next, let’s have all WMA/national forest lands archery-only during the entire state deer hunting season under buck only/antler restrictions regulations.
• I believe a reduced number of tags would help the deer population in the state. I would prefer a single buck tag to ensure that hunters take a trophy buck if they only take one. Perhaps do a lottery for additional buck tags. This would coincide with a four to six doe harvest.
• Habitat and herd management is key. Working hard at both, and it is paying meaningful results.
• More PFAs.
• I enjoy our long season and our two buck limit.
• Starting to see bears in Houston County, and they can really be a pain in the butt about scaring deer away and eating all of my feed. It is a terrible idea to let them roam free with only one day to hunt them. There will be an even worse population if allowed to develop further.
• How about a late-season bow season in south Georgia. It’s too hot in September.
• Coyotes are a big problem where I hunt in Hancock this year.
• Archery season needs to be adjusted. Too hot second weekend of September. First Saturday in October would work.
• DNR does a great job.
• I think we need to reduce the predator population, especially coyotes, in any way possible. Would like to hear ideas on how to do this in a way that includes sportsmen.
• We have to get rid of the hogs. I think the turkey population decline is due to the hog population. I think we should extend the archery season for the entire state.
• I still feel either-sex days are as much to do with Heard County’s low deer herd numbers as anything. Hunters have proven they cannot police themselves.
• I think the doe days in Jackson County should begin with other counties.
• Doe days should be mid November until early December, three weeks. Then have the old deer-season split, doe days come back in the day after Christmas until Jan. 1. Rifle season should open the first weekend of November every season.
• Very frustrating to see these “pet” monster bucks that are being killed in urban counties, such as Fulton County, that have been raised up being basically hand fed so that they have lost their natural fear of humans and then some hunter shoots the buck on an urban bowhunt and then he’s on the cover of GON with a three-page cover story talking about what an adventure and a struggle it was killing this 200-plus-inch buck. Please! These bucks should never ever be allowed or be considered by B&C as they are basically farm bucks who have been raised on Doritos and meatloaf. And GON should really rethink the attention these bucks get in their magazine.
• I am a rifle hunter. When hunting season opens in September, the weapons should be the hunter’s choice, not the industries. I feel like manufacturers benefit more from all the different seasons: archery, muzzleloader and firearms than the hunters do.
• I’m against baiting.
• If concerned about deer population, then why not extend deer season to end of January?
• Landowner trappers should be able to obtain a license online instead of sending in a copy of driver’s license through the mail.
• I belong to a fishing club, and we really appreciate the effort Georgia makes when stocking stripers. Please, and again please, continue stocking Lake Nottely with fingerlings. We have a wonderful lake here, and we enjoy chasing trophy-sized fish.
• Wish they would not allow baiting. I would like for people to actually have to hunt.
• The hunting clubs and larger landowners need to seek out trappers for predator control. The trappers need more flexibility as in using foothold traps up to 6 1/2 inside spread and the use of cable restraints for land trapping, esp. for coyotes. I’ve said it, but nothing will change. DNR won’t change trapping regs.
• Open up Paulding Forest to allow better access.
• Love GON. Tons of good articles, great reads and information on what’s going on in Georgia. Thanks and keep them coming.
• The number of people who hunt seems to be diminishing. We need to recruit more.
• I don’t like the hunting over bait.
• I feel like doe-only days should be later in the season after the rut. I think that would prevent as many does being shot after they have bred.
• Limit doe days and lower bag limits to two does.
• I hear a lot about how coyotes are devastating the deer and turkey populations and don’t believe it. Deer in my area changes from year to year, and last year was one of the best years for deer sightings ever, so all the talk about coyotes doesn’t hold water. This year, sightings are down some, but again they always fluctuate. There are lots of deer in Georgia, many of which reside in residential areas.
• Do we really need to bait during deer season? I personally think not at this time.
• Pretty satisfied.
• Deer numbers in our area are down. Twelve deer are entirely too many for any hunter.
• We have coyote problems statewide. Our Lowndes County lease for sure.
• Like to see deer season later, like Nov. 1 until late February.
• I think for kids 12 and younger every day of the rifle season should be a doe day.
• Being priced out of hunting due to huge increase in lease prices.
• Reduce number of antlerless tags.
• Like to see bow season open first of October.
• I don’t like that an out-of-state company takes care of our license.
• We have a terrible coyote problem in Screven County. From my estimates, we lost 75% of the fawn crop.
• I would like to see the legal bag limit of deer changed to three bucks. Keep the doe bag limit as is, or reduce in areas where necessary. Understandably this is a legislative issue, so it would be difficult to do, but I believe the state herd could handle it with most hunters and clubs managing their properties in today’s times.
• Would like the state to implement trophy requirements statewide and not just a few counties.
• Do away with quality deer regs on public land.
• Reduce the doe limit.
• Need better consolidated info for fishing specific areas.
• Georgia Game Management and DNR should not be allowed on private property without permission from the owner. If we don’t know their on our land, we could easily mistake them as poachers or up to no good. Protect our property rights or pay the taxes.
• Would like an extended season for only bucks with 4 points on one side and larger. This gives us the option of hunting our prime southwest Georgia rut that runs into February.
• I would like to see the hunting regulations for buck harvest in Randolph County be the same as the state of Georgia. Allow hunters to take one buck of any kind, then the second buck have a minimum of 4 on one side. Quality deer management should look more at the age of a buck rather than the number of points, and maybe some of the 8-points that need another year or two to reach maturity would get passed. Some may not agree with there being cull bucks, but there are mature bucks that don’t meet the requirements of QDM that are breeding does. Our “quality” of bucks have declined, while the non-quality stays in the woods to breed our does. Allow hunters to make management decisions since they’re the ones hunting their area, especially given most hunters use game cameras these days. At least allow private landowners to manage their own land, and yes, we manage does, as well.
