One of the best kept hunting secrets in the US today is the amount of big game hunting that's available on military bases. Even with the recent down-sizing of the Defense Department, more than 25 million acres are currently under the control of the various military services in the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, nine million of those acres belong to the Air Force, which does not allow anyone other than military personnel to hunt for security reasons. However, many of the larger Army bases do offer hunting programs for civilians. Each is run on an individual basis and the rules and regulations vary among the installations. Generally speaking, the game laws of the state in which the base is located apply, though they may be augmented by base-wide regulations designed to keep hunters out of the way of military operations. Here is a rundown on the hunting opportunities available in Georgia.
Fort Stewart, Georgia: This 280,000-acre base near Savannah, Georgia, offers hunting for whitetails, feral hogs and small game. Some areas are set aside for bowhunting only, but most areas are open to hunting with firearms and muzzleloaders as well. Hunting takes place during the general Georgia hunting season, which usually runs from late September to late October for archery, and from late October through mid-January for firearms. The bag limit in Georgia is five deer per year, only two of which may be antlered bucks, and this limit is followed on the base. These deer are quite small, with the occasional six-point or seven-point buck taken. Hunters are assigned to a specific hunt area, hunter's choice, until the area is filled. Starting this year, hunters will be asked to choose their hunting area in advance over the phone. As of this writing in late July, the exact procedures for this process were not yet determined, but you can call the Fort Stewart Pass and Permit office for more information. This office also handles the sale of permits to hunt on the base, which are issued on site for $40. The price is the same for residents and non-residents. Base permits are good for one........(continued)