Gun Season Opens Tomorrow, Make Sure You’re Legal

Lots of counties have buck-only regs as firearms deer season opens Oct. 22, and new this season is mandatory reporting of harvest through Game Check.

GON Staff | October 21, 2016

It’s finally going to feel like fall for Georgia deer hunters who hit the woods for opening morning of the firearms deer season tomorrow, Oct. 22. Chilly winds will have leaves—and acorns—raining from the trees, and Georgia deer hunters across the state will be hoping for some opening-day magic.

In many counties, that magic better have antlers… antlerless deer are off-limits for a while across much of the state.

For the past several seasons, the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division has brought back buck-only and either-sex regulations for gun hunters in many counties that for decades allowed both bucks or does to be taken every day of deer season. Make sure you know the deer hunting regulations regarding buck-only dates for the county you’re hunting.

Bowhunters in all counties can still harvest either-sex deer with bows or crossbows on any day during the state’s deer season.

Another new regulation for Georgia deer hunters this season is the mandatory Game Check system. Any deer killed in Georgia must be reported to the state with 72 hours. Game Check actually became mandatory for turkey hunters last spring, although participation by hunters was slim. Under the new regulation, hunters who don’t report within 72 hours any deer or turkey killed in Georgia face a misdemeanor violation.

The easiest way to report a harvest through Game Check is with the Outdoors Georgia app, if you have a smartphone. A deer kill can also be reported online at, or you can report by phone at (800) 366-2661. For more information on Game Check, see the article that GON published back during turkey season.

If you have some opening-weekend success in the Georgia deer woods, make sure to share a picture with GON. Send pictures and caption info to [email protected].

If you are a GON subscriber, enter the buck in the GON Truck-Buck Contest for the chance to win a new Chevy pick-up truck from John Megel Chevy or a Beast Ultimate Hunting Buggy. The Shoot-Out winner also gets 2,000 pounds of Meadows Edge Deer Fuel.

In addition to the grand prizes, the best buck each week of deer season earns a Mathews bow, Browning rifle or CVA muzzleloader. Plus, each week another hunter wins a prize package including a Hunter Safety System Pro Series Harness, a personalized Realtree sponsor jersey and a package of Tink’s scents and lures. And there are wildcard winners for the best buck entered by a female, youth and the best buck taken on public-land. Those wildcard winners earn multi-tools from Havalon Knives

There are more than 80 prizes awarded each season in GON’s Truck-Buck Contest.

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