Georgia Deer Population:    About one million deer from 2017 to 2022.  The DNR estimated 1.27 million deer for 2015.  A peak of about 1.9 million in the 1990s.

Georgia  Deer News

Help Develop The Next Georgia Deer Management Plan: Opportunities for Input February 24, 2024 Georgia DNR

... the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division is actively seeking your input. Georgia WRD’s successful deer management efforts are informed through biological data, public input and management objectives identified in the agency’s statewide Deer Management Plan (see current and former copies of the Plan). This plan is developed through an intensive public participation process ...

Population Dynamics of a Declining White-Tailed Deer Population in the Southern Appalachian Region of the United States

- Animals, 2023

... We examined a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population with evidence of decline in the Southern Appalachian region of the United States. In the Chattahoochee National Forest (CNF) in northern Georgia, deer harvest numbers and hunter success rates have drastically reduced over the last few decades ... Projections indicated that the white-tailed deer population will decline by an average of 4.0% annually under current conditions ...

White-tailed deer are eating through Georgia crops, causing millions in damage November 20, 2023 The Christian Index

... populations in Georgia are stable, according to harvest data from hunting season. Other research shows the number of deer in North Georgia has actually gone down, due to habitat changes, and more bears and coyotes.  Charlie Killmaster is the deer biologist for the state of Georgia. While he recognizes that it’s possible deer populations have grown slightly in Southwest Georgia ..,

A deer in headlights | What to do when drivers encounter them on the road November 13, 2023 Georgia,

... DNR said there are 40,000 to 60,000 car crashes involving deer every year in the state... “They have very poor depth perception with their eyes on the side of their head. So, they can’t tell, judge speed or distance or anything like that that could help them prevent getting hit by a vehicle,” [DNR State Deer Biologist Charlie Killmaster]

Drivers beware: Deer mating season kicks into gear around Georgia roads November 7, 2023 Georgia, YAHOO!News

...  Georgia averages around 50,000 deer-village collisions per year... We are entering the breeding season for deer and that's the time of year when they throw caution to the wind ...

Deer are eating through Georgia crops. For farmers, it's the latest cost to worry about November 1, 2023 Now Habersham

... while some farmers swear there are just more deer, populations in Georgia are stable, according to harvest data from hunting season. Other research shows the number of deer in North Georgia has actually gone down due to habitat changes and more bears and coyotes.  Charlie Killmaster is the deer biologist for the state of Georgia. While he recognizes that it’s possible deer populations have grown slightly in Southwest Georgia ...

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawn survival and the influence of landscape characteristics on fawn predation risk in the Southern Appalachian Mountains 2023 Plos One

... . During 2018–2020, we radio-collared 71 fawns within the Chattahoochee National Forest of northern Georgia, USA and monitored survival to 12 weeks of age. We observed low fawn survival (cumulative = 0.157, 95% CI = 0.091–0.273; vaginal implant transmitter = 0.196, 95% CI = 0.096–0.403) with predation as the leading cause of all known mortalities (45 of 55 mortalities; 82%) due primarily to coyotes (n = 22), black bears (n = 12), and bobcats (n = 7). Relationships between landscape features and fawn predation risk were minima ...

Bobcat Kills Fawn On Drone Footage October 3, 2023 Georgia Outdoor News

... . He flew in for a closer look and saw legs flailing on a fawn as a bobcat was finishing off the young deer before dragging it away...

Coyote Attacks Buck On Camera September 14, 2023 Georgia Outdoor News

... Beginning at 9:02 a.m. that morning, a coyote and young buck were in the same photo ... by 9:03, two coyotes are in the picture and one of them appears to have its mouth near, or on, the back ham of the buck... By 9:09, the buck is dead and one of the coyotes is walking off into a thicket of briars...

Assessment of a Declining White-tailed Deer Population in the Southern Appalachians of Norther Georgia.  September, 2023.  A. Edge.  University of Georgia

... Long-term harvest data collected from eight wildlife management areas in northern Georgia from 1979–2015 have suggested white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations are declining throughout the Chattahoochee National Forest... expanding predator populations and increasingly homogenous forest structure of the Southern Appalachian region suggest low fawn recruitment as a potential cause of declines...

Be Part Of The Georgia Defense Against Chronic Wasting Disease August 28, 2023 Georgia, Wildlife Resources Dividision

... “Moving live deer is the greatest risk factor for introducing CWD to Georgia, which is why the importation of all deer species from other states is prohibited,” says Charlie Killmaster, WRD State Deer Biologist. “However, movement of deer carcasses also presents risk. If you have a successful hunt out-of-state, you need to be familiar with what parts of that animal you are allowed to bring back with you.” ...

