Tennessee – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/30/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations, Whitetail Deer
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This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.


Is the information easy to find?

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s ‘For Hunters’ page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The TWRA web site is well designed, starting with the ‘For Hunters‘ page, choosing the Big Game Hunting, Deer Seasons and Regulations, Licenses & Permits, and Public Hunting Areas links will provide users with the majority of information needed to plan a hunt.  One minor comment, the font needs to be bigger, using CTRL + on a Windows keyboard, or Command + on a Mac keyboard will increase the magnification of the page for easier viewing.  There is also a very interesting cooperative website that is linked from the main page called The Hunter’s Toolbox:

This web site has been developed for use of TWRA professionals and the general public. We encourage the use of this site so that you may better understand the management of wild game in Tennessee.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Over the counter licenses are the norm in Tennessee, some drawings do exist for limited access or quota hunts.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Tennessee residents are required to purchase a $28.00 hunting and fishing combination license before purchasing a big game permit.   Big game permits are priced for residents at $28.00 for firearm season, $28.00 for archery season, and $28.00 for muzzleloader season.  Nonresident hunters have a choice of a 7 day all game permit for $175.00, or an annual all game permit of $251.00.  There is also a $21.00 Wildlife Management Area fee for access to WMAs.

A seven day permit for all game seems somewhat pricey at $175.00, but compared to many other states that have much higher prices an no short-term option, or higher prices for deer only permits, this is well thought out.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The TWRA Deer Seasons page covers seasons per unit and bag limits in a quick, logical manner.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

The Public Hunting Page has a short list of common sense regulations regarding hunting on various public lands.  Please note there is a typographical error at the top of the page, where it states that ‘Over 7,000 acres of public hunting lands are available…’ while directly below it notes that in Heartwood PHA over 7,000 acres of public hunting lands are available. There is a separate link to TWRA maps page, and on the left sidebar of that page is a link to Wildlife Management Area maps.  On that page, the user can either click on a region to see more detail, then choose a specific WMA to view in detail, or select from the map itself.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident? 

Chronic Wasting Disease has not been found in Tennessee, and the TWRA has both testing and monitoring in place to keep ahead of the issue.  No other issues are known at this time.

Summary: Final Score A+

Tennessee may be the first ‘perfect’ score in the series, though the $175.00 seven-day license seems steep, most out of state hunters plan 4-7 day hunts, which in this case saves money for the hunters while still providing the opportunity for three deer in seven days.  The website had no issues, no dead links, and thought the font could be larger, that is simply resolved on any computer.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth Carolina, South Dakota,


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