Region 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Are Tennessee's annual hunting and fishing licenses good for a full year regardless of when I purchase them?
No. In Tennessee, all annual hunting and fishing licenses (see Apprentice license for exception) and permits expire on the last day of February each year. A license year runs from March 1 through February 28th (or 29th in a leap year). Licenses traditionally go on sale in mid-February for the approaching license year.
What is the Apprentice License?
This is a one-time license for anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 who has not taken and passed a hunter education course. It is good for one year from purchase. It can only be used one time. A hunter education certificate is required after the one time use. Anyone hunting on an Apprentice License must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 or older and who has either successfully completed a hunter education course, or was born prior to Jan. 1, 1969.
Why doesn't Tennessee split its small game hunting and fishing (Type 001) license so that it won't be as expensive for sportsmen who either don't care to fish, or don't care to hunt?
Tennessee chose many years ago to sell a combination small game and fishing license so that it could count purchasers of the "Type 001 license" as both anglers and hunters when applying for federal wildlife and fish funding. The various federal funding programs are often distributed to states based upon its total amount of hunters, or total amount of anglers. If Tennessee were to split the Type 001, then TWRA would likely have to raise the cost of each split license to recover lost federal dollars. The TWRA believes that by combining its commonly purchased Type 001 license that it provides the best fiscal deal for a majority of sportsmen, while maintaining the best possible chance for obtaining the most in federal funds.
What is the difference in a license and a permit?
Basically, licenses allow sportsmen to pursue Tennessee's wildlife and fish resources and is a cost accessed for that privilege. Permits primarily allow sportsmen access to TWRA's wildlife management areas or to its Agency fishing lakes. One permit, the "Type 094" is available for antlerless deer hunts that occur in counties. However, it is also good for non-quota deer hunts on TWRA's wildlife management areas. Permits help cover the costs managing WMAs.
Is it trout license, trout permit, or trout stamp?
It is a trout license. It is a supplemental license needed in addition the Type 001 license for anglers in pursuit of trout, which are primarily raised or purchased by TWRA for stocking into our coldest streams.
When can I purchase a Senior Citizen's License?
On your 65th birthday. If you want to hunt or fish prior to your 65th birthday, you must purchase either a daily or an annual license.
What does (or doesn't) the Senior Citizen license cover?
It covers all hunting and fishing license needs, but does not cover permit costs for TWRA wildlife management areas, or the cost of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Duck Stamp.
What about fishing TWRA lakes. When I turn 65, do I need a permit to go fishing in an agency lake?
No, not if you are a Tennessee Resident. However, non-residents must still purchase a permit.
What is a Sportsman's License:
This is an all-encompassing license that can be purchased annually, or for a lifetime. It covers all Tennessee hunting, trapping, and sport fishing license without any state supplemental licenses or non-quota permits and allows holders to apply for quota permits at no additional fee. Prices vary on the Lifetime Sportman's License depending upon age. The Sportsman's license DOES NOT cover the cost of a federal waterfowl stamp. This stamp is issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and available from the U.S. Postal Service.
What if I purchase a Lifetime Sportsman's License and then move out of Tennessee? Is the license still good if I move back or come back to visit?
Yes. Your lifetime license will be good in Tennessee for your entire life, no matter where you live. It is not valid in other states.
Who has to purchase a waterfowl stamp?
Anyone who is 16 years old or older and who hunts ducks, geese, or other waterfowl.
Where is the duck stamp available?
The U.S Postal Service sells it at its local post offices, or it can be obtained online from the Postal Service.
- Law Enforcement
What are legal firearms for hunting deer, bear, or elk?
Hunters can now use any rifles using center-fire ammunition for hunting deer, bear, or elk (if you are lucky enough to get drawn for an elk hunt). You may use shotguns using ammunition loaded with a single solid ball or slugs (no restriction on the number of rounds in the magazine). You may also use muzzleloading rifles, handguns, or shotguns of .40 caliber (.40-inches) or larger.
Is there a length limit on arrows for archery hunting?
Is there a restriction on the broadheads that can be used for archery hunting in Tennessee?
Can Canada geese and doves be hunted at the same time?
