Hunters will be hoping to see white-tail bucks like this one with the opening of Firearms Deer Hunting Season Oct. 17.  (Photo/Ron Lee)

Hunters will be hoping to see white-tail bucks like this one with the opening of Firearms Deer Hunting Season Oct. 17.  (Photo/Ron Lee)

As far as Monroe County hunters are concerned, the top hunting story this month is the opening of the Firearms Deer Hunting Season. While the vast majority of local hunters will be hunting whitetails this month, for those that don’t want to spend all of their precious hunting time sitting in a deer stand, the openings of goose, opossum, and raccoon seasons and the deadline for submitting applications for the Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area Youth Waterfowl Hunt are also newsworthy.

The long awaited 2020-21 Firearms Deer Hunting Season begins Saturday, October 17 and runs through January 10.  However, hunters should keep in mind that from October 17-October 30 they can only legally harvest two antlered bucks. From October 31-January 10 deer of either sex are legal game.

Keep in mind that regulations specify that the season bag limit for white-tailed deer is 12 (10 antlerless and two antlered). However, only one of two antlered deer can have a minimum of four points, 1-inch or longer, on one side of the antlers.

The Primitive Weapon Deer Hunting Season in this region of the state is divided into three segments. The first segment runs from October 10-16.  During these seven days primitive weapon hunters can bag deer of either sex. From October 17-30, only antlered bucks can be harvested.  Then, from October 31-January 10, deer of either sex can be taken.

One final note regarding the deer hunting season: each time you bag a deer you must report your success.  There are a couple of ways you can do this.  Consult the 2020-21 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide for details.

        The second phase of the Canada Goose Hunting Season reopens and runs from October 10-25. In addition, the Snow and White-fronted Goose Season opens and runs concurrently with the second phase of the Canada Goose Season. The bag limit for geese is five.

Both the opossum and raccoon seasons also commence in October. These Seasons begin October 10 and close February 28. No limit has been placed on the number of opossums you can take in a day; however, the daily bag limit for raccoons is three.

Two quota Youth Waterfowl Hunts are slated to take place on the Rum Creek Wildlife Management Area during the 2020-21 hunting season. The hunts are held at the MARSH Pond off Juliette Road. The dates for these special events are December 12 and January 16. 

Only three youths (16 years old or younger) will be selected to participate in each of these hunts. Young hunters selected are allowed to bring one other child with them.  It is mandatory that one supervising adult accompany them.

Anyone wishing to apply for one of these hunts must do so by 11:59 p.m. (EST) October 15. All applications must be submitted electronically at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com. If you have any questions relating to quota hunt applications, call 1-800-366-2661.

The 2020-21 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide is a great resource for information regarding the rules and regulations governing all game species, as well as a complete listing of public lands available to Georgia hunters. Guides can be picked up at any license dealer. It can also be accessed by going to the Wildlife Resources Division’s website (www.GoHuntGeorgia.com).  Being aware of these regulations can prevent you from breaking any of the myriad of rules relating to hunting in the Peach State and help ensure you will have an enjoyable and successful hunting season.

 

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 tjwoodduck@bellsouth.net.