SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division is excited to announce the addition of more than 1,390 acres, made up of three tracts of land, to the already 4,800-acre Oconee Wildlife Management Area in Greene and Hancock counties. These new tracts enhance the Oconee WMA by increasing the availability of public land for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.
"We are thrilled with these new additions to the Oconee WMA, as this will expand opportunities for hunters pursuing deer, turkey, and small game," said Dan Forster, Director of the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division. "Even better, no need to wait to use them - they are open now!"
Georgia Wildlife Resources Division staff will manage these new tracts for hunting in conjunction with the management of the natural habitat. The tracts are populated with a variety of wildlife inhabiting a mixture of hardwoods and planted pine stands, along with some large pasture areas.
Hunting enthusiasts can immediately begin pursuing small game and deer under current Oconee WMA regulations. Hunters pursuing deer may use archery equipment through Jan. 1, 2014. Firearms deer season is closed for this WMA. Small game hunting continues through Feb. 28, 2014. Additionally, several opportunities to hunt turkey are available in the spring. See page 48 of the current hunting regulations for more information.
State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services' Wildlife Restoration Program. Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.
Hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license (if hunting deer, turkey or bear) and a current deer harvest record (if hunting deer). If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required. Licenses can be purchased online here, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).
For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting .