O.C.G.A. § 27-1-2 (2008)§ 27-1-2. (For effective date, see note) Definitions:
(6) "Big game" means turkey, deer, and bear.
(34) "Game animals" means the following animals: bear, bobcat, deer, fox, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, sea turtles and their eggs, squirrel, cougar (Felis concolor), and all members of the families Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae.
(75) "Wild animal" means any animal which is not wildlife and is not normally a domestic species in this state. This term specifically includes any hybrid or cross between any combination of a wild animal, wildlife, and a domestic animal. Offspring from all subsequent generations of such crosses or hybrids are wild animals.
(77) "Wildlife" means any vertebrate or invertebrate animal life indigenous to this state or any species introduced or specified by the board and includes fish, except domestic fish produced by aquaculturists registered under Code Section 27-4-255, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and mollusks or any part thereof.
TITLE 27. GAME AND FISH CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3 (2008)§ 27-1-3. Legislative declarations; ownership and custody of wildlife; preservation of hunting and fishing opportunities; promotion and right to hunt, trap, or fish; local regulation; general offenses:
(b) The ownership of, jurisdiction over, and control of all wildlife, as defined in this title, are declared to be in the State of Georgia, in its sovereign capacity, to be controlled, regulated, and disposed of in accordance with this title. Wildlife is held in trust by the state for the benefit of its citizens and shall not be reduced to private ownership except as specifically provided for in this title. All wildlife of the State of Georgia is declared to be within the custody of the department for purposes of management and regulation in accordance with this title. However, the State of Georgia, the department, and the board shall be immune from suit and shall not be liable for any damage to life, person, or property caused directly or indirectly by any wildlife.
Question: Do I need a permit to simply possess a "wild animal" in Georgia?
Answer: Yes (see below)
TITLE 27. GAME AND FISH CHAPTER 5. WILD ANIMALS
O.C.G.A. § 27-5-4 (2008)§ 27-5-4. Wild animal licenses and permits generally:
(a) Unless otherwise provided in Code Section 27-5-5, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, transport, transfer, sell, purchase, or possess any wild animal listed in Code Section 27-5-5 or specified by the board by regulation without first obtaining a wild animal license from the department as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 or a wild animal permit as provided in this Code section; provided, however, anyone holding a deer-farming license is not required to have a wild animal license or permit to possess farmed deer. Unless otherwise specified by the department, such license or permit shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 and may contain such conditions and restrictions, including restrictions as to numbers and species of animals, as the department determines appropriate in light of the provisions of this chapter. An applicant for a wild animal license or permit shall have the burden of proving that any wild animals subject to such license or permit are or will be imported, transported, transferred, sold, purchased, or possessed in compliance with this chapter.
Additionally, since Bigfoot is presumably a mammal , you may be required to obtain another permit from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA.
So, is Bigfoot protected or not?
It depends on whether it is determined to be a wild animal or part human. If it's determined to be a wild animal, then most likely it would receive some protection under the current law. If it's determined to be part human, then that opens up another can of worms altogether.
One thing is guaranteed, the courts would have to decide the status and the Georgia DNR (Law Enforcement Division) would be justified in basically impounding the body and even charging storage costs until a final disposition is issued.