Georgia offers abundant, high-quality hunting opportunities on nearly 1 million acres of public lands. However, the vast majority of Georgia forestland is privately owned. When searching for your next hunting venue, do not overlook private land options—which can be attained via general hunting permission, formal lease contracts, or by joining a preexisting hunting club.
Private individuals and families own 13.6 million acres of Georgia forestland. Tract sizes range from very large to smaller woodlots and are well dispersed throughout the state. Asking permission to access these properties for hunting is almost a lost art, compared to a few decades ago. However, with some preparation, practice and determination, you might open some new doors to excellent hunting sites. Kip Adams, QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach, provides some suggestions in this article: 10 Tips on Asking for Permission to Hunt.
Forest corporations own about 2.5 million acres of Georgia forestland. Most operate recreational access (hunting lease) programs as a formal part of their business model. These programs started 4–5 decades ago and have now evolved into web-based solutions that are easily accessible and simple to operate. Large providers specific to Georgia include Weyerhaeuser, Westervelt, CatchMark, and Rayonier. Their websites provide information on lands available for lease and hunting clubs seeking members.
Joining a Preexisting Hunting Club
Joining a well-established hunting club is another viable option. Many longstanding clubs have secured substantial lease lands over time, or own property outright—that is available exclusively to their membership. When members turn over, spots are often available in these clubs. Benefits of this option include the ability to network with other hunters, food plots already in place, and possibly even camper hook-ups or a cabin to stay in. Recognize that hunting clubs take on a wide variety of styles and organizational structures; plus, prices can vary widely. You should always do your homework before joining a club to make sure you pick the one best for you.
Hunting club openings can be found in newspaper classified ads, via word of mouth and, thanks to modern technology, through online resources. Several Georgia-specific forums such as Georgia Outdoor News Forum and The Outdoors Trader Forum provide a place for clubs to advertise their openings.