• Maybe allow disabled war veterans who have a disability hunting license be able to gun hunt sooner than traditional hunters. Thank you for what you do, so that we have the opportunity to have hunting here in Georgia.
• Deer bag limit is too high! No hunter needs the opportunity to kill 12 deer per year. Bring back the old doe days and allow hunters the opportunity to kill two bucks and five does, which is plenty of meat for any family. Season long doe days is absurd! As stated before, in south Georgia we have a lot of deer killed under agricultural permits, which is affecting our deer population. Then add the fact that hunters can kill up to 12 deer per season. Come on, if we continue down this path, we as hunters will self destruct our own sport we claim to love so much. And please bring some type of QDM to south Georgia.
• I hate legalized baiting. It has negatively impacted my enjoyment of the season.
• Do away with baiting as CWD is coming.
• Give game wardens a raise.
• I would like to see more urban cities open up for archery hunting to help reduce the deer herd, which helps eliminate deer-related vehicle accidents. I lived in Columbia, MO for a couple of years, and they really pushed the urban archery participation. They concentrated on high vehicle incident areas and opened up parks, trash dumps, etc., to allow bowhunters to harvest deer. I’ll never forget my first trip to one of the parks, and I’m in camo with my climber on my back, carrying my bow and walking out in the park while folks are walking around with their dogs and exercising.
• WMA offerings are a Georgia asset.
• Would love for the state to allocate more resources to the DNR for more rangers. I strongly support law enforcement.
• Reduce limits in certain counties. We do a lot of predator control every year that seems to definitely help keep our population good.
• Seems like our bucks have not started rutting yet in Early County. Dec. 17 2019 and we have only seen one scrape on our property. Not much longer left in the season, hope they run soon.
• Being able to hunt bucks until the end of January.
• Don’t like baiting deer.
• Too many doe tags.
• Reduce gun season length and buck tags.
• I am worried about CWD. I know it’s just a across the border in Tennessee. I’ve heard from a biologist who said that feeding stations can be a potential hot zone for passing CWD. That’s pretty scary stuff. I know that SC just banned feeding/baiting for this very reason and other states have also. Though I don’t like it, it may be a good idea.
• I believe the limit on deer is too high. No one needs to shoot 12 deer.
• I wish there was a trout season again. Open year-round is not good for trout streams.
• Continue to focus on quail-related issues. It is embarrassing to live in Georgia and have to travel out of state to hunt quail in good numbers.
• Shorten deer season for firearm from Oct. 15- Dec. 1. Why? Because most of your does have been bred, and when shoot a doe that has been bred, you actually shoot two deer.
• Move the start of archery season two weeks later at least.
• Too many doe harvest tags per hunter. If one hunter is hunting a piece of property that has some does and decides to harvest a lot of them, then hunters who join the property won’t have an opportunity to harvest any, especially if you have youth you’re trying to get involved in the hunting tradition, meaning that numbers will be low. If youth don’t see any deer, they don’t get interested.
• Don’t think we should be harvesting 10 does in a season. After five does, people are giving away the rest.
• Limit of 12 deer is too high. Average hunter takes one or two, but there are the few who take 12 just because they can. Two bucks and four to six does should be plenty.
• Small-game season needs to be extended, not enough opportunity with the extended deer season. Think we need to have a break in deer season from after Thanksgiving until Christmas. This will also help with small-game hunting.
• More bowhunting opportunities at Rum Creek WMA, like all season maybe.
• Changing access and hunt dates on north Georgia WMAs.
• Bounty on coyotes to reduce their numbers to allow fawns and turkeys a better survival rate.
• I believe there should be more doe days in Habersham County. I have seen a big increase in numbers. Worked on my gardens more than ever and messed up my groceries. Next door in Banks County they increased doe days a lot. Decreasing ours was a mistake.
• Increase the number of tags for gator season.
• Protect redfish, trout and flounder with smaller bag limits and tighter slot sizes.
• Please put some hunter education information about waterfowl ID in the regs, or make a separate issue for waterfowl hunters. A lot of the newer hunters can’t ID waterfowl, sometimes even when they are holding the bird in their hands after they shot it.
• The 12-deer limit MUST be reduced! Our deer herd has been reduced across the state, and this extremely high limit, especially for antlerless deer, is simply CRAZY at this point!
• I think that management hunts should not include Sunday. Start them on Wednesday.
• Help Hunters for the Hungry in the CSRA (Augusta) area. There is not one place to drop off deer. Get our lawmakers to help the processors out and make it worth while. We would shoot a lot more does and thin them out of it was available.
• Cut the deer limit to one buck and two does. That should be enough for any household.
• I want to see much steeper fines for poaching.
• Great season.
• Too many doe days.
• Too many coyotes in spite of eradication efforts.
• For years we couldn’t put out corn for deer and now we can. Why not make it where we can feed doves, ducks and other animals? As long as you stay within the bag limits, what’s the harm?
• Turkeys need to be looked at hard because something is definitely going on with them.
• Trying to get my grandkids involved in the outdoors. They have been fishing with me since they were small. Now we are starting to hunt together some, and they like it. Have had good success on squirrels and also taken a few deer.
• Franklin County has too many doe days. Season should close mid December so small-game hunters can hunt more.
• Shame on the snakeheads and tegus. Hope DNR can get ahead of them unlike what’s going on in Florida with the pythons and lionfish. Overall I think things are good, maybe more food plots on WMAs. I would really like to see the state buy some more lands. The rate Georgia is developing, we need to save all the large tracts we can. Even if the hunting or fishing opportunities are limited, at least they can serve as sanctuaries for the surrounding areas.
• Declare war on hogs. Busting turkey nests and eating the mast crop as well.
