Hunting Distance from public road


Senior Member
50 yards. COYOTE X
It sometimes depends on....

What's the legal distance to hunt from a public road?
Depends on where you're hunting....

The GA state hunting regs state "You must be at least 50 yards from any county maintained road or highway (or maintained road on a WMA)." See your specific WMA regulations as they can vary for each WMA. If a road is gated or blocked, this "50 yard rule" does not normally apply to that specific road.... but check with the DNR Ranger at that WMA to be sure.

When hunting on a federal or military reservation it is 100 yards, generally from any "named road".... this generally does not include or apply to a 'firebreak' access road (at least not on Fort Gordon).

One rule that the DNR is VERY STRICT ABOUT is:

The above is the cause of at least one hunting related shooting incident (I don't call it an 'accident') each year.

:rolleyes: :huh: :whip: :whip: :whip: :rolleyes: :huh:


Senior Member
But what is odd is, I believe you can hunt in a tree stand 51 yards from the road and legally shoot that deer standing one foot off the road on your side?


Senior Member
Actually there is not distance for hunting from a public road. You can not discharge a firearm within 50 yards of a public road nor shoot from or across a public road.


Senior Member
The 50 yard rule states that you cannot shoot toward or across a public road either........
Where does it say that?
This is what the popular guide says on page 8.
It shall be illegal to....
– Hunt or shoot from or across a public road.
– Discharge a firearm within 50 yards of a
public road.
That May be True, but.....

But what is odd is, I believe you can hunt in a tree stand 51 yards from the road and legally shoot that deer standing one foot off the road on your side?
Here's a true incident on Fort Gordon that relates to just that similar situation:

About 2 years ago a hunter came in to check in his deer and was overheard by the Game Warden that he had shot his own truck when he shot his deer. The Game Warden came over and started to query him about it. The Game Warden told him he would have to investigate it since it had caused damage to a POV (privately owned vehicle) while discharging a weapon on a military reservation.

He had the hunter accompany him back to where he was hunting to see where the hunter, deer, and vehicle were when the shot was fired. The hunter was hunting from a 10 ft ladder stand about 105 yards from the road; the deer had just crossed the road and was about 10 yards from the road when the shot was fired; and the hunter's truck was parked on the shoulder of the opposite side of the road. The shot had passed thru the deer, ricocheted off the road, and struck the truck just in front of the driver's door panel. They then returned to the Game Warden's office.

When they got to his office, he asked the hunter for his drivers license, state hunting license and big game permit, and FG hunting and big game permit. He was then informed that he was being given a citation for:

1. Shooting across a public roadway- a state AND federal violation.

2. Causing damage to privately owned property during the
illegal discharge of his weapon (his own truck).

3. His deer was confiscated as an illegally taken game animal.

4. His FG Hunting Permit and Big Game Permit were taken and placed in "suspension" for the stated period based on the type of violation/or until the outcome of this case before a federal magistrate.
(This is standard SOP as stated in the FG Hunting Regulations.)

In other words.... he shot his own truck, he lost his deer, he lost his FG hunting privileges for 2 years (and possibly his Georgia hunting privileges on conviction before the federal magistrate). I think he was fined around $500.
All of this because he violated one of the MAIN 10 HUNTING SAFETY COMMANDMENTS:


:huh: :rolleyes: :hair: :whip: :whip: :whip: :hair: :rolleyes: :huh:

GA Hunter Safety Instructor
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Senior Member
I wonder if he had shot the buck 10 yards from his stand, the bullet hit a rock and still richoceted the 100 yards to his truck if he had been treated the same way?

I understand the premise, but if we are legally going to fine and penalize people for richocets (yes his example is undefensible since his bullet hit the road way) then we should be tougher on several other items, not the very least of which is 'mistaken for game accidents'. Of course we should all be aware of what's behind where we shoot but can we be held legally liable for hitting a golf ball sized rock under some leaves behind the deer we just shot???
Apparently so.

Not defending THAT hunter's actions, but....

Back to the issue, it does not appear to be illegal to shoot TOWARDS the road, only ACROSS the road. Unless there is other code perhaps.


Senior Member
The way I read it, on private land it is illegal to discharge a FIREARM within 50 yards of a road (page 8 of regulation). On a WMA it is illegal to "HUNT" within 50 yards of any road opened for vehicular access (page 16).

So on private land you can legally BOW hunt right next to the road, but not on WMA's. Firearm hunting must be at least 50 yards from a road.

Either way you cannot hunt from or across a roadway.
I see no mention of shooting toward a road (although common sense tells me otherwise).