Yes, HOWEVER, you must use non-toxic shot when hunting geese and you CANNOT hunt over food plots or top sewn wheat or bush-hogged grain. In addition, you cannot hunt in a feed lot. Please refer to federal codes for additional information.
- Hunter Education
What law requires Hunter Education in Tennessee?
Tennessee Code Annotated 70-2-108.
When did the Tennessee Hunter Education law become effective?
What does TCA 70-2-108 say with regard to the Hunter Education Course?
(a) Every person born on or after January 1, 1969, before hunting shall possess, in addition to all other licenses and permits require, proof of satisfactory completion of an agency approved hunter education course, except this provision shall not apply to persons under ten (10) years of age accompanied by an adult at least twenty-one (21) years of age. Additionally, the commission is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to create a one-time-only permit for a fee exempting persons from the hunter education requirements of this section for a twelve-month period, as long as the person possesses all other licenses and permits required, and if ten (10) years of age or older, the person must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least twenty-one (21) years of age or older who is hunter-education certified or otherwise exempt by law. For the purposes of this section, "accompanied" is defined as being able to take immediate control of the hunting device.
(b) The state board of education is encouraged to develop a section related to hunter education as a part of it's safety education curriculum.
(c) This section does not apply to persons hunting and fishing within the guidelines of TCA 70-2-204 (Exemption )
(d) As punishment, any person violating the provisions of this section shall have all hunting privileges suspended and the person's license shall be taken by the arresting officer. Submission of proof of satisfactory completion of an Agency approved hunter education class shall entitle a person to the return of that person's license and the restoration of hunting privileges.
Who is exempt from TCA 70-2-108?
TCA 70-2-204 outlines the exemption(s) for the hunter education requirements. Basically the owners and tenants of farmlands, and their spouses and children, along with the owner's grandchildren and great-grandchildren under the age of 16.
How old must I be to take the Hunter Education class in Tennessee?
According to Agency policy, you must be at least 9 years old on the day the class starts to be certified. This allows for situations where a 9 year old will turn 10 during the upcoming hunting season.
How much does it cost to take the Tennessee Hunter Education Class?
There is no cost for taking a "Traditional" Tennessee Hunter Education Course. There is, however a fee for taking the "Online" course ranging from around $10.00 up to $25.00. The "online" course fee is charged by the companies maintaining the course program/servers and not TWRA.
What is the difference in the "Traditional" and the "Online" hunter education class?
The TWRA, along with all 50 states and foreign countries comprising the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), has agreed upon a set of minimum standards for all hunter education courses. Those standards include 10 hours of classroom instruction and 1 hour of range instruction. In Tennessee and several other states, the range instruction includes a live firing exercise. In the late 1990's, the members of the Region IV Federal Aid section (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico & and the U.S. Virgin Islands) of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service began to respond to the need for an alternative delivery method for hunter education. People working 2nd and 3rd shift jobs had a difficult time attending traditional courses taught in the evening hours of most days. A Compact Disc or CD-ROM was developed which later led to today's Web courses. This alternative delivery method was designed to alleviate having to sit in a classroom for the initial 10 hours of instruction. A follow-up "Field Day" was designed to provide registration, review of important materials and state specific information, a monitored exam and live fire in Tennessee.
Who teaches the Tennessee Hunter Education Class?
In Tennessee, a number of TWRA Personnel are certified to teach hunter education, however, the bulk of classes are taught by Certified Volunteer Hunter Education Instructors. This is common in almost every state. Many of these volunteers are hunters and responsible gun owners that have a desire to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
I have completed the "Online Course". Now, can I just go to the last day of any class and shoot?
No. As stated above, these courses are distinctly separate for a reason. After completing an "Online" course, a student must then attend a special "Field Day" to complete certification.
When are hunter education classes scheduled in my county?
Historically, the classes were taught in August, September and October. In recent years, with the significant rise in statewide turkey populations, the number of hunter education courses have two annual spikes, one in February and March and another in the August, September and October period. Since the majority of the hunter education courses are taught by volunteers who also enjoy hunting and outdoor shooting sports, most of the courses are still offered before hunting seasons. Waiting until the last minute is not advisable because there are very few courses offered after hunting season starts. Instructors must then give up their own hunting time to teach courses and that is too much to ask of a volunteer. Also, TWRA employees are busy working enforcement and biological data collection details and not available to teach courses during this time.