• I am very concerned with the turkey situation in my area of Taylor and Schley counties. It seems like the DNR has waited too long to address this problem, and now it may be too late. Close the season now, and then start your study. Put a bounty on coyotes. I own 800 acres that was loaded with turkeys and deer five years ago. Now the turkeys are gone, and the deer population has dramatically decreased. It’s not loss of habitat because the habitat has improved dramatically since then. Shorten the deer season, reduce the limit to one buck with a 16-inch spread. Two does… 10 does is ridiculous!
• We need to look at increasing the number of hunting days on WMAs. Nine days is not enough to hunt when you are working over half of them.
• Put a bounty on coyotes.
• If you manage your hunting lease and take time to plant and not shoot everything that you see, then you will have plenty of game. Stop wanting to change the regulations because of poor management practices. If that’s a problem for anyone, then hunt the management hunts on the WMAs. Stop punishing the private lease holders who spend the money and the time to do it right.
• I wish we would go to a one-buck limit. Have a shorter gun season and a longer bow season.
• Need more bow-only counties so we can grow more mature trophy bucks.
• Continue to see too many people’s dogs running around chasing and ruining our hunting opportunities. Owners put collars on these dogs, so they won’t be shot.
• Worried about CWD.
• Need more public land.
• In Lincoln County, we are being overrun by hogs. We have started harvesting but cannot keep up.
• Not sure what action can be taken or how to address it, but the state of Georgia should begin a feral hog eradication program.
• Deer season should be extended toward the end of January as the colder weather is during that time and deer are plentiful. Have a longer bow season and start gun season later in September or the first part of October.
• We have been on an Emanuel County lease for 31 years. We have great landowners, but stop balancing the budget on the back of non-residents. You would be surprised at the amount of money we spend in Georgia.
• Higher focus in coyote control.
• We definitely need better predator control.
• Need to shorten deer season as well as fewer doe days. Coyotes are devastating our deer herd.
• DNR should relax wild hog restrictions.
• Too many deer being killed in my area in Hancock County, leaving the population really down.
• Institute quality deer management similar to Dooly County where a buck has to have a 15-inch inside spread to be legal, and reduce the firearm season so to encourage more bowhunting. This will produce bigger bucks because fewer are being harvested.
• GON is a great magazine. I look forward to each month for a new issue. Keep up the great work.
• Change baiting laws to no baiting for deer. Reduce doe bag limit, raise opening day of dove season bag limit to 20, then 12 daily for remainder of season.
• I’ve been pretty happy with the deer numbers, keep up the good work.
• GON doing a good job.
• Deer limits should be lowered.
• I absolutely detest baiting for deer. I cannot believe DNR supports and permits this.
• Mainly turkey population in Clay County. Hogs have become a serious problem, and it’s not only hurting our turkeys, but we are seeing some issues in the deer hunting side, as well. Something needs to be done quickly or south Georgia will have serious issues in years to come.
• All good.
• Living out of state now. More than one week of doe days would help me fill my freezer since I am a meat hunter more than a big antler/trophy hunter.
• Possibly reduce the number of doe tags.
• Like to see some more counties with antler restrictions to produce bigger bucks.
• I think you should be allowed to carry a firearm on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property, and since the law allows for using corn or other feed materials on private property, it should include the corps property. We need to expand the use of public lands for hunting typically in my area for archery season.
• I would like to ride 4-wheeler on the road at a WMA.
• Please outlaw baiting again. I don’t believe in it. Not only do I think it is unethical, but it also gives the anti-hunting crowd a poor impression and a little more ammo.
• Too many hogs and coyotes, needs to be addressed.
• I hunt and fish regularly in Georgia and feel we have one of the best setups in the country.
• Deer bag limits need to be addressed. Too many deer are being shot every year.
• Would really love to see Georgia go to a managed state for bucks. There are enough deer out there if people are just meat hunters.
• Deer season dates should consider southern parts of the state differently. Too early, delay two weeks and add two weeks at end. Better weather and a lot of areas have later ruts.
• Being cut off from national forests on existing roads by landowners (gates with locks). We always had access to these roads and the national forests prior.
• Would love to see a comeback in quail.
• Bounty on coyotes.
• Doe days need to be reduced. Deer are not as plentiful as they used to be.
• Wish the state would do more for quail management, habitat at all WMAs.
• I inshore fish around St. Catherines quite a bit. The fishing for 2019 has been very slow compared to previous years, but the fall fishing has really turned on. People catching two limits in a day, over the limit, and I suspect selling fish (also happening with freshwater fish in the Ogeechee River). I very seldom, like never, see DNR. Not their fault because they are stretched too far. We have a great fishery, but a lot of old school, greedy people aren’t helping it. We need a slot size on spotted trout and restrict how many fish a guide party can have (remove guides limit). I fear we are headed to the limits that Florida has.
• I think we need a longer bow season and special dates throughout the season for firearms. I would also like to see restrictions on both antlered deer taken or the number reduced to one antlered deer per season.
• Would like to see a statewide antler restriction on both antlered deer tags.
• Think the bag limit for does is too high. Limit to five overall would be more reasonable.
• More bow-only WMAs.
• The volunteer partnership with farmers/DNR for bird hunting to me was a great program, and I would like to see it continued and expanded. Also what do we do about spotted bass and snakeheads?
• Need stronger penalties for poachers.
• These are some of the best times ever to deer hunt. I think the DNR should lower the antlerless limit to three.
• I wish Georgia would follow Kentucky or Kansas in how they manage wildlife.
• I would like to see Georgia start a coyote eradication program similar to what GON conducts in the spring.
• Reduce number of doe harvest.
• More access to public land.
• Need more ways to reduce the hog population. I’m not overrun with them in Columbia County but already seeing problems.
• Would love to see harsher punishment for poachers. We spend a lot of money every year keeping our game healthy for someone to steal our opportunity take a mature deer or turkey.
• Back the deer season up two to three weeks. Open bow season around Oct. 1.
• To improve turkey numbers, trapping of nest predators like raccoons and opossum should have a longer season. We should also be allowed to use snares for coyotes.
