A hunter asked about bag limits at the new Alapaha River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the Alapaha River in Irwin County betweeen Tifton and Ocilla. It depends on whether you sign in or you check in.
The answer is not in the approved hunting season dates for the Alapaha WMA, found in other Alapaha WMA information. That’s because it’s in the general July 2016-June 2017 hunting regulations for Georgia. On page 34, note the phrase at the end of “Check-In Hunt” that I’ve emphasized below: “and should not be recorded on your Harvest Record.”
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS
CHECK-IN HUNT VS. SIGN-IN HUNT:
Hunters must check-in prior to hunting. Check-in permits are available starting at noon one day prior to the hunt and anytime during the hunt. Complete the Check-in permit; deposit the bottom copy in the permit box at the check station; keep the top copy in your possession throughout the hunt. You must have a completed permit in your possession prior to hunting. Check-in is required once for each check-in period.
Two deer of either sex may be harvested during any one check-in hunt, depending on the specific hunt regulations. See specific WMA listing for hunt details.
All game or feral hogs harvested at a check-in hunt must be checked-out at the check station on the day of the harvest and should not be recorded on your Harvest Record.
Hunters must sign-in prior to hunting. Sign-in is available beginning at noon one day prior to hunt at check station/kiosk and is also available online at gohuntgeorgia.com. Sign-in is required only once per hunt.
Two deer may be harvested during any sign-in hunt lasting less than one week. During a sign-in hunt lasting one week or longer, the bag limit is the statewide season.
All big game harvested at a sign-in hunt must be checked using GA Game Check. See page 7 for details.
Mandatory WMA Bear Harvest Requirements: All bears must be reported and tagged. See page 28 for specific requirements by Bear Zone.
So you can bag two deer in a WMA while checked in that don’t count towards your general Georgia bag limit.
I only know this because it was pointed out to me by our friendly local expert on the Alapaha Wildlife Management Area:
Wildlife Resources Division
Department of Natural Resources
Be sure to check the Georgia Hunting web page for any updates, and if you’re still not sure, you can ask Greg.
Also remember you can’t use bait on a WMA, and here’s a summary of other WMA rules.
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!