When the subject of waterfowl hunting comes up, Georgia is rarely at the epicenter of the conversation. For whatever reason, the state just doesn’t get that much love in waterfowl hunting circles.
That’s a shame because Georgia has a lot to offer with waterfowl game, especially ducks. In the 2021 to 2022 season, over 102,000 ducks were bagged across the state. It’s not a record, by any means, but it indicates that duck hunting in Georgia has potential.
Georgia is a decent size state, and there are plenty of public land hunting opportunities as well.
Is Georgia Good for Duck Hunting
Georgia isn’t the best state in the union for duck hunting, but it certainly isn’t bad either. A seasoned duck hunter will have some good opportunities to bag their limit when each season rolls around.
Weather is generally the biggest factor in how well hunters do each duck season. The other factor is based on location. Some areas in Georgia are just not good for duck hunting while others are exceptional.
Wood ducks are by far the most population rich of the various duck species, but mallards are probably a close second. Some of Georgia’s reservoir areas set aside in Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) feature plenty of diving ducks.
If you are gunning for mallards, ring necks, scaup, or teal, heading up to north Georgia, very close to the border with South Carolina, is the safest bet.
Duck Hunting Season
Georgia, like most states, doesn’t open for duck season (or many other hunting seasons) on the same date every year. It’s always subject to change, especially in specific areas. If you’re interested in duck hunting, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with sites that provide season information and bag limits.
Duck season in the fall has two start and end dates. The first one opens up in mid-November and ends about a week later. It will open up again (and for much longer) after the first week of December. From the opening date in December, it usually runs close to the end of January.
Spring duck season is non-existent in Georgia, at least for now. Teal dates are usually mid to late September. The season for teal normally goes on for about two weeks.
Where to Hunt
Large reservoirs in WMAs throughout the state are among the most popular places to go in Georgia. Lake Seminole stands out as one of the best. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the lake hosts the most waterfowl in the entire state.
Lake Hartwell is another hot spot. It’s a 56,000-acre lake that hosts teal, ring necks, scaup, and mallards during the migratory season. Lake Lanier and Lake Burton are considered hot spots by the locals, who often head to either of the two lakes for most waterfowl throughout the season, including ducks.
Some of the best WMAs in the state include Fishing Creek WMA, Clark’s Hill WMA, Rum Creek WMA, Lake Juliet, and Clark’s Hills Lake.
What Ducks can you Shoot
For the most part, just about every variety of duck in the state of Georgia is game. Wood ducks happen to be the most popular ducks in Georgia. Of course, that’s possibly because they are the most populous as well.
There are also black ducks, mottled ducks, scaups, elder ducks, wood ducks, redhead ducks, mallards, pintails, ring necks, fulvous whistling ducks, canvasbacks, long-tailed ducks, and scoters.
As in most states, Georgia has a bag limit for a variety of ducks. The daily bag limit for ducks includes the following:
- One black or mottled duck
- Two canvasback ducks
- One fulvous whistling duck
- Two mallards (only one mallard can be a hen)
- One pintail duck
- Two redhead ducks
- One Scaup
- Three wood ducks (the most common in Georgia)
- Four elder ducks
- Four long-tailed ducks
- Four scoters
According to Georgia’s regulations, the possession limit is three times the daily limit for all of the above ducks. They have a second category for “sea” ducks, but the possession limit is the same.
Out-of-staters certainly aren’t going to travel to Georgia to hunt ducks because the state just isn’t known for it. But for those who live in Georgia, opportunities abound. There are a lot of good, well-managed WMAs throughout the state where duck hunting is pretty productive each season.
While duck season in Georgia may not be the most exciting event around, Georgia is no stranger to other waterfowl, and the state has excessive populations of other waterfowl species.
The bag limit in Georgia may turn some off, mostly because of the small limit on a wide variety of ducks. Fortunately, wood ducks are easily the most prevalent, and three is the bag limit for them. To have success duck hunting in Georgia, get to know the WMAs in the state, along with the locals who live there.
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