• Reduction in deer limits, although that will not keep some people from shooting too many.
• Statewide deer feeding is good for everyone. You won’t kill big bucks over feed, but the extra nutrition helps the does have healthy fawns, especially when mast is gone and before green-up.
• Everything is pretty good with me. It would be nice to make Northern Zone deer season stay open a little longer or even add a couple of weekends.
• I’m just glad I live in a state that understands hunting and fishing.
• Extend deer season statewide to the end of January. Bucks 4 or better only. Allow for purchase of one bonus 4-or-better buck tag.
• I would like to see the deer season shift to the right on the calendar. It’s too hot to hunt in September, and it would be nice to hunt into February when it’s cold.
• Go back to opening deer season in November and have a longer season into January like Alabama.
• Need to reduce doe tags to three.
• Should reduce number of does being killed.
• DNR is doing a great job overall. One question, why were the days open on Cedar Creek WMA cut back so severely in recent years for deer?
• Deer season needs to start in October and should be for archery and gun. There is no need for archery season. It is the hunters choice what weapon they use. Most archers hunt with a bow all season anyway and never change over to a rifle. So just have a deer season with hunters choice of weapon and shorten the season.
• Lots of talk about the doe hunting. Why not just reduce the doe harvest limit and still allow on national forest? Thinking about outcome on younger buck harvest instead of doe and then the reduction of mature bucks after a couple of years with this in effect.
• We need more DNR enforcement. Too much poaching, hunting out of season.
• I’m happy with the way things are.
• Need a regulation to allow landowners who manage deer population to harvest a cull buck that is not desirable in the deer population.
• The status of deer population health. Tuberculosis, mad cow. What are Georgians doing/need to do to stop these diseases?
• Seeing a real increase in poaching and trespassing. Ten does is too many.
• Would like to see the extended archery season given to metro counties go statewide.
• Need more rabbit hunting opportunities. There is no time for small game, it’s all about deer season.
• I think predators are a huge problem. I’ve rabbit hunted for many years and used to quail hunt, but those days are almost gone. I believe wild hogs are a huge problem, as well. I would like to see them eradicated, as well as the coyote.
• I would like to see a reduction in doe days during deer season.
• Need better control of the hog population.
• Coyotes MUST be taken out of our state some how, some way!
• While I was against QDM at first, I do see where it makes a difference. However, I still think allowances should be made for spouses, youth or first-time hunters to get the excitement of hunting. QDM doesn’t allow that.
• Shorter gun season.
• GA DNR officers are underpaid and understaffed (I am not one), and penalties for hunting on land without permission are not very stiff. They have low deterrent value.
• Hunters and fisherman need to pick up trash (corn bags)! Also help the slobs who can’t pick up their trash. It reflects on all of us.
• With regards to deer hunting, my personal feelings aside, I think any legally harvested deer should not be criticized. However, the trend, clearly and vastly is for hunters to harvest larger, more mature bucks. While hunters in general and the state to an extent have made strides to help achieve this, the overall age structure of our deer herd is skewed. With the exception of metro counties and areas closed for hunting, the vast majority of deer do not live to reach their peak maturation level (both sexes but predominantly bucks). It maybe wishful thinking but I’d love a look at reducing the amount of days allowed to use centerfire weapons. Other states to our west have very few days, if any, to hunt whitetail with a rifle. With almost a quarter of the year being open to rifle hunting, the opportunity for the less mature deer to be shot is greatly amplified, and I’m a rifle hunter. You factor in primitive weapons and extended season for metro and you are up to a six-month season for deer. What other states that consistently produce P&Y and B&C caliber deer do that? I understand push back is sometimes intense because people fear change. Baiting was passed statewide yet there are still deer alive today. With the availability to harvest 10-plus does per hunter per year, there is substantial opportunity to fill the freezer.
• Too many deer being killed by hunters and coyotes.
• I think the wildlife department does a good job. The proof of that is the deer density throughout the state and the opportunities to hunt both big game and small game and the good waters we have to fish.
• Turkeys are getting more rare by the minute in Lamar and Monroe counties. Need to put a bounty on coyotes and predators.
• I am really proud on the effort by hunters and landowners in my part of Jones County in trophy management.
• Need to get more kids involved in the outdoors.
• There needs to be a shotgun season for deer in Clayton County.
• I wish that there were more gun dates on Cedar Creek WMA, and I would like to see the state of Georgia have more opportunities for veterans to hunt government land. The state of Florida has a program called Operation Outdoor Freedom. It is an excellent program. Georgia could do something like it.
• Take a kid hunting and fishing!
• The number of does allowed should be reduced to six and bucks increased to three.
• I would like to see the buck limit increase to three with two bucks having at least 4 points on one side. I think a larger majority of hunters now hunt for good bucks more than meat. Killing a good buck early in the season causes a hunter to spend the rest of the season letting other good bucks walk that need to be taken out of the herd due to not wanting to use their last buck tag and ends up with only one buck for the season.
• Wild hogs and coyotes continue to be a big problem in middle Georgia.
• The cost of licenses for out-of-state hunters is well below the national average. The amount of deer out-of-state hunters can harvest is too high. Out-of-state hunters should not be allowed to harvest that many deer.
• Wild hogs are decimating land and turkey habitat in Morgan County.
• I would like to have DNR add the 25 caliber airguns for small-game hunting. They say 30 caliber is fine for big game and 22 caliber or smaller for small game. This leaves 25 caliber out of completely. I moved to Georgia three years ago with a 25 cal. Hatsan pcp rifle that is very accurate, but they seem to have forgotten 25 caliber in the regulations with great success. I used it for hunting squirrels out west. Here it seems to be a forgotten caliber.
• Eliminate baiting.
• Senior citizen fees. I spend a ton of money maintaining my camp year-round.
• Deer harvest should promote better quality harvests. Both bucks taken should be quality managed, but allow youth to take a young buck. Move rifle season one week later.