When are hunter education "Field Days" scheduled in my county?
As explained above, most courses and Field Days are scheduled prior to hunting seasons. In the case of Field Days, approximately 5 instructors are usually needed to conduct a typical Field Day. Since a Field Day only lasts 4 hours, a class of 50 students becomes a major task. All the students must be registered in the beginning of class. Then, while someone teaches the review, one or two instructors must go over each registration form to ensure accuracy and completeness. Each student name and date of birth is transferred by hand to the permanent card. Another instructor will then prepare certificates for the potential graduates. Not all volunteer instructors have been trained in administering a "Field Day", so not all offer this option.
Do I bring my own guns to the hunter education class?
No. It has always been the policy of the TWRA that no students bring guns from home to a Tennessee Hunter Education Class. TWRA will provide the firearms and the ammunition needed to complete the course.
What kinds of guns will we shoot in class and how many shots will we fire?
Live firing in a Tennessee Hunter Education Class varies depending upon the facilities an instructor has available. Live firing typically consists of 3 to 5 shots with a shotgun, rifle, air rifle or sometimes a bow. The primary focus at live firing is not just accuracy, but more about safe gun handling.
What will I learn in the Tennessee Hunter Education course?
Many people choose not to enroll in a Tennessee Hunter Education Course because they say they do not hunt or they do not plan to hunt. Hunting is the "theme" used in this course of instruction, but there are many more important elements to the course. A typical hunter education course will teach the student the following topics: (1) Ten Commandments of Firearms Safety (important not only for hunting, but any activity where guns are involved, including home firearms ownership). (2) History and reasons we teach hunter education (3) Ethics and Responsibilities of hunting and firearms use and ownership. (4) Primitive hunting equipment such as archery and muzzleloaders. (5) Tree Stand Safety (This section is in response to the fact this is the nation's number one reason for hunting accidents, injuries due to falls from tree stands). (6) Modern Firearms (including today's rifles, pistols and shotguns). (7) Basic shooting skills. (8) Learning to be safe with firearms (including home firearms safety, transporting firearms in vehicles and boats and ATV's). (9) Hunting skills, such as planning, preparation, hunting strategies, vital shots, and field care of game after harvest. (10) Wildlife Conservation and Identification. (11) Preparation and survival skills (including basic first aid). So, even the occasional home firearms owner can surely benefit from this course by applying basic, simple, safe firearms handling skills at all times when firearms are present.
I took hunter education in another state when I was younger. Is this still good? Is this good in Tennessee?
Tennessee has reciprocity with all members of the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) and honors all other certifications of fellow IHEA members. You must have proper documentation to show proof of successful completion should you be checked by a TWRA Officer.
I took the course in Tennessee many years ago and I have lost my card and certificate. What must I do to get a new one?
You must call the Regional office where you live and have them verify that you successfully completed the course. Then you can go to any TWRA license agent that sells licenses on the Remote Easy Access Licensing (REAL) System and purchase a Type 500 hunter education replacement card for $7.00.
I took the course in another state many years ago and I have lost my card and certificate. What must I do to get a new one?
You must call that state and comply with their regulations to get a new card.
I took the course in Tennessee many years ago and I have lost my card and certificate and I have called and there seems to be no record that I took the course. What do I do now?
Go back and try to remember all you possibly can about your course. What year was it? How old were you? Who was the instructor? What County was it? Did you ever use a "nickname"? Did you get certified under a maiden name? Occasionally we are not able to find necessary proof and you will have to take the course again.
I took hunter education in Tennessee and passed the course and I have all the proof and documentation. Does this count for states that require bowhunter education?
I took bowhunter education in another state and passed the course and I have all the proof and documentation. Does this count for hunter education in Tennessee?
I am exempt from hunter education in Tennessee, but I want to go to another state and hunt. What are their requirements?
You can go to the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) www.ihea.com and click on "Hunter Education" or go to this link http://www.ihea.com/hunter-education/hunter-education-requirements.php and you can see all the requirements for all states.
Does Tennessee require bowhunter education for bowhunting?
Which states require bowhunter education for bowhunting?
At least 16 states currently require bowhunter education for bowhunting. You may find that on the IHEA website www.ihea.com or go to this link http://www.ihea.com/hunter-education/bowhunter-education-standards/state-bowhunter-education-requirements.php for more information.
