New to hunting in GA


May 1, 2013, 03:59 PM
Hello Folks!
I'm a longtime member and I'm relatively proficient with most firearms but I'm not much of a hunter. I would really like to get into hunting but I'm not sure where to start. I've read through the GA DNR handbook but to be honest it can be quite confusing for a person who is not familiar with "hunting culture."
Here's what I could use some help with:
-What do I need to be legal?
-Where are some good areas to hunt if I don't have private land?
-What game/season is good for a beginner?
-What else do I need to I know?
Your help is very much appreciated!
All the best!

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May 1, 2013, 04:10 PM
What do you want to hunt?
Small game
upland game
big game

All are different from the other and most utilize different weapons

May 1, 2013, 04:32 PM
Where In GA?

Turkey season ends in 2 weeks and nothing else is open until Aug. 15 when squirrel season opens so you have plenty of time to research.

It would be hard to go wrong with squirrel on public land early on before deer season gets started as a beginner. Deer season ends Jan. 1 in the North, jan 15 in the south and turkey doesn't start till mid March. The dead time in between is my favorite time to get out and squirrel hunt.

Plenty of Natonal Forest in the northern 1/4 of the state. At least some all over, but large tracts in the northern mountains. You can also hunt many Wildlife Management Areas spread all over the state. Hunting WMA's is a great way to go,but pay very careful attention to the regs. It can get complex. Most have very specific dates they are open, and which game can be hunted at that time. It is easy to show up for a small game hunt and find yourself illegally hunting squirrel while a deer hunt is in progress. Most just require you to sign in, others require you to sign up for a lottery and get picked to hunt.

You'll need a license. A Sportsmans license is the easiest way to go. About $60 last time I looked and it covers all hunting and fishing for 1 year. If you waterfowl hunt you'd also need a Federal Duck stamp. I bought a lifetime license for $500 about 8 years ago and will never have to pay to hunt or fish in GA for the rest of my life even if I move away. I haven't paid much attention to license fees since so I could be off a little on the prices. You can also buy specific licenses piecemeal if you don't want to buy everything. If you don't want to hunt deer, bear, or turkey you don't need a big game license.

May 1, 2013, 06:38 PM
First thing you need to do is take a "Hunter Safety Course". YOu will need it to get your license. During the course most all of your questions will be answered.

May 1, 2013, 06:48 PM
Another tip, try to find a "Hunting Mentor" that can show how to hunt. The stuff on TV is not how the real world is.

You will need to learn how to spot deer and other game without be "busted". Go out to the woods real early, sit and listen. Learn that a squirell looking for nuts on dead leaves makes more noise than the deer watching you watch the squirell.

May 1, 2013, 07:03 PM
Good tip on the hunter safety course. You can do it online, but you still have to show up in person to take a test.

May 2, 2013, 10:24 AM
hunter's safety courses are free of charge here, I'm not sure if that's everywhere but I think it's free or cheap everywhere. It's not hard, it's general information, but the teacher should be able to answer any questions you have and that's where they are most useful (question/answer period).
Deer are a great way to start hunting IF YOU CAN FIND PRIVATE LAND! If you are going to be exclusively on public land stay away from deer hunting until you have a few small game seasons under your belt. It's hard to learn to deer hunt with other people walking around and it will just frustrate you.
I didn't have any other hunters in my family and had to learn on my own. Remember that while the internet can be a great resource, it can also be a detriment. Whatever you read about hunting, check it with regulations and with common sense. Don't buy every product that claims it will make you a great hunter, don't wash your clothes in detergent with UV intensifiers, and be safe. I wish you luck!

May 4, 2013, 12:43 AM
Hey guys,
Thanks for all of the information and tips. I will find a hunter safety course to take and just start from there. Any other tidbits or nuggets of valuable information would be appreciated.
All the best!

Art Eatman
May 4, 2013, 09:25 AM
Beaucoup little things which are part of the learning curve.

Patience: Learn how to think like a stump; it doesn't move.

Practice walking as quietly as you can. One trick is to glance down and pick the next three or four steps. Take them, looking around as you do. Repeat. That way, you can move along slowly while observing the area around you. Stepping on sticks or rolling rocks doesn't help at all.

Spend as much time as you can in the boonies, learning about game trails, the paths from bedding areas to food or water.

From just before sunrise on to an hour or so later is a time of movement. Same for late afternoon until dark. Those are times to sit where you can watch the world around you, whether on a hillside or in a tree stand.

May 4, 2013, 10:44 AM
If you try deerhunting,the 2 hours after sunrise are a time to sit quietly watching deer trails.The last hour before sunset is good also,but be there before then.Very important-take a flashlight for after dark trailing that deer you hit.

May 4, 2013, 11:03 AM
Buy an inexpensive air rifle like a Sheridan Blue Streak for practice. You will look back years from now and recall what great fun you've had with it.

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