Turkey Hunting in Tennessee
Turkey hunting is a popular and rewarding sport in Tennessee, where hunters can pursue wild turkeys in various habitats and seasons. However, before heading out to the woods, hunters need to be aware of the license requirements, fees, regulations, and statistics related to turkey hunting in Tennessee. Here is a brief overview of what you need to know.
License Requirements and Fees
To hunt turkeys in Tennessee, you need a valid hunting license and a turkey permit. The type and cost of the license and permit depend on your age, residency, and hunting equipment. You can purchase your license and permit online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com or at any authorized license agent.
The following table summarizes the license and permit fees for turkey hunting in Tennessee:
|License/Permit||Resident Fee||Non-Resident Fee|
|Hunting and Fishing Combination (Type 001)||$33||$214.50 (7-day) or $305 (annual)|
|Waterfowl (Type 005)||$37||$37|
|Annual Big Game Gun (Type 009)||$33||$33|
|Annual Big Game Archery (Type 010)||$33||$33|
|Annual Big Game Muzzleloader (Type 011)||$33||$33|
|Turkey Permit (Type 017)||$27||$140|
Some hunters may be eligible for reduced-fee or free licenses and permits, such as senior citizens, disabled veterans, intellectually disabled persons, blind persons, wheelchair-restricted persons, or native Tennesseans. You can find more information about these special licenses and permits on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) website or by contacting the TWRA Nashville Office at 615-781-6500.
Regulations and Seasons
Turkey hunting regulations and seasons vary depending on the spring or fall season and the hunting zone. You can find the current regulations and seasons in the Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide or on the TWRA website.
The spring turkey season is open statewide from April 15 to May 15, with a Young Sportsman Hunt on April 8-9. The bag limit is two bearded turkeys for the entire spring season, and only one bird can be a juvenile or jake. You can hunt turkeys with shotguns, archery equipment, or crossbows. You cannot hunt turkeys with dogs or over bait sites during the spring season.
The fall turkey season is open only in certain counties and during specific dates. The bag limit is one turkey of either sex per county per fall season. You can hunt turkeys with shotguns, archery equipment, crossbows, or muzzleloaders. You can hunt turkeys with dogs or over bait sites during the fall season.
You must tag and report your turkey harvest before moving it from the site of harvest. You can use the TWRA on the Go app to e-tag and report your harvest in one easy step, with or without cell phone service. Alternatively, you can use one of the temporary transportation tags that are printed at the bottom of your license or obtained online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com. You must check in your harvest online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com or at one of several manned check stations by midnight on the same day of harvest or before leaving the state.
Statistics and Tips
According to the TWRA, Tennessee hunters harvested 34,078 turkeys during the 2021 spring season, which was a slight increase from the previous year. The top five counties for spring turkey harvest were Maury (1,149), Dickson (1,046), Montgomery (1,020), Sumner (977), and Wilson (902).
The TWRA also provides annual reports on turkey population trends, harvest data, management activities, research projects, and future plans. You can find these reports on the TWRA website under Wild Turkey Strategic Management Plan.
If you are looking for some tips on how to improve your turkey hunting skills, you can check out various online resources such as videos, podcasts, articles, blogs, forums, etc. Some examples are:
- TN WildCast: A podcast produced by the TWRA that covers various topics related to wildlife management and conservation in Tennessee.
- Mossy Oak: A website that offers hunting tips, videos, stories, gear reviews, etc. for various game species including turkeys.
- National Wild Turkey Federation: A non-profit organization that works to conserve wild turkeys and their habitats across North America.
- Realtree: A website that provides hunting tips, videos, stories, gear reviews, etc. for various game species including turkeys. You can learn about different turkey hunting tactics, such as fanning, roosting, calling, decoying, etc. You can also find out about the best turkey hunting products from Realtree, such as camo clothing, blinds, calls, decoys, etc.
I hope this article has given you some useful information and tips on turkey hunting in Tennessee. If you are planning to hunt turkeys in the Volunteer State this year, make sure you have a valid license and permit, follow the regulations and seasons, and scout your hunting area well. Turkey hunting can be a challenging but rewarding sport that requires patience, skill, and luck.
(1/2) License Fees – Tennessee Hunting | eRegulations. https://www.eregulations.com/tennessee/hunting/license-fees/.
(3) License and Permit Information – Tennessee. https://www.tn.gov/twra/license-sales.html.
(4) Tennessee Turkey Hunting Prices. http://tennesseeboarhunting.net/turkey-hunting.html.
(5) How To Get A Tennessee Disabled Veteran Hunting License. https://precisionoutdoors.org/how-to-get-a-tennessee-disabled-veteran-hunting-license/.