Why is my Social Security Number needed to take this course?
Because the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is a Law Enforcement Agency with regulatory authority, it is required by law to record the Social Security Number of each student applicant for hunter education. Your SSN is protected and becomes part of your permanent record with TWRA, but it is not used openly or printed on any public document.
The Tennessee mandatory boating education law is similar to the driver’s license law. You acquire the study materials, study, purchase the $10.00 Type 600 boating safety exam permit, then take an approved boating safety exam administered by an approved representative of the TWRA.
Who is required to get a boating safety education certification?
Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Card as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam.
Non-Tennessee residents born after January 1, 1989 must show proof of successful completion of a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved course.
Where can I prepare for the exam?
There are many avenues to study:
You may call 615-837-6013 and have study materials sent to you (free) and self study, or send an email with your name and address and materials will be sent to you.
You may log onto www.boat-ed.com/tennessee and study online for free. There are practice tests on this site that are a great study tool to prepare for the exam.
Boating Safety Class: There are many classroom classes offered throughout the state.
US Power Squadron and US Coast Guard Auxiliary – hold classes periodically. As classes are scheduled, they are posted on our web site. Classes are usually scheduled after the boat shows.
Note: The TWRA-issued wallet card is the only certification that will be recognized as meeting the requirements of the law for Tennessee residents.
I live in another state but have a house on a Tennessee lake. My boats are registered in Tennessee. Does my 14 year old need to be certified in Tennessee?
This law applies to Tennessee residents however, if an out of state person is in this age category and is operating a boat in Tennessee, he/she must show proof of successful completion of any NASBLA-approved boating safety course.
Out of state is determined by the legal address of the person.
If you are certified in another state, and you were born after January 1, 1989 and move to Tennessee, then you must pay the $10.00 Type 600 boating safety exam permit to a license agent and take the TWRA-administered exam.
Is there an age restriction for anyone wanting to take the exam?
Yes, 11 years old. The type 600 boating education permit will not be sold to anyone younger than 11.
Do I have to register my ______ ? (jet ski, sailboat, canoe, etc)
All vessels powered by a motor, trolling motor or sail must be registered. Boats powered by paddles or oars do not have to be registered.
How do I register my boat?
Note: Because documentation requirements vary from county to county, please call your County Clerk's office prior going there to ensure that you take the proper documentation in order to register your boat.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue requires proof that sales taxes have been paid before the boat's initial registration. If the boat was purchased from a Tennessee boat dealer, the dealer should provide the owner with an application that has been certified showing taxes have been paid. The white copy of the application is mailed in for processing. The yellow copy is kept as a temporary permit to operate with until the application has been processed.
How many days do I have to register my boat after it is purchased?
A boat must be registered before you take it out on the water. You can use your registration receipt as proof your boat is registered until your decals and certificate arrive.
Boats Transferred from one Individual to another
A Tennessee County Clerk must certify applications for boats purchased between individuals. The clerk will collect taxes and usually requires a bill of sale from the individuals involved. The white copy of the application is mailed in for processing. The yellow copy is kept as a temporary permit to operate the boat until the application has been processed.
Renewing a Registration That Does Not Involve a Change of Ownership.
Complete the renewal notice that was mailed to you and return it along with the correct fee to the address shown on the notice.
Renew your registration at a business which sells TWRA hunting and fishing licenses (i.e. many Wal-Marts and K-marts, etc.). The business will collect the fee and issue a receipt that serves as a temporary permit until the new certificate and decals arrive by mail in about 2 or 3 weeks.
Note: After 10 years without renewing your boat, you are dropped from the system and need to register as if it were your initial registration.
Registration by Boat Docks or Boat Rentals or Registration by Dealers or Manufacturers.
Call the Boat Registration Office of the TWRA in Nashville, (615) 781-6618 and ask for details.
How long does it take for my application to be processed?
Please allow 30 days for your registration to be processed and returned. If your new decals and certificate have not arrived within 30 days, call (615) 781-6522 to check on the progress.
How do I get a new card or decals for the one I've lost?
Go to your nearest TWRA license agent. There are about 1,000 license agents which include most Wal-Marts and K-Marts; boat docks, bait & tackle, sporting goods and convenience markets. The replacement cost is $7.00.
