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Game species in Tennessee include small game, big game, and waterfowl. Small game includes migratory birds, furbearers, and other small game species.

Depending on your age, you may be required to have proof of satisfactory completion of a TWRA–approved hunter education course when hunting in Tennessee. TWRA Apprentice Permits are available also.

Most hunters need a Tennessee Hunting and Fishing Combination license. In addition to the license, you may be required to have a Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit, Federal Duck Stamp, and/or additional licenses for the game you are hunting and the equipment you are using. Trappers need a trapping license.

Before hunting or trapping on private land, you must get the landowner’s permission. When hunting on public land, including WMAs, make sure you know and follow the hunting regulations for that area. 

Hunting seasons, times, and bag limits are determined based on the species being hunted, your hunting equipment, and your hunting location. 

All big game animals (bear, deer, and turkey) harvested in Tennessee must be checked in before the end of the calendar day. You may check in deer and turkey at any approved TWRA checking station, on the TWRA website, or by using the TWRA mobile application. Bears must be checked in at an official checking station.

When hunting during big game seasons in Tennessee, hunters must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange (daylight fluorescent orange) on their head and the upper portion of their body.

The legal methods you may use while hunting depend on the game species and the hunting season. Always follow the requirements for the type of firearm or archery equipment, ammunition, and any accessories you use.

Before you go hunting, make sure you know Tennessee’s hunting regulations regarding baiting, hunting with dogs, possessing live animals, accompanying other hunters, and using vehicles or vessels. Remember also that there are additional, specific regulations for hunting deer, turkeys, and migratory birds.

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