Seasons and Bag Limits
Tennessee has a statewide antlered buck bag limit of 3, and no more than 1 antlered deer may be taken per day. On specially arranged occasions managed by either the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), hunters may be permitted to exceed this limit and take bonus deer. Deer can be hunted during the following seasons:
1. The archery seasons run from September 22 to October 26 and from October 29 to November 2. These two seasons have an antlerless bag limit of 4 and an antlered bag limit of 3 for Units A and B. Unit L has an antlerless bag limit of 3 per day.
2. The muzzleloader and archery season begins on November 3 and lasts till November 16 with an antlerless bag limit of 4 and an antlered bag limit of 3 for Unit A, Unit B will have an antlerless limit of 1. Unit L has an antlerless limit of 3 per day.
3. The gun, muzzleloader, and archery season starts on November 17 to January 6.
4. The young sportsman season will run from October 27 to 28, 2012 and January 12 to 13, 2013. Both seasons will have a bag limit of 2 each for antlerless deer and an antlered bag limit of 3 for unit A. Unit B will have an antlerless limit of 1 per season and a limit of 3 antlered deer. Unit L has an antlerless limit of 3 per day for both seasons.
Bears have an annual bag limit of one per either sex with tight restrictions against taking of cubs and female bears with cubs. Unless under special circumstances provided by proclamation, bears cannot be hunted in bear reserves. The bear archery-only season lasted from September 22 to October 19. Guns, muzzleloader, and archery season lasted from November 22 to November 25. During these two seasons, dogs were not permitted.
Hunting with dogs lasted from September 24 to October 7 for the guns, muzzleloader, and archery season, then again from October 29 to November 2, and from November 29 to December 12. These dates had some slight variances depending on the county.
The Elk population is not very high in Tennessee and thus, the hunting seasons and bag limits are very limited. The gun, muzzleloader, and archery season begun on October 25 to 19 and only 5 permits were issued with a bag limit of 1 antlered elk per permit. Only a single permit was issued for the gun, muzzleloader, and archery season that ran from October 20 to 21 with a bag limit of 1.
Some areas of Tennessee have wider turkey populations than others. Some turkey populations are so depleted that their respective counties do not allow hunting, while some counties enjoy a plentiful annual hunting harvest. During turkey seasons, hunting is allowed from 30 minutes before the official sunrise till sunset.
1. March 23-24, 2013 is the date for the statewide spring young sportsman hunt (designed for ages 6-16) with a bag limit of 1, except where it counts as a bonus bird.
2. Wild turkey spring hunt open in all counties from March 30 to May 12 with bag limits of 1 bearded turkey per day and not exceeding 4 per season.
Next: Small Game and water fowl hunting dates