Georgia deer hunters can begin taking to the woods this weekend.
Wildlife officials say firearm deer hunting season begins Saturday. It runs through Jan. 1 in the northern part of the state and through Jan. 15 in the southern half. Archery and blackpowder season ran the two weeks prior to firearm season.
John W. Bowers, chief of game management for the Wildlife Resources Division, says regulated hunting is the most cost-effective and efficient way to manage the state's deer herd.
During the 2012-2013 firearm season, more than 295,000 hunters bagged more than 315,000 deer. The statewide deer population is estimated at about 1 million deer.
More than a million acres of public hunting land is available to Georgia hunters. That includes more than 100 state-operated wildlife management areas.