• I think there should be more open hunting on WMAs that you don’t have to be drawn for, just sign in and go hunting.
• Suggest a reduction in the number of deer allowed to be taken. Five total is plenty.
• Still not a fan of baiting, but with every property around baiting, I’m forced to do the same if I want to keep deer on my land. It is getting very expensive.
• What and when will help arrive with the hog issues?
• The limit for antlerless deer is too high in Georgia.
• Looking for more opportunities to hunt either in clubs or on public lands.
• I would like to see harsher penalties on the people who abuse or violate game laws, hunting and fishing. I feel that most get a slap on the wrist and pay a small fine, and they’re back at it. Seems they don’t care about the consequences because it really doesn’t affect them.
• Seeing more deer now than past years.
• Statewide QDM.
• Deer limit too high, needs to be two bucks 4-points or better and five does.
• We should be allowed to hunt pigs and coyote on WMA land with our choice of weapon at any time, other than during scheduled deer/bear hunts.
• Love the GON magazine. Merry Christmas.
• I would like to see a break in the season like it used to be with two weeks in December.
• The annual deer limit should be reduced to three tags like it was in the 1980s. It’d be nice to see more deer while you are in the stand.
• Reduce number of deer tags.
• Need to do something about hogs and coyotes.
• We need an earlier and longer muzzleloader season, at least three weeks.
• There should be a discount for purchasing multiple years or multiple licenses.
• Reduce doe limit.
• Twiggs County has a one-day bear season during deer season. With baiting deer legal, it is almost impossible to bag a bear that does not have bait in its belly. Make baiting bears legal.
• Reduce the number of does harvested, reduce length of deer season.
• Just a thought for a survey question. It seemed that my deer were a lot more nocturnal this year, and I think it was due to everyone feeding them corn.
• Thanks for your hard work to keep Georgia’s wildlife abundant for our future generations.
• If possible, put large bounty on coyotes.
• Some WMAs stop allowing gun deer hunting before Thanksgiving. It would be nice to have a chance to deer gun hunt up until the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
• Purchasing license online is confusing as to which licenses are needed. I have bought more licenses than actually needed on accident twice in four years.
• Deer season needs to go to the end of January.
• Kill a yote and save some wildlife.
• I regret the decision was made to legalize baiting statewide. It is hard for me to defend hunting as fair and ethical when people are shooting deer as they stand under a feeder.
• Would like to see a fee for quota hunts and use the fee to purchase more land and manage the lands that are already under management.
• We need to change tagging system to waterproof tag on deer before moving deer from site of kill. One buck and three doe system. Processors not allowed to take deer not tagged.
• I think some more of Forsyth County should be archery only. We have hunters using high-powered rifles in way too populated areas. The Shady Grove and Pilgrim Mill areas in Forsyth County are highly populated with homes and deer.
• Hunters are concerned about the coyote population. Too many people have trail cams with coyotes with fawns or turkeys. The population is increasing and should have more effort to reduce the population by the state. A large bounty would help, paid out from hunting fees.
• Do not agree with the new regulations allowing the use of bait for deer hunting. That is not hunting but simply harvesting deer and unethical as far as I’m concerned. It should be repealed. Every deer organization was against it, as was the Georgia legislature, but the governor disregarded all this and by executive order made it law. That’s wrong.
• Bring back a reasonable deer season, this 4 1/2-month season is ridiculous. Bowhunting in 98-degree temps is borderline insanity.
• Take away rifle season for six months out of the year, and we will get a better deer herd. Let’s have 14 to 21 days of rifle season after the rut, and we will be a destination hunting state like Midwest states.
• Need more game wardens and stiffer penalties for game violations.
• Please have more educational articles about our turkey population and management practices. Only around turkey season we see updates. If we had more articles and conversation around turkey management, more people would take action.
• For me, cold weather seems to be when I see the most deer, but the season tends to end just as hunting is at its prime. Would like to see a two-week to one-month shift later for the season to extend rifle into more colder weeks/months.
• I’d like to see more public fishing docks along the rivers in the Coosa Valley area. We have limited access to fish the rivers from land. Some of the river banks are high and wooded. I think if you started a program where some private landowners would grant access to the rivers, it would be great. Similar to how we have access to hunting privately owned land through the state programs.
• Need to be some regulation statewide on dogs running loose in the country. They are running my deer off my Monroe County land, and I’m tired of it. If you catch a dog on a trail camera on your deer land and can confirm who it belongs to, those people should get fined extensively. Too much money is spent on hunting, corn and food plots for dogs to come in during the fall and run all the deer off you worked hard to keep there over the summer.
• Southwest Georgia needs to delay opening day of deer season and extend it to the end with bucks only at the end. Rutting in our region is still happening in February.
• Wish state would go to less doe days, lower doe limit and have more county antler restrictions.
• Coyotes need to educate the public and maybe better incentives for trapping or hunting this invasive species.
• They can eliminate dove season altogether as far as I’m concerned.
• Shorten deer firearms season, cut bag limits on deer 50% across the board to one buck and half as many does. Count WMA kills in total bag limit.
• Appreciate the opportunity to hunt whitetail deer in Georgia.
• We still need to reduce the number of doe days and the antlerless limit.
• Most hunting clubs limit members to one or two does per member with most members not even harvesting any does. It would be helpful if the DNR would stress to hunting clubs that it’s beneficial to the herd to actually harvest more does.
• Shorten deer season.
• Stricter buck harvest. Allow bucks to reach maturity. Start season later, let it end Jan. 31. I think we can all agree mid October and mid 90 degrees is still a little warm. Deer prefer to move in cooler weather.
• Need to address the reduction of deer in the north Georgia mountains. Too many bears and coyotes eating the fawns in summer.
• How to stop poachers?
• I believe the harvest of 12 deer a year is extremely too much. Need to go back to three does and two bucks.
