Category Archives: Recreation

Deer Season Opens September 9th

Hunters utilizing archery equipment will get the first opportunity at bringing home a deer beginning Saturday, Sept. 9, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

GEORGIA’S ARCHERY DEER HUNTING SEASON OPENS SATURDAY, SEPT. 9

Last year, 139,043 archery hunters harvested just over 50,000 deer. Statewide, hunters can use archery equipment throughout the entire 2017-2018 deer season.

“Archery season is an excellent time to get an early start on putting some venison in the freezer,” said state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster.  “Although it’s still warm this time of year, it’s the easiest part of the season to pattern deer.  Just don’t forget to report your kill to Georgia Game Check!”

Georgia hunters can check out an interactive map that allows them to see the best opportunities available for the counties they hunt at http://georgiawildlife.com/rut-map.

All hunters must report their deer harvest through Georgia Game Check, including hunters under 16 years of age, landowners, honorary, lifetime, and sportsman license holders. Hunters will need to obtain a free deer harvest record each season.  Before moving a harvested deer, hunters are required to immediately enter the date and county on the harvest record, and within 72 hours, must complete the reporting process through Georgia Game Check (https://gooutdoorsgeorgia.com) OR hunters can go “paperless” and report through the free Go Outdoors GA app (you can report through the app even with no connection. Once your phone gets a signal, it will automatically sync your information).

State-managed public hunting lands are funded through a combination of state license fees and matching federal funds from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program.  Hunters account for $977 million in retail sales in Georgia each year with a $1.6 billion ripple effect and almost 24,000 jobs.

Many public lands offer specialty deer hunts, including primitive weapons hunts, adult/child hunts and ladies-only hunts. Dates and locations for these hunts are listed in the 2017-2018 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations guide. Georgia offers more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas (WMAs) for the public’s use.

Hunters are allowed a season bag limit of 10 antlerless deer and two antlered deer (one of the two antlered deer must have a minimum of four points, one inch or longer, on one side of the antlers).  Special regulations apply to archery-only counties and extended archery season areas.  Counties in the Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Rockdale counties) offer either-sex archery deer hunting through Jan. 31.  Additionally, deer of either sex may be taken with archery equipment at any time during the deer season on private land.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license and a big game license. Licenses can be purchased online at http://georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).

For more information on deer hunting seasons, regulations, licenses and WMA maps, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Opens September 9th

The opening of Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch on the weekend of September 9-10 will mark the 16th consecutive season for the 20-acre agritourism complex in Dawson County. Open from Sept. 9 to Nov. 19, 2017, Uncle Shuck’s is the longest-operating corn maze in the state of Georgia. This year’s design features outdoor elements to support a partnership with the Georgia Forestry Association (GFA).

Uncle Shuck's Corn Maze Opens September 8, 2017

Trails are cut within the 12-acre cornfield in a different pattern each year. Maze explorers can venture through two main trails that provide a total of four miles of exploration, and a third one-mile trail will be used for The Dark Rows in October, a haunted hike. Checkpoints are placed throughout the trails to engage visitors and provide a way to track progress. This year the serpentine paths connect to form outlines of a pine forest, pine cone and a squirrel entwined with the GFA logo.

“GFA is thankful for the budding partnership with Uncle Shuck’s and their mission to offer affordable family fun for all,” said GFA President Andres Villegas. “We are proud to partner with the Georgia forestry Commission to educate all who enter the maze about the ‘Number One Forestry State in the Nation’, Georgia.“

The fall season will operate on weekends in Sept. and Nov., as well as every day in October. In addition to maze trails, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch offers hayrides, bonfire area, weekend food tents, free festival area activities and special events. The special events planned for 2017 include:

  • Foster Family Day (free admission) – Sept. 16
  • Boy Scout Weekend (special admission includes custom patch) – Sept. 29-Oct. 1
  • Girl Scout Weekend (special admission includes custom patch) – Oct. 6-8
  • The Dark Rows (haunted maze) – Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-31
  • Election Day (free hayride with vote sticker) – Nov. 7
  • Veteran’s Weekend (free admission for U.S. Armed Forces personnel) – Nov. 10-12

Scout Weekends return with a collectible patch, admission to the maze trails, hayride and featured activities. A demonstration will be provided by GFA for scouts and their families on both weekends (daily 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). A Boy Scout Camp Out will return for a third year on Sept. 26. There is no additional charge for the Camp Out, but advanced reservations are required due to limited space. Girl Scout Weekend will feature a program for girls to earn a Brownie Hiker Badge or Junior Gardener Badge.

The Dark Rows attraction runs for 11 dates in October. This one-mile haunted trail, operating from dusk to 10 p.m. on select nights, takes groups on a spooky adventure through part of the cornfield. The cost is $15 per person. Combo tickets are available for $19-22 per person, including regular maze trails, hayride and/or bonfire area.

The popular Kiddie CORNer on the festival grounds offers free activities for young children and their families – Tire Mountain, Tower Goat Walk, Kiddie Maze and the Picnic Pavilion.  Corn-ference Rooms are available for birthday parties, school field trips, or corporate events. The festival grounds are open for families to view pumpkins and take fall photos with our fall decorations. Pumpkins are priced separately and you only pay for what you want to take home. Additional fee-based activities include the Bonfire area with marshmallows for roasting (weekends), festival food vendors (weekends), pony rides (weekends in October), face painting (weekends in October), corn cannon, and weekend hayrides. The tractor-drawn hayrides along the Etowah River feature a 60-passenger wagon with wood benches and hay bales.

Admission to the corn maze is $11 for anyone five years old and older; maze admission is free for children four and under.  The tractor-drawn hay rides are $5; Friday and Saturday evening rides include access to the bonfire area and marshmallows at no additional cost.  The Cob Combo is a ticket for $14, which includes admission to the maze and a hay ride.  Cost for the Haunted Trail is $14 per person. All prices include tax. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 20 or more. Evening visits for church groups, school groups, and college date nights are growing in popularity.

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is located only 40 minutes from metro Atlanta, just two miles west from the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall on Georgia Highway 53.  For more information, visit the web site – www.uncleshucks.com. For more information on GFA, visit the web site – gfagrow.org.

September

(Grand Opening Sept. 9-10)
Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

October

Sundays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Haunted Trail (dusk to close) – Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-31

November

(final day Nov. 19)

Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

Georgia State Park System Unveils New Website

ATLANTA, GA – Fans of Georgia’s state parks and historic sites may have noticed a big online change this month. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) unveiled recently a new website with updated functionality and vibrant new photography.

“We are very excited to offer a new and improved website to our guests,” said State Parks Director Becky Kelley. “This was a two-year project which brings the back end of our site up to current standards. It also brings all divisions within the Department of Natural Resources into the same web system.”

While the URL remains the same, www.GaStateParks.org, visitors will notice more photos, a responsive screen to make mobile use easier, and quick links to most commonly searched pages. The site includes individual pages for more than 60 state parks and state historic sites, maps, an event calendar, photo galleries, online reservations, group facilities, a list of activities and more. An improved search functions allows users to find results from all DNR divisions.

Georgia’s 64 State Parks and Historic Sites host more than 10 million visitors each year and offer affordable vacation destinations. Waterfalls, marshes and mountains are just some of the beautiful scenery to be explored in the Peach State. The parks offer abundant outdoor recreation, including hiking, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, golf, ranger programs and geocaching. Accommodations range from fully equipped cottages to modern campgrounds and “glamping” yurts. For a free brochure or to make reservations, call 1-800-864-7275.