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#3270723 - 06/18/13 09:02 PM Hunt WMA or Private land?
Robert Connell

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Mississippi

This is why I ask. I plan on moving to Tennessee next year and I plan on trying to buy a house with some land so that I can hunt on it. I currently live in South Mississippi and the WMA's suck here. No one really takes care of them and last year I almost got shot out of my stand. This is just due to some very rude hunters in this area. Anyways I have never hunted in Tennessee so I wonder how worthy the WMA's are up there and if it is even worth hunting? Do you guys run dogs up there? I want to buy a house with a little bit of land to hunt on but if the WMA's are good hunting areas in Tennessee I wouldnt mind doing that as well as long as its safe and there are deer to hunt. Can you hunt on public land in Tennessee like the Smokey Mountian National Park and areas like that? Anyhelp would be appreciated I am trying to research good hunting areas or good hunting WMA's before I move so I can buy in a good hunting location.



#3270745 - 06/18/13 09:22 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: Robert Connell]
4 Point

Registered: 03/29/13
Posts: 166
Loc: TN

Lot of good wma's in TN , Im sure some are better than others , there is a lot that I havn't had the chance to hunt. Others could give you more detailed info but you can go to and look at the hunting guides, it shows all the wma's and seasons. Also while you're on this site go to the trophy room and look at the pics from the wmas, it might help you make up your mind. Plenty of public land and a good chance to kill game on any of em. No dog running, unless rabbit/deer dogs come by -lol - Good luck and congrats on moving to TN. Lots of good folks on this site - glad to have ya.
#3270747 - 06/18/13 09:24 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: Robert Connell]
16 Point

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10824
Loc: Middle Tennessee

National parks are illegal to hunt in everywhere in the country. There are however a lot of national forests that you can hunt in. Cherokee national forest is one of them. But the deer density is extremely low. Middle and west Tennessee have much better deer hunting and more liberal bag limits. No dogs allowed for deer anywhere in tn.
There is only 1 Absolute.

#3270748 - 06/18/13 09:27 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: trealtree]
10 Point

Registered: 08/21/12
Posts: 3535
Loc: maury county tn

personally private.

#3270759 - 06/18/13 09:36 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: deerhunter10]
Robert Connell

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Mississippi

I prefer private as well but moving there (for me and my family) it is kind of hard to predict how much land to get or how much prices are in that area. We have been looking online to check out houses for sale and found some in our price range but have to check out more. The WMA's in Tennessee sound a lot better then down here in MS. I have been on the sight read some information about season bag limits and rules and regulations. I did notice that the zones bag limits differ and I am guessing it is because of what trealtree said about the middle and west TN having more deer population then the East side. The bag limit for middle TN is like 3 a day for doe which sounds like that area is pretty populated. Atleast that is what I am gathering.
#3270800 - 06/18/13 10:28 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: Robert Connell]

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 30340
Loc: Chester County

Private if you can
Work to live, Live to hunt

#3270805 - 06/18/13 10:43 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: easy45]
16 Point

Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 17481
Loc: Franklin TN

confused Online
Killed 6 deer private and 4 on public last year. I love hunting both and would recommend giving the WMA hunting a try. I have only really hunted 2 or 3 WMAs but if you get in the right spots at the right time you can have plenty of deer and little or no hunters. You just have to get used to the fact that someone can walk up and mess your hunt any time.

#3270813 - 06/18/13 10:58 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: catman529]
16 Point

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 12773

what area are you planning on moving to
#3270934 - 06/19/13 07:49 AM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: ROUGH COUNTRY HUNTER]
Mud Dauber
16 Point

Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13436
Loc: Tennessee

In general, I think you will find a big difference between the TN WMAs and the WMAs of South Mississippi. To be next door, Mississippi has a dramatically different hunting culture than that of TN. Also, South MS in particular, is such a huge deer dogging culture that once dog season is open, the majority of deer hunters on public land are running dogs. I'm not knocking deer dogging and I have no problem with it unto itself, but, for sharing land with others, its about an intrusive form of hunting as your can get. I have seen it for myself in South MS: Guys zipping up and down every available road, chasing their dogs, waiting for deer to run across roads, people shooting at running deer etc. Yes, its more like a war zone than anything else.