• Excessive coyote populations are likely hurting the turkey numbers. Would be good to see a study of exactly why the decline.
• Non-resident landowners who paid a lot of money for their properties and are paying taxes to the state of Georgia should not be paying $328 for a hunting license. That is wrong!
• Is hunting over bait going to destroy deer population numbers? Our observation is area hunters are hunting corn feeders and not engaging in managed food plots and season-long wildlife fields. We do not feed corn, but every deer harvested (all during the rut) on our property had been eating corn on adjacent properties. Local feed stores report a boom in corn sales this year. A study or survey should be considered to evaluate the extent of feeder hunting and the number of deer harvested.
• Thanks for a great magazine. I look forward to it each month.
• Make the whole state QDM with no bucks taken with antlers not outside the ears except for youth hunts.
• Thank you for all you do. We need to keep working on the kids, so our hunting traditions don’t fade.
• I have been disappointed with you guys for a while. In 2014, I shot the state-record turkey with a bow, then followed it up with nice bow turkeys in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Two were shot the first week of the season and I sent in pics the day of harvest. None made it in the turkey update article, only gun kills were shown. I shot two 130-class bucks with my bow, sent in pics and neither of them were shown either. Then the big disappointment. I have had the P&Y record for Monroe County since 2007. My buck scored 152 6/8 net, 158 1/8 gross. Last season a 156 velvet buck replaced it as the No. 1 Monroe County bow buck. OK, this is just wrong. Pope & Young has a separate category for velvet bucks because on average they score 10% higher. A gun record will never be replaced by one because there are no velvet bucks in gun season. Please consider changing this while I consider whether to re-new my subscription. Thank you.
• Concerned that baiting will adversely impact the non-hunting public’s perception of hunting as a sport and ultimately undermine support for it.
• Really like quota and WMA hunts.
• GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com to sign-in or check-in website does not work half the time. It needs to be greased up.
• We need to be diligent in making changes to keep our deer population up. If we don’t make changes, then we will keep losing our deer herd. Our children will not be able to experience the great hunting we had during the 1990s.
• Do away with hunting over corn. Leave the deer season dates as they are.
• I am happy with the job the state of Georgia is doing.
• There should be more emphasis on reducing the hog and coyote populations.
• Lack of younger hunters. Population of hunters is dropping.
• Georgia needs better boat ramps for Lake Hartwell. Or at least better maintain the ones they have. There’s constantly people cruising boat ramps looking to steal something from parked vehicles. I’m nearly scared to go out of sight of the truck and trailer because of this.
• The number of does allowed to be harvested should be reduced to two per year. Four deer is ample for any family, two does and two bucks.
• Would like to see doe limits reduced to maybe five. Also have doe days end as of Dec. 1, no does in December and January.
• Need to reduce the number of does allowed to be taken each year. Even if you cut it in half, that is still five does and two bucks. That is more than sufficient for each hunter.
• Too many does killed now. Lower the limit to five.
• I’m too lazy and too cheap to bait for deer. However, I wouldn’t do it anyway. Kind of defeats the purpose of learning your game and figuring out the natural way to intercept where it’s going to be.
• Greatest magazine out there.
• My 12-year-old grandson is turning into quite the hunter (finally). Last October, he took his first three squirrels, mostly on his own. I’m proud.
• Georgia should offer a landowner’s license for out-of-state residents. I recently moved out of state, even though I still own property and pay taxes in Georgia. I was forced to pay outrageous out-of-state license fees. Ridiculous!
• The number of deer you can kill should be lowered to somewhere around three to five per year.
• Need a longer deer season.
• I think the bear season with dogs needs to be extended into all the mountain counties—Rabun, Towns, Habersham, Union, etc.
• Reduce number of doe tags.
• We have got to figure out a way to manage hogs.
• Dog hunting deer should be phased out. There is no way to have quality deer when there is dog hunting in your hunting area. Typically dog/deer hunters shoot everything that the dogs run, which hurts the quality of deer on their tract, as well as surrounding tracts of land.
• I wish the whole state would move to quality buck regs with a 4-points-on-one-side rule or minimum spread. It increases the buck sightings, buck-to-doe ratios and would make the state more attractive for hunters to invest in.
• I’d like to see deer season pushed back a whole month. I don’t care a thing about sweltering in the September heat. Let’s bowhunt all of October and have a week of muzzleloader beginning the last Saturday in October. Then modern firearms all the way until the end of January. I think hunters would still kill enough does to keep the insurance companies at bay. Love the publication. It’s the only periodical that I subscribe to that gets read every month.
• Season is too long. Killing mature does is like killing three deer at a time.
• Wood ducks are the primary species in Georgia. We see hundreds if not thousands every year and often only see 100 or less ducks of other species. The bag limit for wood ducks should be four.
• If Georgia would consider the bag limits and shorter seasons like other states, this would (in a few years) begin to produce trophy whitetails that would draw hunters to the area. This would increase revenue that could be put back into wildlife resources. Another point would be for the responsible people to work the food plots on government land. In the northern part of the state, these go untouched. They should at least provide an area for youth and handicapped hunting, but nothing is done in these areas. It might be that Georgia needs to close whitetail season for a few years or institute “quality-buck” regulations. But again I’m sure the biologist know best? Or ask them, they will tell you. It’s like talking to a brick wall.
• Educate hunters on how to help decrease the coyote population.
• DNR should offer free trapping classes.
• Start deer season later.
• Raise license fees on out-of-state hunters and add charge per deer. They cause the lease costs for Georgians to skyrocket.
• Wish archery season would open up a little earlier or firearms a little later. Once the popping of firearms start, it seems to be much harder to get in close with the big ones. Also wish there were more WMAs, but that’s probably only due to the nearest ones to me are many miles away.
