2017-2018 Tennessee hunting seasons and regulations:

Handgun hunting specific regulations:

Centerfire handguns may be used to hunt the following: white-tailed deer, black bear, elk, beaver, bobcat, coyote, fox, groundhog, mink, muskrat, opossum, river otter, raccoon, skunk, weasel, and crow.

Rimfire handguns may be used to hunt the following: beaver, bobcat, coyote, fox, groundhog, mink, muskrat, opossum, river otter, raccoon, skunk, weasel, crow, armadillo, bullfrog, collared dove, grouse, quail, rabbit, and squirrel.

Muzzleloading handguns of .36 caliber or larger may be used to hunt the following: white-tailed deer, black bear, elk, beaver, bobcat, coyote, fox, groundhog, mink, muskrat, opossum, river otter, raccoon, skunk, weasel, crow, armadillo, bullfrog, collared dove, grouse, quail, rabbit, and squirrel.

Muzzleloading handguns smaller than .36 caliber may be used to hunt the following: beaver, bobcat, coyote, fox, groundhog, mink, muskrat, opossum, river otter, raccoon, skunk, weasel, crow, armadillo, bullfrog, collared dove, grouse, quail, rabbit, and squirrel.

Please note that the above regulations also hold true for rifles of those types.

No one under the age of 18 may hunt with a handgun.

There are no restrictions on cartridge dimensions or barrel length for hunting handguns.



General regulations of interest for the 2017-2018 season:


White-tailed deer seasons:

Archery season runs from September 23rd to October 27th, and from October 30th to November 3rd.

Muzzleloader season runs from November 4th to November 17th.

Gun season runs from November 18th to January 7th.

Unit L antlerless white-tailed deer season - gun, muzzleloader, and archery - January 8th to January 12th. The bag limit is 3 antlerless deer per day.

The young sportsman hunts are the weekends of October 28th and 29th, and January 13th and 14th. Youths ages 6-16 only, and they must be accompanied by an adult 21 years old or older who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the firearm. Youth hunters over 10 must satisfy Hunter Education requirements.

Antlerless bag limits vary by county unit.

Unit L limits: three antlerless deer per day throughout the entirety of the season. This unit consists of the following counties: Bedford, Benton, Cannon, Carrol, Cheatham, Chester, Coffee, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Moore, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Wayne, Weakley, Williamson, and Wilson.

Unit A limits: two antlerless deer during the young sportsman hunt; four during the archery season; two during the muzzleloader season; and two during the gun season. This unit consists of the following counties: Bradley, Carter, Hamilton, Hawkins, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Rhea, Roane, and Sullivan.

Unit B limits: two antlerless deer during the young sportsman hunt; four during the archery season; two during the muzzleloader season; and one during the gun season. This unit consists of the following counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Campbell, Claiborne, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Grundy, Hancock, Jackson, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Scott, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren, and White.

Unit C limits: two antlerless deer during the young sportsman hunt; four during the archery season; one during the muzzleloader season; and one during the gun season, but only through November 18th to December 3rd. This unit consists of the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblin, Jefferson, Unicoi, Union, and Washington.

Unit D limits: two antlerless deer during the young sportsman hunt; four during the archery season; one during the muzzleloader season; and one during the gun season, but only through November 18th to November 24th. This unit consists of the following counties: Blount, Monroe, Polk, and Sevier.

The statewide bag limit for bucks is two per year, and only one may be taken per day.


Bear seasons:

Varies depending on bear hunting zone. Check with the Hunting and Trapping Guide for details.


Elk seasons:

Archery season: September 30th to October 6th. One antlered elk per permit. Seven archery permits are available for draw. Each hunter will be assigned to a separate elk hunting zone.

Gun, muzzleloader, and archery season: October 14th to October 20th. One antlered elk per permit. Seven permits are available, six being draw permits and one being auctioned. Each hunter will be assigned to a separate elk hunting zone.

The young sportsman elk hunt is October 7th to October 13th. One special youth permit will be issued to a resident hunter between the ages of 13 to 16. This youth hunter will be allowed to hunt any of the five elk hunting zones.


For further information, check with the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available for download as a .pdf file here: https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/twra/attachments/huntguide.pdf
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Formerly TN Lone Wolf

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