What is the minimum age to operate a boat?
Persons under 12 years old may not operate a powered boat of more than 8.5 horsepower unless they are accompanied by an adult who can take immediate control of the vessel. If the accompanying adult is born after January 1, 1989, then he/she must have the boating safety certification card onboard. Personal watercraft may not be rented by anyone younger that 16 years of age.
Where can I find my boat's hull identification number?
The boat's hull identification number should be a combination of 12 letters and numbers. It is generally located in the upper right corner of the boat's transom (the flat part of the boat where the motor is mounted). The number for pontoon boats can also be found on a bracket between the pontoon and deck in the lower right corner on the back of the boat.
I've moved and need to notify TWRA of my new address. How do I do that? Either call in your new address to (615) 781-6618, or send a letter to the main TWRA office to the attention of the Boating Division notifying them of the change.
What is the current life jacket law?
All boats, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one wearable Personal Floatation Device (life jacket) for each person on board or for each person being towed on water skis, etc. Boats 16 feet in length or over (except canoes and kayaks) must also be equipped with one Type IV (throwable) Personal Flotation Device in case someone falls overboard. All children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket while on the open deck of a recreational boat except when anchored, moored, or aground.
- Fishing (Pond/Small Lake Management)
The fish in my pond died. Did someone poison my pond?
If it is more than one species, it is usually the result of a low dissolved oxygen fish kill. This occurs when the oxygen level in the pond water becomes too low for the fish to survive. An inverse relationship exists where the warmer the water, the lesser its ability to retain oxygen. Therefore, most fish kills occur during the summer. Pond "turnovers" (the destratification of water layers) during the late summer and early fall can also cause low dissolved oxygen fish kills.
Sunlight drives photosynthesis in phytoplankton or aquatic plants which produces oxygen that becomes dissolved in the water and that fish breath. During prolonged cloudy periods with no direct sunlight, an oxygen deficiency occurs. Oxygen levels can become too low to support the fish.
Feeding fish can compound this problem or result directly in a low dissolved oxygen fish kill. Adding fish food increases organics in the form of either fish waste or uneaten food. The decomposition process of both can utilize enough oxygen that levels become lethally low. Probably 95% of the people who call regarding a fish kill, admit they feed their fish. As a result, we do not recommend feeding fish.
I have a lot of algae in my pond. How do I get rid of it?
Grass carp (white amur) should be stocked at a rate of 15 fish per acre. They should be at least 10" in length when stocked in ponds with established fish populations so the largemouth bass do not eat them. They can be purchased at most farm stores, however, call to get delivery schedules. They usually cost around $10 per fish. In 4-5 years when the grass carp get very large, they will become inefficient and need to be replaced. Grass carp are not effective at controlling watermeal and duckweed. Young (1-3 yr. old) grass carp can usually give at least partial control of duckweed, especially when no other aquatic plants are present. (Note: If you are not careful, grass carp can swim out of a pond by way of an outlet or spillway when overflows occur if you do not have a barrier or screen in place)
If I use herbicides to kill algae in my pond, can it harm my fish?
Herbicides can result in a low dissolved oxygen fish kill if applied improperly. Always read and follow label directions. Treat at most only 1/4 of the pond's surface area at once. Wait a week before treating the next 1/4 of the pond's surface. If you treat too large an area, the decomposition of dead plant matter will consume too much oxygen resulting in a fish kill. Also, plan treatments during sunny, clear days so that photosynthesis is occurring in the untreated areas of the pond and producing oxygen required for fish survival.
Always suggest stocking grass carp as an alternative or possibly after the initial herbicide application has reduced the aquatic vegetation to an acceptable level. Grass carp are a biological control with no adverse impacts to the pond ecosystem.
What species of fish should I stock in my pond?
If your pond exceeds 1/2 surface acre, you can stock bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. The stocking rates are 500 bluegill fingerlings per acre, 100 largemouth bass fingerlings per acre, and 50-100 channel catfish per acre. We usually recommend 50-75 channel catfish per acre. Higher stocking rates can result in competition for food, slower growth rates, and possible disease outbreaks. The 500 bluegill fingerlings per acre can be a mix of 75% (375) bluegill and 25% (125) redear sunfish (shellcracker). Do not stock hybrid sunfish with the above combination of fish species as they usually revert back to an undesirable such as a green sunfish or warmouth.