Am I correct about the bow hunting?
Just Wondering Phil....

Phil, this is NOT AN ATTACK or AN INSULT.

Are you just playing "The Devil's Advocate" to stir the pot. (You're good at that!)?

Or.... are you just being a little "hard-headed/obstinate" about this?


The main point is USE COMMON SENSE in discharging your firearm when in CLOSE PROXIMITY to a public roadway. You may be firing towards a roadway at any time, but if say 200 yards away with trees and brush between you and the road, the chances that your bullet will reach the road are almost nil.

:hammers: :hammers: :banginghe ::ke: :banginghe :hammers: :hammers:

GA Hunter Education Instructor


Senior Member
Phil, this is NOT AN ATTACK or AN INSULT.

Are you just playing "The Devil's Advocate" to stir the pot. (You're good at that!)?

Or.... are you just being a little "hard-headed/obstinate" about this?


:hammers: :hammers: :banginghe ::ke: :banginghe :hammers: :hammers:

GA Hunter Education Instructor
Neither? Both? :huh:

The law can not cover ever single scenario possible. Right now, I'm just trying to figure out what is LEGAL as presumably the thread starter was. It appears it is legal to shoot towards a roadway, especially if there is no reason to assume the bullet with CROSS the roadway (from elevated stand into dirt for example). My point about your scenario was the guy was apparently given about every citation possible. Now, his is different since his bullet apparently actually HIT the roadway (illegal) but the richochet is what caused the 'damage to a private vehicle' that he was also cited for. That is what got me thinking about the implications of citing people for richochets that's all. Especially when I've heard of people not being cited for 'mistaken for game' (which I find naueseating).
The guy may have just been a jerk and needed cited for anything possible. ;)


Senior Member
Shooting towards a roadway.

The rule was stated to another hunter by a DNR ranger as i listened least that was his take on it?
Unless there is code to that effect (which is obviously not stated in the guide), that ranger was wrong. They're not perfect (either).
But maybe there is code? :huh:

By the way, the reason I have particular interest in this, is I own property that is set up for exactly this kind of situation. I could make a safe shot TOWARDS the roadway.
The ground slopes UP towards the road. Especially from an elevated stand, that bullet is going in the dirt.
Fortunately I could tell if there was a car or person on the road and would never shoot if either were anywhere present (actually have never there and may never) but that aside, the legality of the issue is still the issue.

Phil, in this particular case BOTH the Game Warden involved AND the hunter involved were KNOWN "JERKS" by most of us regular hunters at Fort Gordon. Even me and some of my hunt'n buddies have had 'incidents' with this particular Game Warden.

I was once told by him that it was "illegal" to have both a #6 shotshell and a deer slug with me while deer hunting. He said "I might accidentally shoot a deer with the #6 load." My response was "He might, but I wouldn't. If I ever did, then he can cite me for it." This is NOT ADDRESSED nor PROHIBITED in the hunting regs.

I told him that small game season and deer season run concurrently and BOTH CAN BE HUNTED AT THE SAME TIME. My smooth-bore slug gun was capable of shooting both shotshell and rifled slugs and I had taken both on several occasions when hunting before.... ALL LEGALLY.

On one occasion when still hunting, I kept seeing large fox squirrels and finally decided to switch loads and took a large black one. I switched back to rifled slugs after recovering the squirrel and then, not 100 yards down the firebreak, I eased up on a 10-pt buck feeding and took him with a rifled slug. One of my "better days" on that particular firebreak I hunted regularly.:D

I could list several pages of "incidents" involving this particular game warden and how "stupid" he was often made to look when they came before the magistrate.

:whip: :whip: :whip: :banginghe :banginghe :banginghe :whip: :whip: :whip:
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So all the Anti's really need to do is get the legislature to "ensure public safety' by convincing them to increase the distance to 100 or 150 yards.:(
Most of the public and elected officials would think that sounded perfectly reasonable.
That act would effectively exclude a large percentage of small tracts now being hunted!:banginghe


Senior Member
Does the 50 yard rule apply to bow hunting as well?
Again is does not say hunting. It says discharge firearms. It does say you can not hunt from the road. But I can find nothing that says you can not hunt within any distance from the road. I would assume this means from the road right-of-way.


Senior Member
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, with or without dogs, any wildlife upon any public road in this state. It shall also be unlawful for any person while hunting to discharge any weapon from or across any public road in this state. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $1,000.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months; provided, however, that such fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.

Guys, you have to look in the law/codes for the details. The regulations guide book is not large enough to cover everything.