It’s time to talk about turkeys and some changes in hunting regulations for 2022.
Georgia turkey hunting season opened on April 2, however, if you are hunting on public lands, including Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and National Forest Lands, the season opens on April 9. April.
Turkey season ends May 15, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division.
Hunters should note that the season bag limit has changed for turkeys for the 2022 season. Only one gobbler can be taken per hunter per day, and a total of two gobblers for the season. In WMAs and National Forest Lands (non-WMAs), the bag limit is one gobbler per area.
“Statewide breeding in 2020 was slightly below average, which means we may have slightly fewer two-year-old birds in the woods,” says Emily Rushton, project coordinator for wild turkey from the Wildlife Division.
“But the good news is that in 2021 we had the highest breeding we’ve seen in a decade, which means there are lots of young birds in the woods, and that’s a good sign. for the coming seasons.”
What can hunters expect in parts of the state this spring? The harvest in the Ridge and Valley and Blue Ridge regions could drop, as breeding was down in the northern part of the state in 2020. Fortunately, the Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain regions of the state, where many of our hunters are focusing their efforts, saw a slight increase in breeding in 2020, indicating that harvest could be up in these areas. The southernmost regions of the state could see a decrease in harvest, as breeding was down on the lower coastal plain in 2020.
All turkey hunters, including under-16s, landowners, honorary, lifetime and sport 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 log, and within 24 hours must complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check. More information at georgiawildlife.com/HarvestRecordGeorgiaGameCheck.
Young resident hunters under the age of 16 will not need a permit. Hunters aged 16 or over (including those accompanying young people or others) will need a hunting license and a big game license, unless they are hunting on their own land private. Obtain your license at www.gooutdoorsgeorgia.com, at a license reseller or by phone at 1-800-366-2661.