GA wildlife officials ask public to watch for symptoms of fatal disease in deer June 15, 2023 Georgia, YAHOO!News

... it was detected in Florida for the first time.  Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) ... Over time, symptoms such as dramatic weight loss, poor body condition, subtle head tremors, and droopy head and ears may occur...

The University of Georgia Cited for Critical Violations of Federal Law May 16, 2023 Georgia, PETA Statement

...  A deer contracted pneumonia and nearly starved to death before anyone at the school noticed ... recent U.S. Department of Agriculture citations against the University of Georgia–Athens for critical violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act ...

The Story Of A Buck Named Mack March 13, 2023 Georgia Outdoor News

... Over the years, the development of many hunting clubs and the cutting of hardwood timber that now has been replanted under pine timber companies has made it much tougher to harvest a mature Georgia whitetail buck in the west-central Georgia county...

WRD Kicks Off Public Meetings With Deer Season Dates, Bears and Gators January 18, 2023 Georgia Outdoor News

... seven hunters, in addition to a handful of WRD biologists and DNR Law Enforcement folks, attended to hear about proposed regulation changes for the next two years...

Deer Season Changes Proposed For Eight Southwest Georgia Counties January 10, 2023 Georgia Outdoor News

...  GON has heard from some hunters  in southwest Georgia counties that later rut dates meant they were receiving the short end of the hunting stick when it came to being able to hunt the rut, a time when mature bucks drop their guard. Those hunters may get some relief with additional hunting days ...

Virtual and In-Person Public Meetings Scheduled for Hunting Regulations Jan. 12-18, 2023 Georgia Department of Natural Resources

... Hunters and other interested citizens, your input on the development of hunting regulation proposals for the 2023-2025 hunting seasons is requested by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) at any of the upcoming in-person or virtual scheduled meetings. Virtual and In-Person Scheduled Meetings (all meetings take place at 7pm): ...

Sandy Springs lacks authority to ban bow hunting December 21, 2022 Georgia, Rough Draft Atlanta

... the Georgia Constitution prohibits local governments from regulating hunting ... municipalities cannot regulate bow hunting despite pleas from residents who complained about trespassing hunters and fears for their children and pets ...

12 parks, campgrounds around Lake Lanier to close for annual deer hunt to help with overpopulation November 14, 2022 Georgia, WSB-TV

... The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is gearing up for 2022 Buford Dam Deer Hunt near Lake Lanier this week. Several parks and campgrounds in the area will be closed starting Monday.  The hunt has been an annual event since 2010 ...

Georgia deer hunters take to the woods October 22, 2022 YAHOO!News

... During the 2021-22 firearms deer season, about 210,000 hunters harvested more than 214,000 deer in the state... State law allows hunters to harvest up to 10 antlerless deer, and no more than two antlered deer (with one of the two antlered deer having a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers), or a minimum 15-inch outside antler spread...

Georgia DNR rolls out map to help prevent deer crashes October 14, 2022 WMAZ

... The state of Georgia sees between 45,000 - 55,000 deer crashes a year, and because of that, they put out a map that's going to keep you a lot safer...go to

Poor Acorn Crop In North Georgia Mountains September 10, 2022 Georgia Outdoor News

... one of the poorest mast crops in recent years ...The downside, Isler said, is that in their search for food, deer, and especially bears, often end up in areas where they shouldn’t be, like residential areas..,


Georgia Man Saves Whitetail Fawn From Being Strangled by a Rat Snake July 14, 2022 Field & Stream

... When I looked closer I could see it was a rat snake, about 6’ long, and it had wrapped itself around the fawn’s chest ... also the top of its neck ...  around the fawn’s legs... [image and full story]

Researchers share findings on declining deer populations in Georgia July 8, 2022 UGA Today

...  published by UGA researchers ... In just four decades, the deer population has dropped by almost two-thirds ... “These forests are now late-stage; they’re different than what we would have seen pre-settlement. There are accounts of agriculture by Native Americans, and low-growing vegetation with sparser, larger trees was maintained by fire ..,

Kemp signs legislation to strengthen forestry industry, protect natural resources May 10, 2022 Georgia, WALB

... HB 1148, which implements stronger requirements for deer brought into Georgia from states with confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)..,

Georgia lawmakers focus on hunting rights, ban whole deer from crossing border March 23, 2022 WGXA

... House Bill 1148 is now on its way to being signed by the governor. It says that deer hunters can not bring their game back from out of state unless it's been de-boned..,

