At this time of the year, Monroe County hunters find themselves awash with a flood of hunting season opening dates. To date we have already seen the openings of the Squirrel, Dove, Early Teal, and Canada Goose Seasons. The opening date of the Archery Deer Hunting Season is next in line.
The Statewide Archery Deer season commences on Saturday, Sept. 12 and closes Jan. 20.
During this season hunters can hunt whitetails with crossbows, longbows, recurve bows and compound bows as long as hunters use broadhead arrows.
Once again this year, the season bag limit for deer is 10. Just two of these whitetails can be antlered. Only one of these bucks must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer on one side of its antlers.
Keep in mind, although archers are not required to wear orange during those times of the year when deer can only be harvested with archery equipment, they must wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange as an out garment above the waist (including a head covering) during both the primitive weapons and firearms deer seasons.
Monroe County archers looking for hunting opportunities on public lands located within a relatively short driving distance from their homes will be pleased to know archery deer hunting is permitted on a national forest, two national wildlife refuges and nine state wildlife management areas. Two of these sites are located right here in Monroe County.
The 750-acre Rum Creek WMA - Berry Creek Area has been designated as an archery only hunting area. During the 2020-21 hunting season, archers can hunt deer there from Sept. 12 -Jan 10.
Meanwhile, the Rum Creek WMA has scheduled either-sex archery only deer hunting Sept. 12-Oct. 4 and Nov. 21-27.
Two Quality Buck and Antlerless Archery Hunts are slated for the Big Lazer Creek WMA this year. The dates for these events are Sept 12-25 and Oct. 18-Nov. 11.
During these hunts, the Wildlife Resources Division defines a quality buck as a whitetail with a rack that has at least four points (1-inch long or longer) on both sides of a 15-inch outside spread).
The B.F. Grant WMA will also stage two Quality Buck and Antlerless Archery Deer Hunts. The dates for these hunts are Sept. 12-20 and Dec, 3-6. Please note that here a quality buck must have four points (1-inch long or longer) on both sides of its antlers, a 15-inch spread OR a 16-inch main beam.
The nearby Cedar Creek WMA is offering either-sex archery only deer hunting Sept 12-Oct. 11.
Two hunts are scheduled for the Cedar Creek - Little River Area. These hunts will be held Sept. 12-Oct. 8 and Oct. 17-Jan 10.
The archery only hunting dates for the Perry Dove Field are Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec. 8, 13, 20, 27, as well as Jan. 3, 10.
Archery only deer hunting is allowed this season on the Sprewell Bluff - East WMA from Sept. 12 - Jan. 10.
Likewise, an archery deer hunt is slated to take place on the Sprewell Bluff - West WMA. The hunt will take place Sept 12-Oct. 9. It should be noted all bucks taken during this event must display four points (1-inch or longer) on a side.
The U.S. Forest Service is permitting archery hunting on the Oconee National Forest Sept. 12-Oct. 9.
An archery only deer hunt will be held at the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This hunt will extend from Sept. 12-Nov. 8.
The Piedmont NWR will hold its archery deer hunt Sept. 12-Oct. 4.
I strongly suggest that before embarking on any of these hunts check the 2020-21 edition of the Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide. The free guide can be picked up at your local license dealer.
If you prefer to view it online, go to www.GoHuntGeorgia.com. The guide contains valuable information regarding directions to each area, permit and check-in requirements as well as other details concerning each hunt. Take particular note of the fact that the requirements for hunting on federal lands are often quite different from those enforced on state properties.
The time you spend familiarizing yourself with this information will help ensure you have an enjoyable hunting experience.
Terry Johnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column ‘Monroe Outdoors’ for the Reporter for many years. His book, “A Journey to Discovery,” is available at The Reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.