Feral hogs are considered invasive species in Georgia. Not only can they lay waste to crops like peach orchards and corn, but they also spread diseases and destroy the natural habitat of native species. If you're hog hunting in Stephens County in upper Georgia, you won't have to travel far to start your search.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) requires a recreational hunting license for anyone using a firearm or bow to hunt on public or private land not owned by immediate family. Obtain your license online, by calling (800) 366-2661 or at one of 400 licensed vendors. Prices for the licenses vary, depending on the type of animals you'll be hunting, but a general hunting license is $10 for residents in 2011. A lifetime hunting license is $500 for those 16 and older.
Opportunities for hunting on state or federal wildlife preserves abound for Stephens County residents. The southeastern tip of the Chattahoochee National Forest (CNF) is in Stephens County, on which an estimated 30,000 deer, 6,000 wild turkeys and a resurgent 650 bears populate an area of more than 700,000 acres. Call the CNF supervisor's office at (770) 297-3000 to inquire about where and when you can hunt for wild hogs. Another option is Georgia's Lake Russell wildlife management area, which encompasses 17,300 acres in Stephens and Habersham counties. Call (770) 535-5700 for hog hunting information. You might also find a private land owner in the area who offers hog hunting, though these owners often charge a fee for you to hunt on their land.
On private land, the state imposes no bag limit or closed season on hog hunting. However, on public land, hunting for any animals is confined to certain seasons. According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' "Feral Hogs in Georgia" handbook, a hog control permit must also be obtained for private land owners seeking to control the population. These permits are not good from the middle of March to the middle of May, or Sept. 1 to the end of deer season in late November. Check with your district office of the GDNR for up-to-date information about where and when hogs can be hunted most successfully -- and legally.
Some hunters on private land are permitted to hunt hogs from moving vehicles, even at night with high-lumen lights. For others, spreading rotting peaches in certain areas or creating a fermented mixture of corn cobs works to attract more feral hogs to the area where you plan to hunt. This could be done the day before a hunt or on the morning of the hunt. If you bag any hogs, use gloves when handling the animals. Cook the meat to an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
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