Guns In The Deer Woods: 2019 Primitive Weapons, Special Youth Season Start Saturday

GON Staff | October 8, 2019

The sounds of rifles and muzzleloaders will echo through the Georgia deer woods beginning at daylight this Saturday morning, Oct. 12.

The Georgia primitive-weapons deer season opens Oct. 12, and Oct. 12-18 is also the special week for youth deer hunters when kids 15 and younger can hunt deer with modern firearms. The exception is for the archery-only counties of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton (north of GA Highway 92), where firearms and muzzleloaders are not allowed for deer hunting.

Georgia has long had a primitive-weapons season, a week where muzzleloader hunters could get in the deer woods before the general firearms season opens. Several years ago, the youth season was added that ran in conjunction with the primitive-weapons season. Now, youth 15 years old and younger can hunt deer with regular firearms the week before the general gun season opens.

There has been some confusion that mobility-impaired deer hunters could also hunt with modern firearms during this week. That is not the case, according to Ted Will, WRD Game Management Chief.

Ted said he thinks the confusion over a season for mobility-impaired hunters comes from the Special Opportunity season for turkey hunters, when both youth and mobility-impaired hunters can turkey hunt the weekend before the regular season opens for everyone else. That’s not the case for deer hunters—only youth 15 and younger can deer hunt with modern firearms beginning Oct. 12, not mobility-impaired deer hunters.

There are other regulations hunters should be aware of during the primitive-weapons week. Hunter orange is required for all deer hunters, including archery hunters, beginning Oct. 12. Scopes are legal on muzzleloaders for Georgia deer hunting. Air rifles of .30 cal or larger and air bows are also now legal during primitive-weapons.

Of course, archery hunting is still allowed during the primitive-weapons and throughout the firearms seasons (don’t forget your hunter orange), and archery hunters can kill either sex, both bucks and does, throughout the seasons, except as otherwise specified on WMAs and on the Chattahoochee National Forest east of I-75, which is buck-only through all seasons.

Last year, Leannda Black took took advantage of the special youth firearms season for kids 15 and younger. She downed this Elbert County 11-point buck on the Saturday morning of the 2018 youth firearms season. This buck was entered in GON’s Youth Big-Buck Contest and the Truck-Buck Contest


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