Declines in deer populations may point to larger issues January 26, 2022 Georgia, Daily Citizen-News

... “We have a real problem with fawn survival in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Black bears and coyotes, which are omnivores, will forage from a blackberry bush just as easily as they might eat a fawn in the spring or summer,” .... Most of the fawns we found were just lying on the ground with nothing growing around them..,

Declines in deer population may point to larger issues January 10, 2022 Georgia. UGA Today

... Deer populations in the North Georgia mountains have dropped by almost two-thirds over the past few decades, according to new research by the University of Georgia... In older forests, shade from towering trees provides little opportunity for new growth on the forest floor—the majority of forests across North Georgia..,

Georgia DNR urges residents to avoid spreading deadly disease to state’s deer January 8, 2022 WSAV-TV

... DNR says residents can prevent the spread by refraining from importing deer from other states and if you hunt in a state with positive  Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) cases ...

Estimation of Visual Discrimination in the White-tailed Deer by Behavioral Assay 2022  The American Midland Naturalist

...  Our results suggest the white-tailed deer eye allows relatively low spatial resolution, consistent with prior studies that reported high temporal resolution. The combination of low spatial resolution and high temporal resolution allows for efficient detection of movement and enhanced capability to transverse a complex environment...

When deer eyes can see laundry detergent residue ... December 3, 2021 Georgia, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

... In 2013, researchers from the [University of Georgia] found that deer detect wavelengths from the lower blue scale to the beginning of the red scale.  In practical terms, deer see reds and oranges as shades of green; fluorescent orange looks like a pale yellow-green blur. Blues are more vibrant to deer...

European red deer on the loose in Georgia November 5, 2021

...  officials started receiving wildlife camera photos of the animal in the Mitchell area about a month ago ... The Department of Natural Resources has distributed a letter to hunters in the state giving them permission to shoot the animal....

Two coyotes emerge from darkness to chase down deer in Georgia field, video shows August 22, 2021 Georgia, News Tribune

... An outcome does not appear on 32-second video, but state officials say the deer appears to have escaped. It went back to “business as usual” — eating — within 5 minutes ...

Isle of Hope woman holds picnic for ‘deer’ friends March 26, 2021 Georgia, WTOC-TV

... a neighbor suggested Kelli flip the script and invite the deer out of the forest for a picnic...  “camellias, they love those ... We had several plates that were completely cleaned,” ...

Report unusual things, like this local deer's tumor January 27, 2021 Georgia, Monroe County Reporter

... The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) realizes that the health of the state’s white-tailed deer population plays an integral role in the management of the state’s deer herd. In an effort to bolster monitoring the health status of Georgia’s deer herd, the WRD is encouraging all of us to be on the lookout for sick-looking deer...

CWD, New study investigates devastating disease in deer January 25, 2021 Georgia, University of Georgia

... Animals severely affected by CWD may walk for miles away from their herd, as if they are disoriented... In some cases, infected animals walk into towns and can be contained and killed. But in the wild, they wander to new herds—potentially spreading the disease to a new population...

Marietta councilman wants ban on bow hunting of deer in city limits November 23, 2020 Georgia, Northwest Georgia News

... The councilman said he’s not against hunting deer, but there are very few properties in the city large enough to allow someone to hunt safely.  Councilman Andy Morris said he supports the move. He’s heard complaints from residents near Kennesaw Mountain who have found bolt arrows in their backyards...

Dunwoody residents infuriated by residential deer hunting November 13, 2020 Georgia, FOX 5 Atlanta

... “If an arrow from a crossbow can kill a deer, it can kill a little boy, or a little girl, or your dog,” .. She said a man in an unmarked car knocked on her door late at night, demanding she allow him access to her property for something he called “deer management.” ...

Acorns crucial for wildlife survival in winter October 23, 2020 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution

... The health and abundance of wildlife — especially bear, deer and turkey — often rise and fall with acorn availability ... acorns are the most preferred white-tailed deer food during the cold months, composing half or more of the animals' diet. When acorns are plentiful, deer may eat little else ...

CWD could devastate deer populations October 11, 2020 Georgia, The Commercial Dispatch

... With all the rainfall we had leading into summer and throughout August, I expect optimal antler growth and bodyweights this season... During firearms deer season last year, more than 180,000 hunters harvested almost 210,000 ..,

Georgia data:  Population estimates in the graph below prior to 2019 are based on a graphic from the Georgia Department of Natural Resource's 2019 hunting report that has been digitized.  Estimates for 2019 to 2022 are based on hunting data.

