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maybe a dumb question?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Greell, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. Greell

    Greell Well-Known Member

    I am wondering about open-carry in GA mountains. I would be going with someone to do geological surveys , say in the north georgia mountains area. Is it legal to open carry a rifle in the woods like that or is it required to have some sort of hunting license in order for it to be permitted (perhaps a rifle is excessive, but maybe not :p )
  2. mc223

    mc223 Well-Known Member

    I'd carry if I was there. Never know when them "Deliverance" boys might show up.
  3. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure, ask over in the legal section.:)
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

  5. Greell

    Greell Well-Known Member

    im more of a handgun person, but I am buying a new AR-15, so I take it by this quote that open carry with it is acceptable in the north GA mountains, assuming I have a valid hunting license---- unless anyone else interpreted it differently?
  6. Mojo-jo-jo

    Mojo-jo-jo Well-Known Member

    First of all, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

    Open carry of a rifle is legal in Georgia. However, I wouldn't be concerned about carry law in this case, but game law.

    If the game warden catches you in the woods with a rifle he will assume you are hunting whether you really are or not. You will likely be charged with poaching if you don't have a hunting license.

    Rifle deer season ends in north GA Jan. 1 2008. You will probably be in trouble if caught in the woods with a rifle after that date license or not.

    If we are still in deer season when you are here, wear blaze orange or you might get shot!! In fact, I would wear blaze orange this time of year regardless whether the season is still on or not--archery will still be going until the 15th, and poachers will be out as long as the deer are. Edit: Archery ends Jan 1 as well. South GA will be in season until Jan 15, and Metro ATL area will be in season until the 31st.

    If you stay on private property, none of this should really be an issue. Warden can still bust you for "poaching", but probably won't be looking as hard on private property.

    If you have a carry permit that is valid in Georgia, I would just carry a good handgun instead. It would be much more of a stretch to get a poaching case to stick if you were carrying a handgun with your permit.

    That said, be sure you stay out of wildlife management areas with ANY firearm unless you have a rare, very coveted WMA endorsed hunting license. I nearly got jacked up by a game warden because I was a moron once. Not hunting--but had firearms in a vehicle in a WMA. We were nearly arrested and almost got several firearms confiscated, but the warden finally realized that we were just a bunch of morons, not poachers and ordered us to leave post haste--with which we gladly complied. I learned two things from this incident: that game wardens mean SERIOUS BUSINESS and that a CCW permit does not trump poaching charges. The only reason we got let off the hook is that none of us were carrying on person and none of the firearms were loaded. We had recently left a range and had not loaded back up yet, but went sightseeing instead of taking the most direct route out.

    State parks are off limits by codified statute as well.

    Good luck with your survey.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2007
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    WMA stamps are hardly rare or coveted. They can be picked up at any place that sells hunting licenses for less than $20. That said , firearms are not allowed on WMA's unless hunting. Sounds like you just ran into a game warden who was a jerk. As long as the guns were inside the vehicle and unloaded there is no law broken. Read the hunting regs.
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Another thought. Squirrell season in Georgia runs from Aug. 15 through the end of February. Turkey season opens in mid-March and runs until mid-May. If you have the proper hunting licenses you can legally carry a gun in Georgia most of the year. You still need to check the reg's carefully to be sure that the type of gun you are carrying at the time is legal, and if on WMA's check the hunt dates.
  9. Greell

    Greell Well-Known Member

    HMmm thats some pretty sound advise,

    I would carry a handgun with me, I just am buying a new AR-15 and I wanted to bring it out in the field ! call me stubborn ><

    I just wondered how well that would work since I haven't had open carry experience with a rifle.

    I also wonder, How much would it be if I were to buy hunting permits, and is there a website that anyone can recommend to instruct me on what licenses (for hunting) to get, and the costs etc?
  10. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    For hunting regulations in Georgia go to www.gohuntgeorgia.com. I'm not sure aboout the cost anymore. I purchased the lifetime license, $500, several years ago and have not noticed if there has been a price increase since. The lifetime license allows me to hunt and fish in Georgia for the rest of my life. I do, however have to buy the federal duck stamp each year.

