Legal liability has been identified as a major concern among landowners when considering whether or not to grant access to hunters to hunt their property. Legal liability has also been offered as a reason some landowners have stopped allowing hunter access to their property. This is an important issue of concern with the increasing need of sound deer management and hunting access.
To encourage landowners to make their lands available to the public for recreational purposes, including hunting and fishing, Georgia law (OCGA 51-3-20 through 51-3-26) explicitly shields landowners from civil liability for injuries to persons who use their land for recreational purposes without charge unless the landowner willfully or maliciously fails to guard against or warn of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity. Landowners will not be liable unless they violate this standard of care. Georgia Courts have interpreted this standard of care as the duty of slight care, which is lower than that of ordinary care.
Georgia law (OCGA 27-3-1) further extends this same protection to landowners, lessees of land, or lessees of hunting or fishing rights who give permission to another to hunt or fish on their property with or without charge.