Georgia’s deer seasons are now winding down. The hunting in North Georgia comes to an end on Jan. 1. The season in the southern part of the state is over on Jan. 15. The extended archery season in the metro Atlanta counties of Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale lasts through the end of January.
Deer hunting this year has been rather strange. Most of the odd action has been a result of weather conditions. The earliest freeze on record struck some areas of the state, followed by unseasonable warming trends.
The weather changes disrupted the mating season, commonly referred to as the rut. The rut is the time of year when older whitetail bucks are most careless and vulnerable to hunters.
The mating season ordinarily takes place in November, but started early. The rut then virtually stopped with the warm weather, only to restart later.
The acorn crop in North Georgia also failed this year. Hunters could not depend on finding deer around the stands of oak trees.
All these factors have made finding the bucks more difficult.
Veteran hunters generally overcome these handicaps and still harvested deer. Even some novices manage to perform the feat as well.
Twelve-year-old Grace Britt shot a 21-point buck back on Oct. 27, while hunting in Morgan County. The 7th grader at McConnell Middle School in Grayson was on a hunt with her dad, Dwayne Britt.
The buck had a non-typical set of antlers. The deer’s rack had an unusual third antler beam, rather than the normal single antler on each side.
The rack is expected to score in the mid-170s using the Boone and Crockett Club scoring method. The antlers must dry for 60 days prior to being officially measured.
The youngster shot the deer with a Marlin .30-30 rifle that was handed down through the family from her great-grandfather.
Jimmy Jacobs is the editor of Georgia Sportsman magazine. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
By the numbers:
52 Percent of Georgia hunters harvesed at least one deer in the 2012 season.
318, 311 Deer hunters in Georgia in 2012.
385, 410 Number of deer harvested during the 2012 season.
Statistics from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.