Tennessee Hunting Seasons Information and Regulations

*All information listed below is disclosed based on research we have conducted. We do our best to ensure that all information is up to date and accurate. However, rules and regulations are changing every day. Please make sure to verify your state-specific regulations prior to your hunt.

In Tennessee, hunting season typically starts in September and runs through the winter months. Hunting is an important activity in this state, and hunters can pursue a variety of game animals including deer, turkey, elk, bear, waterfowl and small game. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regulates all hunting seasons and sets limits on how many animals can be taken and where. Hunters must obtain a license before they can hunt, and certain areas may have additional regulations or restrictions. There are also educational courses available for hunters to gain skills and knowledge before heading out into the field. Hunting is an enjoyable experience that offers many benefits, including the potential to bring in food for family meals, hone outdoor skills and observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

However, it is important for hunters to be aware of the regulations and safety precautions that must be met in order to ensure a safe and responsible hunting experience. For those who are new to hunting, attending an educational course may be beneficial. Furthermore, practicing proper firearm safety will help keep everyone safe during a hunt. Following the regulations set by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will also ensure a successful hunt. Hunting season in Tennessee is an exciting time of year and with the proper precautions, can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Happy hunting!

Tennessee Deer Seasons

August SeasonAug. 26 – 28
ArcherySept. 24 – Oct. 28
Oct. 31 – Nov. 4
Young SportsmanOct. 29 – 30
Jan. 14 – 15
General SeasonNov. 19 – Jan. 8
Private Lands OnlyOnly available in Unit L
Jan. 9 – 13

*In Tennessee, white-tailed deer are the most commonly found species. They are a popular game animal in the state, and hunting and observing them is a favorite pastime for many residents and visitors. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manages the state’s deer populations through regulations on hunting seasons, bag limits, and herd management programs. In addition to hunting, white-tailed deer can also be observed in natural areas and parks throughout the state.

Tennessee Elk Seasons

ArcherySept. 24 – Sept. 30
Young SportsmanOct. 1 – 7
General SeasonOct. 8 – 14

Elk were once native to Tennessee but were extirpated from the state in the late 1800s due to habitat loss and over-hunting. However, the species has recently been reintroduced to Tennessee through a cooperative effort between the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. These elk are being managed as a wildlife species, and hunting opportunities may become available in the future as the herd continues to grow and expand. However, it is important to note that hunting elk in Tennessee is currently limited, and the exact rules and regulations can change from year to year. For the most up-to-date information on elk hunting in Tennessee, it is best to check with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Tennessee Turkey Seasons   

Fall ArcherySept. 24 – Oct. 28
Oct. 31 – Nov. 4
Fall Shotgun SeasonOct. 15 – 28
Spring 2023 Young SportsmanApril 8 – 9
Spring 2023 General SeasonApril 15 – May 28

*In Tennessee, fall turkey hunting may only be allowed in specific counties. During the spring season, there may be restrictions on the number of turkeys that can be taken or a shorter hunting period. To determine if hunting turkeys is legal in your area, it’s recommended to check the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website.

Tennessee Small Game Seasons

SquirrelAug. 27 – March 15
May 13 – June 11
RabbitNov. 5 – Feb. 28
BullfrogOpen season
CoyoteOpen season
GroundhogOpen season
Striped SkunkOpen season
RaccoonSept. 17-Feb. 28
GrouseOct. 8 – Feb. 28
QuailNov. 5 – Feb. 28

The rules for hunting various animals in Tennessee, including restrictions on the number of animals that can be taken and special hunting periods, can vary depending on the season. For more information on obtaining hunting licenses, permits, and understanding the regulations, it’s best to visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website.

Tennessee Crossbow Regulations

Crossbow Specific Regulations: In Tennessee, crossbows are considered a legal method of taking game during archery seasons and can also be used during the firearms season in some cases. However, there may be specific regulations regarding the use of crossbows, such as minimum draw weight requirements and restrictions on the use of mechanical aids.

It is important to note that crossbow regulations can change from year to year, so it’s best to check with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for the most up-to-date information.

Tennessee Hunting License

In Tennessee, most hunters are required to have a hunting license in order to legally hunt certain species. The type of license required and the cost can vary depending on the hunter’s age, residency status, and the type of hunting being done. For example, there may be different licenses for residents and non-residents, as well as separate licenses for hunting big game, small game, and migratory birds.

In addition to a hunting license, hunters may also be required to have additional permits, such as a big game hunting permit or a turkey hunting permit, in order to hunt specific species. The exact requirements can change from year to year, so it’s best to check with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for the most up-to-date information.

If you want to check out the next state on our list, click here to see Texas.

Or, you can check out the last state on our list, South Dakota.

About Al Parsons

Al Parsons is originally from Alabama, but has had the pleasure of hunting all over the United States. Al is an expert on crossbow hunting, as well as traditional rifle hunting. His favorite time of year is the start of Archery Deer season in Alabama, so usually in October.