By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
Hunters looking to pursue deer with firearms that harken back to a different time currently have their chance in Georgia.
Primitive weapons deer hunting season is underway and runs through Friday.
According to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officer Craig Fulgum, the week long event is an opportunity to hunt deer using old fashioned methods.
Fulgum said it’s also a time when young people are introduced to the sport of deer hunting.
“Muzzle loaders are primitive weapons used a week ahead of time before the actual firearms deer season starts,” Fulgum said. “It also means it’s the time when young people age 15 and under are introduced to deer hunting, which is something that was started last year. So a lot of people are interested in that season as well.”
During primitive weapons season, hunters may use archery equipment, muzzleloading shotguns (20 gauge or larger) and muzzleloading firearms (.44 caliber or larger) to pursue whitetails.
More than one million acres of public hunting land is available to hunters in Georgia, including more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas.
Fulgum said that many of these areas offer special hunts throughout the season, including primitive weapons hunts.
“The wildlife management areas set their own criteria for what is allowed and what is not,” Fulgum said. “A lot of WMA’s will be having hunts this week so you need to check with your local WMA to find out when they’re allowing hunts.”
Dates and locations for these hunts are available in the 2013-2014 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide.
Fulgum also reminded people that safety is always important during deer hunting season.
He said one main safety requirement is the wearing of an orange vest while hunting.
” All hunters, including archers, must wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during primitive weapons season. Scopes and other optical sighting devices are legal for muzzleloading firearms and archery equipment,” he said.
Other tips include always use a harness when in a tree stand
An online copy of the Regulations guidebook and WMA maps can be found at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations .
During last year’s primitive weapons season, more than 45,000 hunters took home more than 10,500 deer representing about three percent of Georgia’s total deer harvest.