Hunting News

Turkey season for private lands opens April 1

Turkey season for private lands opens April 1

By Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Georgia’s statewide turkey hunting season opens on private lands April 1 and on public lands, including Wildlife Management Areas and National Forest land, on April 8. Statewide turkey season ends May 15.

“Statewide reproduction in 2021 was above the average we’ve seen in the last decade, which means we should have more two-year old birds in the woods,” explains Emily Rushton, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator. “While still lower than what we saw prior to the mid-1990s, the average number of poults per hen was higher statewide than it has been since 2011, which is a good sign for this year’s turkey season.”

All regions of the state had above average reproduction two years ago, but the Coastal Plain regions in the southern half of the state had the highest poult numbers, averaging over two poults per hen.

Although the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Piedmont regions had slightly lower poult numbers than South Georgia, the regions still had similar bumps in reproduction.

Daily and season bag limits changed last year and remains the same in 2023. Only one gobbler may be taken per hunter per day, and a season total of two gobblers. On WMAs and National Forest land outside of WMAs, the bag limit is one gobbler per area.

All turkey hunters, including those under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime and sportsman license holders, must obtain a free harvest record each season. 

Before moving a harvested turkey, hunters are required to immediately enter the date and county on the harvest record, and within 24 hours, must complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check.  For more information click here.

Resident youth hunters under age 16 will not need a license. Hunters age 16 years or older (including those accompanying youth or others) will need a hunting license and a big game license unless hunting on their own private land.  A license can be obtained at a retail license vendor, by calling (800) 366-2661 or online.

With every purchase of a recreational license or equipment used to turkey hunt, such as shotguns, ammunition and others, the taxes collected means hunters are part of the wildlife conservation effort through the Wildlife Restoration Program. A portion of the money spent is returned to states and put into on-the-ground efforts such as habitat management and species research and management.

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