Training Hunting Dogs

Training Dogs on Non-WMA Lands

There is no closed season on training dogs on private lands.

It is unlawful to run deer with dogs, except during open seasons for hunting deer with dogs, or to take game by any means while training hunting dogs, except during open seasons for such game.

It is unlawful to possess firearms (except handguns with blank or shot cartridges), axes, climbers, or other equipment for taking game while training hunting dogs except that shotguns with number six or smaller shot may be used while training pointing, flushing, and retrieving dogs using pen raised quail and pigeons provided that the dog trainer maintains proof of purchase of pen raised quail.

Persons training dogs for hunting must have a valid Hunting License unless they are on their own land or land of an immediate relative.

National Forest Lands

On National Forest Lands dogs may not be trained from June 1 - Aug. 14, or as otherwise provided, and pen-raised birds may not be used at any time.

Training Dogs on WMAs

Dogs must be confined or kept on a leash except when hunting or training during designated seasons or on designated areas.

Persons training dogs must have a valid Hunting and WMA License.

Bulldogs and Airedales are not allowed on WMAs for hunting any species.

Dogs are not allowed for pursuing or catching feral hogs.

Hunters must remove their dogs upon departure.

Trail dogs for rabbits are limited to Beagles, Basset hounds and Dachshunds. Hunters are allowed to hunt raccoons with trail dogs only.

Owners are responsible for their dogs and any damage they may do to wildlife other than raccoon, fox, opossum or bobcat.

It is unlawful to run deer with dogs unless otherwise specified (see Rayonier WMA & Rogers WMA). Hunters whose dogs are found chasing deer may be charged with criminal trespass.

No furbearer dog training is allowed unless otherwise specified for a specific WMA. Where specified in the WMA listings, furbearer dog training is allowed during WMA small game dates and Aug. 1-14 and Mar. 1-19.  Furbearers may not be hunted during firearms deer hunts. Night hunting is allowed, unless otherwise specified, between 6:00 p.m. and 12:00 noon the following day. Hunters must pick up their dogs by 12:00 noon on the day following the hunt.

Anyone wishing to pursue any game animal or furbearer for the purpose of training dogs may do so only during hunting dates for that species listed for each WMA unless otherwise specified, except on designated dog training areas.

Designated Dog Training Areas on WMAs

In designated areas, dog training is allowed year round only during daylight hours or as otherwise specified. Only pen-raised quail and pigeons may be released and harvested using shotguns with number six or smaller shot while training pointing, flushing, and retrieving dogs provided that the dog trainer maintains proof of purchase of pen-raised quail.

The following WMAs provide designated bird dog training areas:

  • Albany Nursery WMA (Dougherty County; Region 5)
  • Alexander WMA (Burke County; Region 3)
  • Allatoona WMA (Bartow County, Region 1)
  • Beaverdam WMA (Laurens County; Region 6)
  • Berry College WMA (Floyd County, Region 1)
  • Coosawattee WMA (Gordon County, Region 1)
  • Crockford-Pigeon Mtn WMA (Walker County, Region 1)
  • Grand Bay WMA (Lowdnes County; Region 6)
  • Hart County WMA (Hart County; Region 2)
  • Horse Creek WMA (Telfair County; Region 6)
  • J. L. Lester WMA (Polk County; Region 1)
  • Mead Farm WMA (Burke County, Region 3)
  • Ocmulgee WMA - Gum Swamp Creek Tract (Bleckley County, Region 4)
  • Paulding Forest WMA (Paulding County, Region 1)
  • Penholoway Swamp WMA (Wayne County, Region 7) 
  • Richmond Hill WMA (Bryna County; Region 7)
  • Walton Public Dove Field (Wlaton County; Region 3)

The following WMAs provide designated furbearer dog training areas (outside of take season):

  • Alexander Tract (Burke County; Region 3)
  • Broad River WMA (Elbert County, Region 3)
  • Chickasawhatchee WMA (Baker County, Region 5) 
  • Elbert County WMA (Elbert County, Region 3)
  • Fishing Creek WMA (Wilkes County, Region 3)
  • Germany Creek WMA (McDuffie County, Region 3)
  • Hart County WMA (Hart County, Region 2)
  • Keg Creek WMA (Columbia County, Region 3)
  • Lake Seminole WMA (Seminole County, Region 5)
  • Little Satilla WMA (Wayne County, Region 7)
  • Otting Tract WMA (Chattooga County, Region 1)
  • Rayonier WMA (Brantley County, Region 7)
  • Redlands WMA (Greene County, Region 3)
  • Richmond Hill WMA (Bryan County, Region 7)
  • Rogers WMA (Wayne County, Region 7)
  • Sapelo Island WMA (McIntosh County, Region 7)
  • Sheffield WMA (Paulding County, Region 1)
  • Soap Creek WMA (Lincoln County, Region 3)
  • West Point WMA (Heard County, Region 4)
  • Yuchi WMA (Burke County, Region 3)

Rules for training dogs on state and federal lands.

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