Let’s Talk About The 2024 Georgia Turkey Hunting Season

Social Circle, Ga.

The statewide Georgia turkey hunting season opens on private land on Sat., March 30, 2024, and on public lands, including Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and National Forest land, on Sat., April 6, 2024. Turkey season ends statewide (on both public and private land) on May 15, 2024, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Looking back to 2022, statewide turkey reproduction averaged 1.5 poults per hen, which was on par with the average over the past decade, but lower than 2021’s 10-year record high,” explains Emily Rushton, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator. “While that will likely translate into fewer adult birds this spring compared to last year, the number of available gobblers will likely be comparable to the past few years.”

What can hunters expect across state regions this spring? All regions of the state had decreased reproduction from 2021 to 2022, but the Coastal Plain regions in the southern half of the state had the biggest dip, due to the high production in 2021. The Blue Ridge, Ridge & Valley, and Piedmont regions had slight decreases, but have still hovered around the same 1.5 poult-per-hen average.

According to Rushton, “I often have hunters ask if there has been a change in poult production since the season dates and bag limits were adjusted in 2022. The short answer is that it is still too soon post-regulation change to know. Many factors, including weather, mast crop, and insect availability all affect poult production from year-to-year, so to provide a better, science-driven understanding of the turkey population’s trajectory, we will need quite a few years of data.“

The daily and season bag limits are 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.  More information at GeorgiaWildlife.com/HarvestRecordGeorgiaGameCheck.

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.  Get your license at GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com,  at a retail license vendor or by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

Hunters, did you know that each time you purchase a recreational license or equipment used to turkey hunt, such as shotguns, ammunition and others, you are part of the greater conservation effort for wildlife in Georgia? Through the Wildlife Restoration Program, a portion of the money spent comes back to states and is put back into on-the-ground efforts such as habitat management and species research and management. So, thank you hunters!

Find more hunting information at GeorgiaWildlife.com/hunting/hunter-resources.