Muzzleloader. Black Powder Gun. These names apply to the type of firearm that can be used during the week-long primitive weapons deer hunting season that begins Saturday, Oct. 13.
During the 2011 primitive weapons season, more than 50,000 deer hunters harvested slightly more than 14,000 deer using a primitive weapon. This harvest rate has increased slightly over the past few seasons, although the number of hunters taking part in the season has remained relatively stable.
“The primitive weapons deer season provides hunters an opportunity to hunt with traditional or inline black powder firearms, or to continue hunting with archery gear,” said John W. Bowers, assistant chief of Game Management. “It is a chance to ‘get in the woods’ with a different type of firearm prior to the opening of the more traditional modern firearms deer season.”
More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas. Many of these areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are available in the 2012-2013 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. An online copy of the Regulations guidebook and WMA maps can be found at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting .
Hunters may harvest up to 10 antlerless deer and no more than two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers). During primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, muzzleloading shotguns (20 gauge or larger) and muzzleloading firearms (.44 caliber or larger) to pursue whitetails.
All hunters, including archers, must wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during primitive weapons season. Scopes and other optical sighting devices are legal for muzzleloading firearms and archery equipment.
To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a wildlife management area, a WMA license also is required. To purchase a license, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes.
Sportsmen and women provide more than $30 million each year to fund wildlife conservation in the state through license fees and self-imposed excise taxes collected on the purchase of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment and fishing equipment.
For more information on deer hunting seasons and regulations, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations .
Logo courtesy Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division