*Updated on August 31, 2023

Columbia County’s proximity to Clarks Hill Lake creates an abundance of public lands and natural resources full of incredible wildlife. Check out our hunting and fishing guide below for locations to hunt and/or fish and the species you can expect to find in Columbia County.

Georgia offers a Free Fishing Day in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day on June 1, June 9, and September 28, 2024. On this day, residents do NOT need a fishing license or a trout license to fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, streams, ponds, and public fishing areas.

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

In an effort to preserve the natural resources and conservation efforts of the State of Georgia, anyone born after January 1, 1961, must first complete a hunter education course before purchasing a Hunting License. There are a few exceptions. More details on course registration and information can be found here.

You can purchase fishing and/or hunting licenses online from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources or one of the following locations:

  • Academy Sports (4210 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809)
  • Ace Hardware (5127 Wrightsboro Rd, Grovetown, GA 30813)
  • Mistletoe State Park (3725 Mistletoe Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
  • Pair of Jacks (6600 Washington Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
  • Pollards Corner (6007 Clarks Hill Rd, Appling, GA 30802)
  • Walmart (4469 Washington Rd, Evans, GA 30809)
  • Walmart (510 Steiner Way, Grovetown, GA 30813)
  • Walmart (260 Bobby Jones Exwy, Martinez, GA 30907)

Hunting Seasons in Georgia

There are many game species in Georgia, but the most popular in our area are deer, turkey, dove, waterfowl, small game, and non-native/invasive species. 

Deer Season

Archery Statewide, September 9, 2023- October 13, 2023
Extended Archery (Columbia County), September 9, 2023- January 31, 2024
Primitive Weapons, October 14- October 20, 2023
Firearms, Either Sex in Columbia County, October 21, 2023- January 14, 2024.
Limit: 12 per season, statewide*

Turkey Season

Private Land, March 30  – May 15, 2024.
Public Land, April 6- May 15, 2024
Limit: 2 gobblers per season. Daily bag of 1.

Dove Season

September 2- Oct 8, 2023
November 18- November 26, 2023
December 19, 2023 – January 31, 2024
Limit: 15 per day, 45 in possession 

Water Fowl & Migratory Bird Season**

Ducks, November 18- 26, 2023
December 9, 2023 – January 28, 2024
Limit: 6 per day, 18 in possession

Small Game*

Opossum and Raccon, August 15, 2023 – February 29, 2024, *Public Land
Rabbit, November 18, 2023 – February 29, 2024; 12 per day.
Squirrel, August 15, 2023- February 29, 2024

* For additional species, regulations, and limits, visit here.

** Georgia and Federal Migratory Bird Stamp required. For additional species visit here.

*** Additional regulations here.

Where to Hunt 

Keg Creek Wildlife Management Area

This 800-acre property offers hunting opportunities for deer (archery only), turkey and small game. There is no fee to access the land but a valid Hunting or Fishing License is required. Visit here for an interactive map. Camping is not allowed on this property. 

Corp of Engineers Recreation Areas for Hunting

There are approximately 55,000 acres of public land around Clarks Hill Lake that are suitable for hunting. Over 1,000 of these acres are in Columbia County. All Georgia hunting regulations apply to these lands and waters. Hunters must also possess a valid Georgia Hunting License and applicable permits.

Fish Species

While Clarks Hill Lake is known for its excellent Large Mouth and Striped Bass fishing, other excellent game fish include Bluegill, Crappie, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Redbreast sunfish and Flathead Catfish.

Where to Fish

Fishing can be enjoyed by boat, kayak, canoe and from the shore at any of the numerous campgrounds or day-use facilities.

Facilities with Boat Ramps: Wildwood Park (mega boat ramps), Mistletoe State Park, Petersburg Campground, Ridge Road Campground, Winfield Campground, Pointes West Army Resort, and Lake Springs Recreation Area.

Facilities with a Fishing Dock or Pier: Lake Springs Recreation Area, Clarks Hill Marina, Petersburg Campground.

Where to Stay

Click here to view our Hotels & Camping

Photo Credit @itssunnyj via Instagram