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What Are The Tennessee Hunting Regulations You Should be Aware Of?

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency proposes slight changes in the 2021 to 2022 hunting season relating to Unit CWD regulations and new hunting opportunities at Buffalo Ridge Refuge.

A Tennessee hunting license is required to prove that you know the ethics and responsibilities of hunting in the state. Hunting seasons are not the same from year to year, and neither are hunting licenses.

The official Hunter Education Certificate has been in circulation since 1969, and the law states that all hunters born within Tennessee must acquire an official hunting education card.

All hunters born on or before 1969 must have this card in their possession while hunting for any game animals. Any hunter who is part of the military is exempt from having a license if they carry their official military card while out hunting in Tennessee.

What Guns Can You Hunt Deer With in Tennessee?

What Guns Can You Hunt Deer With in Tennessee?

You can hunt deer with an assortment of guns, but you need to be aware of the firearms that are not permitted for use during the Tennessee hunting season. Using the incorrect weapon while hunting deer can lead to an encounter with the law or an arrest in a worst-case scenario.

You can make use of shotguns, rifles, and handguns during Tennessee deer season as long as you prove that you are a legal big game hunter. There is also the option to make use of archery equipment such as a crossbow or traditional bow and arrow.

Tennessee hunting seasons have a bag limit that should be considered when deer hunting is in progress. The statewide bag limit is two antlerless deer, and you may only kill one per day.

Hunting in Tennessee

America is well known for hunting, and Tennessee is one of the biggest hunting states in the entire nation. Turkey, deer, elk, and other small game animals are all included in the hunting season in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has put legal limitations on fish and game in the state to handle conservation accordingly. You must follow the guidelines set out for hunting in Tennessee.

Tennessee Hunting Seasons

Deer hunters are allowed to hunt from the August to September season in designated wildlife management areas. These areas require that you are up to scratch with your hunter education and have a valid hunting license.

It's good to note that hunting on private property can leave you in trouble with the law, irrelevant of you have a hunting license or not. Hunting on non-public land requires that you have permission from the private landowners.

The rules and regulations surrounding your hunting rights can easily be viewed on the TWRA mobile app. You can proceed with confidence when you have more information on what permits are required, what species can be hunted, and the Tennessee knife laws.

What Animals Are Legal to Hunt in Tennessee?

There are multiple animals that you can hunt in the state of Tennessee. Depending on the season, turkey hunting can be done by anyone 9-years of age or older. Remember, you need to have your valid hunter education to abide by all hunting regulations in the state of Tennessee.

Elk season is short and only lasts seven days from the second Saturday in October until the following Friday. You can use a gun, muzzleloader, or archery equipment during an elk hunt as long as bag limits are considered.

Fall turkey season runs from September to October, where an individual can hunt wild turkey and other small game species with a range of archery-based items. The seasons extend further through December to March, where hunters can use firearms such as shotguns or rifles.

What to Wear During While Hunting

During gun seasons, individuals need to wear hunter orange, a fluorescent blaze orange outer garment worn on the top section of the body. Many people think this might put them at a downside during deer hunting, but this is not the case.

You see, deer can see color, but they interpret it differently to humans. Orange and red are on a different color wavelength, and for many species, it does not show any signs of danger.

The only time that regulations allow you to hunt without your bright orange camo is during turkey hunting. Turkey hunters need to be more cautious because orange is a color that the birds can see in their color spectrum.

One important thing to always remember is to carry your Tennessee hunting license with you at all times. That aids in preventing any unnecessary trouble that you might encounter when running into a park ranger.

Do You Need a Hunting License to Hunt on Private Property in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, it is required by wildlife law that you have permission from the landowners when hunting on their property.

Remember hunting on someone's land requires that you check in with the owners to see if they allow such activities on their estate. It is good to find out more information regarding the regulations and permits needed to hunt game animals on private land.

Can I Shoot a Deer On My Own Property in Tennessee?

Throughout the state of Tennessee, it is illegal to shoot, kill, or chase any wild animal with or without the assistance of dogs within 100 yards of a house dwelling. It can pose a potential threat to the home residents and can lead to an unexpected injury or even death. If you or someone you know has been injured by someone else in a hunting accident, contact an aggressive injury attorney.

Permission must be granted to hunt on public hunting lands, and only then can hunting activities commence. Tennessee offers non-residents the option to hunt in the state, but they need to follow wildlife regulations set out by the law.

Hunting Regulations

In some parts of Tennessee, quota hunts have been put in place because the number of hunters in the area could damage the available resources. These limits are crucial in maintaining the environment while still being able to hunt for meat or recreation.

Another vital thing to note is that hunting albino deer is strictly forbidden, and you could receive a massive fine or even time in jail if caught poaching these majestic creatures.

Apprentice Hunting License

As of 2007, a New Apprentice license exempts a hunter of 10 years of age from completing the mandatory hunter education provided by the state.

It can be purchased at any fishing or hunting agent and is valid for one year from the date of inception. The New Apprentice license allows a hunter to skip the hunter education phase for up to a year. It's good to note that after the year the card has expired, you need to apply for the hunter education program to get your certificate.

The apprentice hunting license can only be obtained once in a hunter's life and should be used responsibly for the duration that it is valid.

An apprentice hunter must be under direct supervision at all times. The hunter accompanying the minor needs to be fully licensed and aware of the hunting rights in the state of Tennessee.

Muzzleloader and Gun Seasons

All big game hunters may use a muzzleloader with their firearm during gun season. It's said that a muzzleloader can significantly improve your accuracy and gives you a better chance to physically tag the deer that you are hunting.

Gun season in Henderson county is in November and is an excellent time for hunters to test their firearms skills. When hunting wildlife using a firearm, it is imperative to have all your permits, licenses, and bag limits in order so that there is no trouble with the law.

Decoys and Electronic Calls

Decoys and Electronic Calls

During hunting season, hunters can use electronic calls as decoys for foxes, turkey, and geese when out in the woods. Adding a hunting device that helps attract or distract the game animal you are hunting can be an excellent way to get your catch.

These specific tools can only be used during hunting seasons of the particular game animal that the device mimics. It provides you with immediate control of the situation and can be wildly effective at leading an animal out of hiding.


Tennessee hunting season attracts visitors from all over the United States due to the large amount of wildlife. A wildlife management area like Slough in Henderson County is perfect for people looking to hunt migratory game birds, antlerless deer, and fur-bearing animals under the rules set for the hunting season.

Hunting is a leisure and sport activity that Americans of all ages love. Besides helping with the conservation of the animal population, Tennessee hunting can also provide food for the underprivileged in the state.

If you have no intention of keeping the deer once done hunting it, you can drop it a processor recommended by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. These processors are people who cut up and portion the meat distributing it to citizens in need.

It's the perfect way to manage the massive deer herd and small game found in the state of Tennessee.

So, if you want to start hunting, be sure to get your hunter education from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency so that you can be official during the next hunting season.

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