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I am going to be scouting out some hunting areas in the Chattahoochee National forest and I want to take my CCW along. Anyone have any info on whether or not it's legal. I know you can legaly hunt, so it should be ok to CC but i want to be sure.
 

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I believe that carry in National Forests is okay, but carry in National Parks is not. Ranger stations and the like in the Forest would also be off-limits, since it's a publicly owned building. I haven't done much research on this, though, since I'm scared of the sun.
 

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(o)...It shall also be unlawful for any person to use or possess in any park, historic site, or recreational area any firearms, bows and arrows, spring guns, air rifles, slingshots, or any other device which discharges projectiles by any means, unless the device is unloaded and stored so as not to be readily accessible or unless such use has been approved within restricted areas by prior written permission of the commissioner of natural resources or his authorized representative.
(a) As used in this Code section, the term "park, historic site, or recreational area" means a park, historic site, or recreational area which is operated by or for and is under the custody and control of the department.
O.C.G.A. § 12-3-10

I assume the "department" in part (a) means Dept of Natural Resources.
 

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Okay here is the short version. Carry in National Forests is legal. However most of the National forest area in GA is leased by the state for Wildlife Management Areas(WMA). Carry on a WMA is not legal unless there is an open season and you have a hunting license and a WMA stamp.

That means this time of year you can carry a squirrel gun. Shotgun with small shot or a .22 or smaller rimfire.
 

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You can carry in the National Forest...with exceptions.

Basically, the Feds own the tree's, and the state owns the animals. What this means is that the majority of the National Forests in Georgia are also Georgia Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). Because they are WMA's, you are governed by state law for carrying a weapon. If you are camping/hiking in a WMA, and unless you have a hunting license, and are actually hunting, you won't be able to carry. It's a misdemeanor if you're caught. The code is:

27-3-1.1. Acts prohibited on wildlife management areas

It shall be unlawful for any person on any wildlife management area owned or operated by the department:

(1) To possess a firearm during a closed hunting season for that area unless such firearm is unloaded and stored in a motor vehicle so as not to be readily accessible;

(2) To possess a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area;

(3) To be under the influence of drugs, intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines. The determination of whether any person is under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines may be made in accordance with Code Section 27-3-7;

(4) To hunt within 50 yards of any road which receives regular maintenance for the purpose of public vehicular access;

(5) To target practice, except where an authorized shooting range is made available by the department, and then only in a manner consistent with the rules for shooting ranges promulgated by the board;

(6) To drive a vehicle around a closed gate, cable, sign, or other structure or device intended to prevent vehicular access to a road entering onto or within such an area;

(7) To hunt within any posted safety zone;

("8") To camp upon or drive a motor vehicle over any permanent pasture or area planted in crops;

(9) While hunting bears in any such area opened to bear hunting, to kill a female bear with a cub or cubs or to kill a cub weighing less than 75 pounds;

(10) To fail to report if he or she kills a deer, bear, or turkey in the manner specified by the rules of the department for that wildlife management area on the date killed to the state game and fish checking station on the area;

(11) To construct any tree stand or to hunt from any tree stand except a portable or natural tree stand; or

(12) To trap except with a special trapping permit issued by the department.
 

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When i was at coopers creek WMA this year during trout season and turkey...I carried my .40 and the game warden did not have a problem he said just keep it low key. I carried under my waders and on my side at all times. Now im sure it all depends on the game warden because i know the head game warden in Dawson forest and im sure he wouldn't be to happy if he found you carry a firearm that was not used during hunting season.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
The majority of National Forests are WMA's? Is this true?
Georgia only has two national forests, the Chattahoochee and the Oconee. Portions of both are WMA's but not the entire area.

MP, you checked you email lately?
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
The majority of National Forests are WMA's? Is this true?
Check it out.

http://www.n-georgia.com/wildlifemap.htm

Chattahooche/Oconnee is predominantly in N. Georgia, which also has a large number of WMA's.

I have a better map (on paper), but have not found a source online. Unfortunately the map at the link above shows the county borders, with proximate WMA listed on the map. What you don't see is the WMA border.

Bottom line - be cautious...find out where you are before OC.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
The majority of National Forests are WMA's? Is this true?
Okay you caught me I am not sure of the exact percentage. So maybe its 49.9% but the state leases a lot of the NF land in GA and I have not been able to find an overlay map that lays the WMA onto the NF
 

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ber950 said:
Malum Prohibitum said:
The majority of National Forests are WMA's? Is this true?
Okay you caught me I am not sure of the exact percentage. So maybe its 49.9% but the state leases a lot of the NF land in GA and I have not been able to find an overlay map that lays the WMA onto the NF
:rotfl:
 

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ber950 said:
Malum Prohibitum said:
The majority of National Forests are WMA's? Is this true?
Okay you caught me I am not sure of the exact percentage. So maybe its 49.9% but the state leases a lot of the NF land in GA and I have not been able to find an overlay map that lays the WMA onto the NF
I've got one of those on paper...I need to find it. That's what I was referring to in my post.
 

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luke0927 said:
When i was at coopers creek WMA this year during trout season and turkey...I carried my .40 and the game warden did not have a problem he said just keep it low key. I carried under my waders and on my side at all times. Now im sure it all depends on the game warden because i know the head game warden in Dawson forest and im sure he wouldn't be to happy if he found you carry a firearm that was not used during hunting season.
I can definitely attest to the fact that it depends on the officer or technician in question. Most are very pro-gun and many that I have talked to would not mess with someone concealed carrying. I think many have an unofficial "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Having said that, conceal carry on a WMA at your own risk and if you do, don't do anything stupid.
 
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