• I believe that allowing the north to hunt over bait for deer was a key factor for us this year. I am not a big fan of the regulation, since I do not think it is quite “sporting.” I cannot deny the fact that this was my first harvest in seven years.
• Reducing the buck limit to one and reducing the number of does.
• Would like to see the total deer harvest allowance be five instead of 12. I know hunters are killing way more deer than necessary.
• Wish there’d be statewide buck restrictions to an 18-inch main beam or a 15-inch spread.
• I believe that the harvest limit for deer is outrageously high, particularly for antlerless deer. I have an ethical bias against hunting deer over bait, a true sportsman would never do it, even though it is allowed.
• Feral hogs are our biggest problem in Sumter County. They’re destroying all our precious habitat and have impacted our deer herd.
• Just my opinion, but I would vote to take deer season back to end on Jan. 1 . Most of the does are bred by then and no need to have season after that date. Predators are still a problem.
• Bow season needs to start a couple weeks earlier.
• Would like to see archery season start later. It’s so hot most people don’t even bother, and those who do aren’t enjoying it.
• I think you guys are doing a good job.
• I personally think the harvest for deer should be lower. The buck harvest is good with one having to have 4 points or better, but the 10-doe harvest is extreme. Possibly five would be sufficient, if not less.
• Need more checks by wardens on put in and take out points on the upper Ocmulgee River, and we need a no limit on spotted bass on the Flint and Ocmulgee. They have taken over the other bass in these two rivers. Also, we need a length limit on shoal bass on the Ocmulgee. We know they are not native there, but we have them now and need to work to save them before the spotted bass takes over the whole river system.
• I believe certain counties, if not the whole state, need to work more toward quality buck management, such as Macon/Dooly counties. It would help Georgia grow bigger deer if people had to only shoot bucks with a 15-inch spread, etc.
• We should do more with our lakes to improve habitat and forage for largemouth bass. Hardly any of our lakes have numerous bass in the 5- to 7-lb. range. Alabama, Tennessee and Florida have lakes with many quality bass in that weight range.
• I wish we started deer season a little later, so it could go on a little longer at the end. Down in south Georgia, most of the time it’s hot until December, and we don’t really have the rut until late December and early January.
• I think that disabled veterans should receive free hunting licenses no matter what percentage they are as long as it’s a service connected disability. This should really be brought up with the state when licensing fees get looked into again.
• Extend the season to the end of January in Cherokee County.
• Too many poachers trespassing.
• Why is it that deer processors in Georgia cannot process feral hogs without a license, while this is apparently legal in N.C., S.C. and Alabama? We have a hog problem, and this discourages hunters from taking hogs.
• I really wish dove season would not come in during archery season. Once the guns start going off, even if it’s after doves, the deer get noticeably skittish.
• Stock more walleye in Lake Lanier.
• I would love to see our deer season dates pushed back further in the year. Archery end of September and rifle starting around Nov. 1.
• No doe days after Thanksgiving weekend.
• Trespassing is a major problem. Georgia needs to strengthen its trespassing laws. In Washington County, I spend a lot of time, sweat and money managing my farm for quality deer and turkey hunting only to have trespassers steal the results of my efforts.
• Fishing should be limited to not more than four rods per person when trolling. More should require a commercial license.
• Baiting in the Northern Zone seemed to have produce a healthy hunting ground in Gilmer County. Baiting sites and food plots is where the most coyotes were sited or caught on camera this year.
• Limited number of days to hunt on some of the largest WMAs. It is bad when you have only 10 days on 16,000 acres.
• I think Georgia allows for too many does to be taken.
• Reduce overall deer limit, especially in the north.
• I believe the antlerless deer limit is too high.
• More legal ways to trap coyotes.
• Still hearing folks talk about harvesting more bucks than the rules allow for. I don’t know how to remedy this, but I hope people will consider following the established regs.
• Should put more counties in trophy management.
• Poaching on private property in Clay County continues to be a problem.
• Bow season is simply too hot. Takes a lot of joy out of bowhunting when it’s 98 degrees and you have to walk a mile through public land because gates are closed on WMAs. Move bow season, or deer season in general, forward a couple of weeks. Maybe then bowhunters will be able to partake in acorn mast, cooler weather and see some actual daylight deer movement.
• If you want to hunt deer, go to another state.
• I think we need a reduction in antlerless tags and maybe even go to a one-buck limit.
• Hogs and “hunters” hunting over bait. Since the law was passed to allow hunting over corn, so called hunters have poured tons of corn out. This has only increased the hog population, which is now a epidemic. Deer populations have suffered, and hunting as we once knew it is gone.
• Satisfied with current regulations.
• All of Georgia needs to be under quality buck management.
• I would love to see a list of the record bucks by counties. Editor’s Note: GON has kept these rankings for more than 20 years. Refer to your October issue of GON.
• I would like to see less does shot. Go back to tags and go to two bucks and three does. That would have a positive impact on the deer herd.
• Would like to see deer season shortened, maybe archery three weeks, muzzleloader maybe three days, no does and season open maybe second or third week in November and a bonus hunt for one week the third week of December.
• I would like to see the harvest limits reduced to two bucks and three does before we overharvest and be in the same boat as we are with the turkey population.
• Keep up the good work.
• In Elbert County, there is agricultural waste/ industrial waste that is polluting the area. The dumping is poisoning wildlife in the area and has destroyed Anthony Shoals. Elbert County is not the only county being affected by the dumping. There is also dumping in Wilkes and Oglethorpe counties. I would like to see GON be more pro-active in protecting our hunting and fishing resources. For more information contact Anthony Shoals Preservation Group.
• I’ve been a Georgia hunter for 33 of my 39 years and truly believe the vast majority of deer hunters would like to see some season changes to allow for more mature bucks. Going to one buck per person, extended archery season and lowering the number of days we have rifle season would help. We have one of the most liberal gun seasons in all the South. We need to look at Kentucky as an example. Look at the bucks coming out of metro Atlanta. There is no agriculture helping those bucks put on inches. It’s all age and genetics, and I’d speculate to say more age.