The bluegill should be stocked in the fall, usually October. They will grow through the fall, winter and spring and should be sexually mature by the summer. Largemouth bass fingerlings are stocked at this time, usually in early June. The newly hatched bluegill fry provide food for the largemouth bass fingerlings. Largemouth bass keep the bluegill from overpopulating. It is hard to maintain population balance with multi-species such as largemouth bass and bluegill in very small ponds i.e. < 1/2 acre. We recommend stocking only channel catfish. Most people, however, are determined to stock largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. In this case, give them the stocking rates and explain they can harvest very few fish, especially largemouth bass. Overharvesting largemouth bass will result in overcrowded, stunted bluegill. Recommendations for harvests are provided in our pond booklet, Managing Small Fishing Lakes and Ponds in Tennessee.
How do I stop my pond from leaking?
This is not an easy process. It usually involves heavy equipment and clay materials. Bentonite is a powdered, clay material that expands when wet. You can purchase it at most farm stores. If the location of the leak can be determined, a mix of clay dirt and bentonite can be compacted into the area using heavy equipment such as a sheep's foot roller. Smaller areas can be dug out and replaced with clay and bentonite. In these small areas, a hand held "wacker packer" vibrating compactor can be rented to provide compaction of the clay fill. You may want to contact your local NRCS office for technical advice. They can get the number of the local office by calling the statewide NRCS office at 615-277-2531.
- AEDC Wildlife Management Area
How can I get a permit for Unit 1 or 2?
The Unit 1 and 2 permits will be sold on a first come-first serve basis through any REAL systems license agent or through the TWRA website. The hunt dates have to be coordinated with the Air Force because of military training. Once the hunt dates have been set, they will be announced online, on the sign-in stations or you can call the area manager.
When can I scout?
Units 2-6 are open for scouting anytime, except for during the deer hunts. Unit 1 scouting dates are posted at the sign-in stations or you can call the area manager for the dates.
When can I sign-in?
The sign-in stations are self-service and hunters may sign-in at any hour of the day or night. Hunters may sign-in for the deer and turkey hunts the day before the hunt starts.
How can I use the Hunter's Campground?
Just show up and find a spot. There is no need to call ahead to make reservations. The Hunter's Campground is primitive camping, no water or electricity hookup for RVs. RVs and camper trailers are welcome.
How can I get a map of AEDC WMA?
An AEDC map is available here or at the sign-in stations.
- Bear Hollow Wildlife Management Area
How do I get to Bear Hollow WMA?
From I-24, take exit 127 and follow Hwy. 64 west to the Hwy. 16 intersection. Turn left onto Hwy. 16 and proceed up the mountain and look for the signs.
Where can I get a map of the area?
A Bear Hollow WMA map is available here or call 615-781-6525 and request a map. There is a fee for requested maps.
How many acres are available to hunt?
What kind of terrain can I expect?
Bear Hollow WMA is part of the Cumberland Plateau and has typical mountain features, from rolling hardwood ridges and draws on top to steep rocky benches on the sides. There are several old logging roads winding down into some of the deeper coves and cleared side roads off of Poplar Springs Road.
Can I ride my ATV?
No, but ATV's may be used to retrieve harvested deer and only on existing roads.
Where can I park?
Hunters may park at designated parking areas where available. Horseback riders and hikers should use parking areas at respective trailheads.
When can I scout the area?
Scouting is allowed year-round, but gates into main roads and parking areas are locked after spring turkey season and not opened again until the day before fall squirrel season.
How do I know where the boundaries are?
Bear Hollow boundaries are marked with yellow paint on trees and TWRA boundary signs.
Can I put my portable tree stand up and leave it?
Hunters should remove tree stands after each hunt and must have the stand marked with their TWRA ID number.
What are the seasons/regulations for deer? What about special permits?
Bear Hollow WMA follows the same statewide regulations for Unit L with 1 exception: only 1 antlerless deer per day is allowed. An Annual Sportsman license, or Lifetime Sportsman license, or Annual Senior Citizen Permit (Type 167) or (Hunting and Fishing Combination - Type 001, Big Game Supplemental License and Type 094) is required to hunt deer.