Again, if that's the way they want to do things, I have no problem with it, but it does make still hunting rather difficult, plus, the dogs put such a high degree of pressure on the deer that daytime movement drops to almost zero. If you are not interested in deer dogging and don't have private land, South Mississippi can be a difficult place to deer hunt.

I'm not saying that you won't experience crowds on opening weekends on TN public land, but its nothing like what you'll be coming from in South MS. Another big difference is the extremely limited use of ATVs on TN WMAs. In MS, virtually everyone uses ATVs (whether they are allowed to or not, or they use them for access in places where they are only supposed to be used for retrieval). First light on MS public land sounds more like a tractor pull than anything else. So yeah.... no deer dogging and no ATVs makes a big difference as far as finding tranquility in the woods. (again, I'm not knocking these things, just pointing out obvious differences).

Oh yeah, and in TN, game laws are actually laws and not mere "suggestions."
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

#3271015 - 06/19/13 09:17 AM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: Poser]
8 Point

Registered: 09/22/12
Posts: 1714
Loc: Nashville

Private land is easier hunting, less bull crap to put up with, don't have any one ruining your hunt ect ect. It is nice to kill a good buck on a Wma though, very rewarding. but there is so much more that can go wrong, its completely different hunting on Wma's. Even if you have private land though you still have to give the Wma's a try. It's always good to have a back up place to hunt, or a couple, and WMA's are great for that.I love hunting Wma's when there isn't about 100 wanna-be buckmasters running around the woods. With that being said, all WMA's are not created equal.
Corpsman Up!

#3271064 - 06/19/13 10:33 AM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: deerhunter10]

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 46152
Loc: Just North of Chatt-town

Nothing like having your own land to hunt on, regardless of whether the public hunting is good or not, imo. However, you will likely find trespassers and poachers think that your land is a great place to hunt/poach as well, as has been my case. Good luck and welcome to the great state of Tennessee! \:\)

Amateurs: Built the Ark

Professionals: Built the Titanic

#3271144 - 06/19/13 12:20 PM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: MUP]
8 Point

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 1224
Loc: Williamson County

Part of your problem in South MS is one of geography, not just private vs public. How south are you? If you are south of Vicksburg and not near the MS River you are in poor soils and small deer.

WMAs near you may be poor, but there are areas of MS that offer some of the best public land hunting in the nation!

The quality of the hunting in TN will also depend on your location. The hunting tends to get better as you move from east to west, but there are exceptions.

On public land, those who are willing to drive away from major cities are often rewarded with less pressure. Also, you can join clubs offering access to timber company land for reasonable prices.
I am a financial planner for couples who are too busy or don't know where to start.

#3271763 - 06/20/13 09:14 AM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: WMAn]
8 Point

Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 1754
Loc: Milan, TN

Were I you then I would get everything figured out for where I want to go in regards to housing, crime, schools, etc. and then once a place is located, figure out your hunting situation later on. You will kill deer on a wma if you hunt it enough and have a basic idea of what you are doing. This can be done without needing to be too worried for your safety outside of mountain lion or bigfoot attacks. However, private land will naturally be better because you will have it to yourself (mostly, dang poachers) and can shape the land and the herd as you see fit. But like I said, I would put everything else above hunting possibilities. Good luck on your search!
Semper Fi

Just because it's bad-a** don't mean it's a good idea.

#3271794 - 06/20/13 09:55 AM Re: Hunt WMA or Private land? [Re: DirtyBear0311]
6 Point

Registered: 07/23/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Cumberland County,Tennessee, U...

Both are great for the most part \:\)
Better a good day of catching fish, than a life time of crabs.

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