    While it may be technically legal to carry a rifle openly, unless you are on private property I think it would attract a lot of unwanted attention. I almost always carry a firearm of some type when hiking in the woods. I just make sure it is legal for the game in season. Sometimes I am seriously hunting, other times I am really just hiking, but would take an animal if the opportunity presented itself.
  11. Pigspitter

    Pigspitter Well-Known Member

    Remeber, hog season is year round.
  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    Hogs may be taken year round on private land, but on National Forest or WMA's the rules are different. They can only be hunted there during hunting season. If big game season is closed and small game are in season you must hunt with a .22 rimfire or shotgun with #2 shot or smaller.
  13. Tarvis

    Tarvis Well-Known Member

    I didn't read everyone's post (lazy, I know) but it seems to me that a warden should have some sort of burden of proof. Carrying a rifle doesn't mean you're hunting, it only seems that you are. Regardless of deer season or whatever else may be going on, you should be able to carry any weapon without a hunting liscense so long as it isn't obvious you are hunting. I suppose it depends on the warden, but logic tells me that your 2nd ammendment rights allow you to carry a gun. Federal laws don't allow for geographical change. That being said, if you waltz around with a camo pack and a knife wearing mossy oak, you will get a ticket if you are carrying a rifle and not carrying a hunting liscense. Also, be prepared to go to court to protect your right to carry that gun infront of a judge with an expensive friend, aka a lawyer. If it were me, I'd walk around gun held high singing a song I made up about the 2nd ammendment and how I'm not hunting. Besides, what if you were planning on shooting at rocks or cans? I don't know, maybe there is a lot more to it, but it seems like if you are truely intent on carrying a gun for protection and because you feel like it, you shouldn't have to sign a waiver and mail it to your congressman and wait for 2 weeks as he decides if you have a viable reason before it is sent back to the court where a judge will sign it and mail it back to you to prove that you are some guy that felt like taking a rifle with you.

    I feel like I'm ranting without a finite direction. That being said, Why don't you have a liscense? Just buy one. There was some talk above about WMA's, and those seem to be a sort of an exception to the 2nd ammendment becase they are set up solely for hunting.

    In the end, I would probably open carry a pistol, not to compromise on the hunting aspect, but because its smaller and lighter and the fish and game officer wont give you too much guff.

    Disclaimer: This post is based on the initial post by Greell and may or may not take into account the thoughts or views of other posts made between this and the first post. All rights reserved. Amen.
  14. Mojo-jo-jo

    Mojo-jo-jo Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected on the WMA stamp. Last I knew, they were limited and awarded by lottery... Must have changed since then.

    Yes, the warden was a jerk. He unloaded our entire vehicle and searched through everything trying to find a loaded weapon. He had PC because he saw an uncased (but unloaded) rifle in the pickup bed. We were lucky that nobody had reloaded with their carry ammo yet.
  15. Tarvis

    Tarvis Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like the warden handled you like most LEO's (law enforcement officers) handle every situation. Example: I may or may not have thrown a big party in the wrong neighborhood I had just moved into and had the cops called. They didn't show up prompt enough for my neighbors and I was hastled for 3-4 weeks afterward. The neighbors wanted me to be arrested but the cops really couldn't do anything at the time, but I talked to 3 different officers telling me they were gonna arrest me if they didn't like the color of my shirt or if I washed my truck in the front yard. They have a right to say whatever they want, but when it comes down to what they can do you still have rights. I don't know how WMA's operate in GA but having a loaded weapon in your vehicle shouldn't give them a right to take away your birthday. If I had a loaded 22 pistol in a metal box welded shut that I was dragging behind my truck, it's hardly fesible that I'm poaching deer. Loaded deer rifle/shotgun in the front seat, sure. Loaded in a case (bad idea, yes) under the seat or uncased behind the seat with ammo in the glove box or something like that, I don't think that's evidence of intent to poach. Now, rifle in the back, what where you thinkin? ;) gotta protect your babies man.

    All in all, he may not have been that close to arresting you and imprisoning your extended family for aiding and abbetting, but I'm sure he was trying to put the fear in you so you'd tell all your buddies and give them a reputation for being hardasses and giving any would-be poachers something to think about.

    Also: WMA's in Idaho are not hard to come by, just gotta spend the $22 for one.

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