• Maybe the DNR could offer an incentive for using the harvest record. I think harvest records can provide very good data if all hunters, or at least the majority of hunters, played by the rules. I don’t think that is the case right now, especially when it comes to turkey hunting. I would also like to see more incentives placed on predator hunting. The coyotes seem to be getting out of hand where I hunt.
• I think that we should reduce the number of deer harvest back to five, three does and two bucks. We do this on our club to make sure that younger kids see deer when they go hunting.
• Would like the deer harvest cut down to six, three does and three bucks with the third outside the ears and 8 or better.
• John’s Mountain WMA needs to be closed to deer hunting for a few years, and restocking needs to happen. When opened back up, it should be put in the quota system like it used to be in the early 80s when it was a great place to hunt. When it was taken out of the quota system is when it started going downhill.
• I think that Georgia should raise the out-of-state hunter license fees by four times.
• Extend gun season until the end of January.
• Thanks for keeping hunters informed!
• I wished the state would implement some kind of feeding program on these state park lands with deer population problems. Either food plots or feeders at least through the winter months. The feeders could be taken up for the hunts. I went on the Tugaloo State Park archery hunt and took a 2 1/2-year-old buck that only weighed 70 pounds. It’s terrible the shape these deer are in.
• Please continue to pressure legislators to consult Georgia hunters and outdoor sportsmen before drafting legislation that will affect the entire state.
• One buck per hunter during a season. This way there are not a lot of young bucks killed.
• Thanks to you guys at GON for all you do for this great state I was born and raised hunting and fishing in. If GON was around when my granddad was alive, his farming would have failed due to spending all his time in the magazine.
• There needs to be more bear hunting days in Twiggs, Bleckley and Houston counties. We are covered up in bears. We have at least 10 different bears operating on my little 100-acre tract. The big one that was hit in Bleckley was one that frequented my stand and the one that was just poached in Bleckley. I’m on the Twiggs/Bleckley border. I can’t tell you how much equipment I’ve lost to bears.
• Georgia needs to stop the baiting for deer to help reduce the risk of CWD. It’s called hunting not fishing. People need to stop being lazy and learn to hunt. I’m killing quality bucks in Catoosa County. I hold the country record, and we do not allow baiting on our club. We do our scouting and put in our time in the stands. We work for the deer. We hunt the way it’s supposed to be done.
• Deer season should begin on Oct. 1 and end Feb. 15. Rifle season would begin Nov. 7. Primitive weapon would be the first week in November. This will allow the weather to cool down and fall food plots to be planted. Fawns would be older and stronger, increasing their chance of survival after their mother is shot during bow season.
• We have the Lanahassee WMA next to our Webster County property. We also have a 270-acre lease in Stewart County that borders the Hannahatchee Creek WMA. Both have significant wild hog populations. If the state isn’t going to do anything to reduce the hog population, they could at least open these WMA areas up to hog hunting throughout the year or at least selective dates during the spring and summer months. I know people would take advantage of the opportunity to take a few hogs.
• Make the whole state 4 points on one side or more.
• It saddens me that hunting over corn was legalized. But it doesn’t surprise me because our culture teaches us to take the easiest route rather than work for anything. I just finished my 44th deer season in Georgia and took my best deer yet this year. I also took a second very respectable buck and have yet to purchase a bag of corn.
• Wish December was shotgun and muzzleloader only and that they would reduce doe tags to three and let you purchase an additional three tags to be used any day if you wanted.
• Deer season should end on Jan. 1 in my opinion.
• Deer gun season is too long. Go back to opening on Halloween weekend through the first week or two of December and then close for a few weeks and open back up around Christmas.
• How do you go about removing the quality buck regs from Talbot County? We have mature 6-point bucks that we cannot harvest. With the statewide regulation of one buck must be 4 points on one side, I do not see the need for the additional regulation in Talbot County. I think it drives up lease prices. For all the years that this has been in place, Talbot County is not a top buck producing county.
• Great fishing year-round.
• I would like to see deer season in the south region begin later. The season, of course, would end later.
• Need season to extend through January. We have a late run in southwest Georgia.
• Just really hoping we can find out why our turkey population has reduced so bad.
• Doe limit is too liberal. We do not need to continue to kill the future of the herd.
• I feel the deer hunting in north Georgia since allowing baiting on private land has pulled what deer that we have had in the mountains down to the private land where people can sit on their porches and kill the deer in their yard. It’s sad to see all these deer killed in that way, and if that is what people call hunting these days and putting all these deer on social media knowing they killed these deer over a big corn pile, then I want no part of that style of hunting.
• Need to consider reducing the antlerless deer harvest. Ten is way too many. Would like to see the deer season shortened.
• Go back to two bucks and three does limit.
• I enjoy your magazine.
• I hunt the Southern Zone where we are still overrun with too many does. I appreciate all that you do at GON. Hopefully you can help keep the momentum going to kill more coyotes all season because of their numbers.
• I think the licenses are still too cheap. The extra revenue would be a benefit to hiring and retaining rangers.
• Firearms season should start one week later and close one week later.
• Wish they would go to 4 points on one side in Putnam County. My neighbors shoot anything that they see. Wish it would change so the bucks could mature.
• DNR needs to address the coyote situation. Coyotes are a problem for all wildlife.
• Poor hunting season due to losing all hunting rights to land just before season started. I literally had no place to go!
• They need to keep things the way they are. I have been hunting for 59 years. The last change they made I almost stopped hunting, having to check game on the phone is bull. Who ever came up with this? Just sit around playing with their phone and have never hunted a day in their life. I tell my grandkids they keep changing things. They find something to do besides hunting. This is why they don’t have new hunters. I just like to hunt and be left alone.
• Thanks for the quality magazine and look forward to many more anticipated issues to come.
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