Graph Data and Calculations

About one million deer in 2022, based on hunting data 1,004,000 deer.  A significant decline in the deer population since 2012 when the population was about 1.4 million, and a long-term decline since the peak of about 1.9 million deer in the 1990s.  Some of the decline was planned and achieved by an increase in the number of does taken in the hunt.  A nearly stable population since 2017 of about one million.  A 2023 study identifies a long-term deer population decline from 1979 in the Chattahoochee National Forest as a result of a homogenous forest structure and predation.  In 2023 the DRN reported that there were 40,000 to 60,000 deer crashes with cars every year.

According to a 2022 report, populations in the North Georgia mountains have dropped by almost two-thirds over the past few decades with mature forests that don't provide adequate food for deer cited as a major factor.  Coyote predation is also cited as a major factor.  Change in habitat has affected west-central Georgia.  One of the worst acorn crops in years in 2022 significantly reduced deer food sources.

An estimate of 958,000 deer in 2021.  About 1 million deer based on a 2020 estimate, 1,005,000 based on hunting data. Good rainfall in 2020 supported deer populations.  Georgia changed to mandatory reporting for deer hunters in 2016.

Using hunting data the 2019 estimate was about 976,000 deer.  In 2019 there was less than normal rainfall but lots of fawns were born in 2018 and reduced doe permits helped maintain the population. In 2019 Georgia launched the Deer Management Assistance Program, also known as D-MAP, to help landowners better manage their deer herd.  About 1,042,000 deer in 2018

A 2017 estimate that 50,000 coyotes were killed each year by deer hunters who take about 300,000 to 350,000 deer each year - about a third of the herd estimated at over one million - 1,082,000 from hunting data.  

Drought in 2016 pressured deer numbers.  The forest service proposes create some young forest conditions in north Georgia forests in 2016 to reverse declines in deer and grouse populations.  Just under a million deer estimated for 2016 at about 966,000. 

The state made a detailed population of 1.27 million deer for 2015There was a big decline in the deer hunt in 2015 partly a result of wet weather that provided food for deer and reduced their movement during hunting season.   The 1.2 million population estimate for 2014 is a correction to the estimate in the 2015-24 Deer Management Plan reflecting the new deer model.  The 2015 plan called for an increase in the herd size in the Blue Ridge Mountain region, a slight increase to a stable herd size in the Ridge & Valley region across the Piedmont and the Lower Coastal Plain, and a stable deer harvest across the Upper Coastal Plain.  Coyote predation research in 2015 and earlier reports a devastating impact on fawn survival.

In 2013, hunters requested a shorter hunting season to support the deer population.  Coyote predation and changes in the timber industry that have impacted habitat are pushing deer numbers down. Reduced doe harvest began in 2013 and continued into 2015 with fewer hunting days in a number of areas to offset predation.  About 300,000 deer hunters.  More than 1 million acres of public hunting land. 

The population graphic below from 2019 harvest report which puts the peak deer population at about 1.9 million using scale on the right verticle axis which represents the new population model.  This graph was used to create the deer population estimates above.

Georgia deer harvest and density from Georgia DNR

History   When Europeans arrived, deer were found throughout Georgia.  By the 1750s, the Creek Indians were shipping as many as 60,000 deer skins a year to Europe.  At the beginning of the 19th century deer were hunted to near extinction, with a few local herds remaining by 1885. [History]   The first restocking began in 1927.  By 1937, the herd was estimated at about 12,500, the result of unregulated hunting.  An estimate of   in 1937.  The bulk of the restocking was from 1948 to 1965 and continued into the early 1980's.  In 1954 dart guns were developed to aid in the restocking effort.  Conservation efforts brought the population to about 220,000 by 1972, peaking at about 1.4 million in 1998 according to the management plan.  Another estimate of 1.6 million in the late 1990s.  Another source puts the population peak around 2005 at 1.6 to 1.7 million. An estimated 1.3 million in 2001.  

In the early 1980's, does accounted for only about a quarter of the harvest, an effort to boost the population.  Yearling bucks were the majority of the deer taken.  Since 2002 the state focused on balanced demographics, with the doe harvest about 60 percent of the total through 2012. 

    Population Estimates:  3,000 in 1940, 150,000 in 1968.   3,000 in 1947.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)  Not discovered in Georgia as of 2022 when the state implement rules to prevent hunters from bringing deer into Georgia from states with CWD.

Poacher Hotline:  The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to   Those reporting should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

- Georgia DNR Wildlife News

Other useful links:

- Peak Deer Movement, Georgia Rut Map   - Georgia Biological Deer Database

- Save Jekyll Island Deer

- Deer Lab at University of Georgia