A Few General Deer Hunting Regulations
Always review the current "Official TWRA Regulations" brochure or contact the TWRA
for the complete and the most current Tennessee deer hunting rules and regulations. The
information contained on this page is for quick reference purposes only.
- Rifles using any center-fire ammunition, in all counties except where regulated by legislative acts.
- Handguns using any centerfire ammunition, except
those with multiple shot, and having a barrel length of four inches or more, in all counties except where regulated by legislative acts.
- Shotguns using ammunition loaded with single solid
ball or rifled slugs. No restriction on number of rounds in magazine.
- Longbows, compound bows, crossbows and other bows drawn or held by a mechanical device.
- Hunting arrows and bolts mustbe equipped with broadheads of a barbless design with sharpened blades.
Weapons may be equipped with sighting devices except those devices utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife. Night vision scopes are illegal.
Fluorescent Orange Requirements:
Hunters must wear on the upper portion of their body and head a minimum of 500 square inches
of daylight fluorescent orange, visible front and back while hunting big game except on
archery-only hunts. (A hat and vest fulfills requirements.) Blaze orange camo is legal if
it contains 500 square inches of fluorescent orange.
Mandatory Hunter Education:
All hunters born on or after January 1, 1969, must possess proof that they have
successfully completed a hunter education course. Those under age 10 do not need the certificate, but must be accompanied by an adult at
least 21 years of age who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting
device. Check with the TWRA for a schedule of hunter education courses in your area.
Tagging and Checking Stations
Big game tagging: - It is unlawful to move, transport or field dress any big game animal, except for
feral hogs, without invalidating and attaching a properly completed temporary kill tag. If additional animals
are to be harvested on that day, the hunter is not required to stop hunting and tag the animal until he/she
is ready to move, transport, or field dressed the animal. At the conclusion of the hunt, all harvested animals,
one of which must be tagged, must be transported to the nearest checking station on that calendar day. At the
checking station a permanent kill tag will be issued for each animal harvested plus one new temporary tag will be
given to the hunter for their next hunt. The permanent harvest tag is a legal document and must be signed by the
hunter. By signing the permanent kill tag, the hunter is affirming that the information, as it appears on the
permanent tag, is correct and valid. The permanent kill tag must remain with the carcass until final processing.
All big game taken to taxidermists must have proper documentation showing the permanent kill tag number, checking
station number, and date of kill. Persons legally hunting without a license (See "No License Needed For" under
"License Fees") or possessing a permanent license must also take any big game animal, except for feral hogs,
they harvest to a checking station where a kill tag will be issued. After receiving the kill tag from checking
in the first kill, these persons must comply with all tagging regulations.
Persons legally hunting without a license or issued a free hunting license are also
required to take any big game animal harvested to a check station where a kill tag will
be issued. After receiving a kil tag from checking in their first kill, these persons
must comply with all tagging regulations.
Field Dressing Big Game
Evidence of species or sex of big game animals must not be destroyed or removed (normal field
dressing is permitted) prior to a permanent kill tag having been issued at a checking station.
Big Game Found Dead
All big game found dead should be left where found and need not be reported. Individuals
wanting to keep big game found dead must first contact the local Regional TWRA
office for authorization. Any vehicle in which an illegally possessed big game animal is
found is subject to confiscation. Deer accidentally killed by a motor vehicle may be
possed by any person for personal use and consumption if the TWRA or a local law enforcement
agency is notified within 48 hours.
Antlered deer must have a minimum of 3 inches in length on buck only or antlered only hunts.
Deer are defined as those deer with no antlers or deer with antlers less than 3
inches in length.
Hunting, trapping, or possession of albino deer is prohibited. An albino deer is a deer with
a lack, or significant deficiency, of pigment in the skin and hair, and has pink eyes.
Number in Party and Age Requirements:
A WMA party hunt is limited to 15. Otherwise, there is no limit to the party size on
statewide big game hunts, and no age requirements except as follows: Juveniles under
16, hunting small game and waterfowl on a WMA, must be accompanied by an adult who
possesses a valid WMA permit. In addition, only ages 10-16 (accompanied by a nonhunting
adult) may participate in the special juvenile hunts. Juveniles under 16 hunting
big game on a wildlife management area must have a WMA permit and be accompanied by
a non-hunting adult on Juvenile-only hunts (unless otherwise specified).
Public Hunting Areas:
Tennessee offers almost 800,000 acres of public hunting lands. Just click
"HERE" for Public Hunting Land
Info from the TWRA.
Big Game License:
Tennessee's special resident Sportsman license (Type 04) covers the cost of all the
above licenses and permits.