During both the guns and muzzleloader seasons, hunting antlerless deer (a deer with no antlers or antlers that are less than 3 inches in length measured from the skull) is banned unless accompanied by a special permission. Archers and junior hunters are not permitted to take antlerless deer in WMDs where no antlerless deer licenses are provided. Hunters should be aware that if they harvest an antlerless deer and fail to remove all of the antlers, they could be subject to a fine.
In order to legally take an antlerless deer, you will need to have a "special permit" signed by the director of WMDs. These permits are available at no charge from the Department of Natural Resources office in each county. You must present your firearm or muzzleloader license as well as proof of ownership of the land on which you are taking the antlerless deer. The special permit is good for one season only. If you wish to continue hunting antlerless deer after one season has passed, you will need to apply for another permit.
Antlerless deer can be taken during any season that allows regular deer to be hunted. However, since fewer antlerless deer licenses are issued during off-season months (November-February), it is recommended to avoid these times if possible.
The decision to grant or deny a special permit is at the sole discretion of the director of WMDs.
"People have a fixation with deer antlers, so they chop the heads off or clip the antlers off," revealed state wildlife officer Jason Keller. All of this is unlawful, unless they have a piece of paper stating that they obtained them legitimately. Then they can do what they want with their new trophy.
Antlered deer are defined as any deer having one or more antlers that are three inches or longer in length, measured from the base of the antler where it connects the skull to the tip of the antler, following any antler curve. An "Antlerless Deer" is defined as any deer with no antlers or antlers that are less than three inches long. Female deer usually do not grow antlers and males usually only have small spikes called "sambar" antlers at some stage of their life.
Antlered deer are most common in North America but they also exist in parts of Asia and Europe. Historically, antlered deer were more common but now they are endangered because humans kill them for their antlers which are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions such as cancer and arthritis. Today, there are about 1 million antlered deer in China.
There are several different species of antlered deer around the world including: white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), American blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), Asian blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), sambar (Cervus unicolor), and gaur (Bos gaurus).
Antlered deer have been important to many cultures throughout history because of their antlers which people use to make bows and arrows.
It appears that feeding deer and hunting over the feed is permissible on private grounds, but only in specific counties. The feed must be at least 200 yards distant and out of sight of the hunter in the other counties. Check out what you can do in the county where you'll be hunting.
The general rule for hunting is that if you want to do it, you can. There are always exceptions to the rules, however, so if you get caught or see someone else getting caught, they might just send you home with a warning.
It's your choice whether or not you want to feed the deer, but don't expect to go home with a buck if you do. That's called harassment and can get you into trouble with the law.
If you do choose to feed the deer, make sure there's nothing else available to eat. They may come to regard food as competition and stop coming around. Also, make sure the feed is safe for animals to eat and doesn't contain any illegal drugs.
Finally, check with your local game warden or wildlife department before you start feeding deer. They may have their own rules about feeding behaviorally conditioned animals.
State law enables licensed hunters to stalk deer on private land with the permission of the owner. Illegal hunting may be a concern on private property as well as public parks like the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Hunters should use caution not to disturb other guests at vacation homes or apartment complexes.
The best way to ensure a legal hunt is by contacting the local game warden's office. They will provide information on where and when deer can be hunted legally in your area.
Also, check with your landlord or condo association to make sure you have permission to hunt on community property. In some cases, they may provide information on where and when it's allowed. Otherwise, call the wildlife department directly at 1-800-GUN-WISE (1-800-653-9463).
Finally, if you live in an urban area where gun violence is a problem, deer are often targeted for their meat and antler velvet, which is used to make clothing products. Knowing this, it's important to take measures to protect yourself. Visit www.stopharselfdefense.com for more information.