If I kill a deer or turkey, where is the nearest checking station?
Currently, Speedway Market in Winchester is the closest checking station.
Can I hunt small game on Bear Hollow and what types are most abundant?
Yes, Bear Hollow is open with statewide seasons for small game. Squirrels are the most abundant across the area and good rabbit hunting is found in the clear-cuts on Bear Hollow Road.
Is there a campground or can I camp on Bear Hollow?
No, not at the present time. However, hikers and horseback riders may primitive camp on the Alabama side of the Walls of Jerico. (Please check Alabama regulations for details.)
Can I ride my horse anywhere on the area or only on the horse trail? How long is the horse trail?
No, horses may only be ridden on horse trails. The horse trail is approximately 3.7 miles long to the Alabama State line.
How long is the hiking trail? How difficult?
The trail is approximately 4.3 miles long and rated as moderate difficulty.
- Williamsport Wildlife Management Area
Can you camp at Williamsport WMA?
No. The area is closed after sunset.
How many people show up on the quota hunts?
Out of 100 people, usually only 75 percent show up.
Can you retrieve a deer with an ATV?
Yes. If you are on an ATV in the woods, a deer must be down and tag validated.
Can we fish while a deer hunt in taking place?
What time will gates be opened on hunt days?
Hunters can begin entering the WMA one hour before sunrise.
What if I shoot a deer late, will I get locked in?
Gates will be locked one hour after sundown for hunters, so please use your best
judgment on how quickly you can retrieve your deer before the gates are shut.
Do you have to sign in to hunt at Williamsport?
Yes. This gives us an idea of how many hunters are using the WMA.
How can I get a map of Williamsport WMA?
A Williamsport WMA map is available here.
- Yanahli Wildlife Management Area
Are there camping areas?
Yes, two. They are designated on the map by a tent symbol.
Do you have hookups and water there?
No, just a parking lot.
Where are good places to hunt?
Yanahli has many good places to hunt. Scouting is the best way to find them, but Yanahli has a variety of habitat, food and cover.
Do you get much pressure?
The busiest time is around Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas week.
Can you take me out and help me scout a place to hunt?
We cannot take any scouting, but given enough notice that you are coming by, we can show you a map at our office and discuss options.
Are the boundaries marked?
Yes, in yellow paint.
What are the hours for the Yanahli Shooting Range?
Hours of Operation:
1st weekend in October to last weekend in December
A Tier 1 range permit is required to shoot 220 (2 hours) or 221 (annual)
Can you use pistols at the range?
Only pistols legal to hunt with, 4 inches or longer.
What is your harvest and are there many big deer killed down there?
Please visit the harvest report on this website.
What is the terrain like at Yanahli WMA?
Brushy fields, some woods, not like Cheatham or Laurel Hill.
Can you use ATVs to retrieve game?
No. Most people will bring deer carts to retrieve game.
What are the regulations for tree stands?
TWRA number must be on the stand. Leaving personnel property (such as stands, ground blinds, cameras) unattended for longer than 24 hours w/o prior approval by the area manager may be impounded and disposed of according to state procedures.
How can I get a map of Yanahli WMA?
A Yanahli WMA map is available here.
- Watchable Wildlife (Non-Game)
I have a fox/skunk/groundhog/snake ... (fill in the blank) in my yard can someone come get it?
The Region II office receives about a dozen of these types of phone calls per day. TWRA does not have the resources to respond to these requests. There are professionals that have a permit to remove nuisance wildlife. Our Region II staff can provide the phone numbers of businesses that provide that service to you. However, these people do charge a fee for their services. It is important to determine if the wildlife species you are requesting to be removed is truly a nuisance. Many species of wildlife can coexist quite peacefully in human communities and most of the time people do not even know that they are cohabitating with wildlife on a daily basis. Some species are perceived to be a nuisance when they are actually beneficial. Non-venomous snakes are an example of this. Many species such as foxes and bobcats can live close to people but do not pose a threat.
Never feed wildlife. Do not inadvertently provide habitat to unwanted wildlife. Some tips include: Do not feed pets outside. Leftover pet food attracts mice and rats. Rats and mice attract snakes and other rodent predators including foxes.
Do not provide cover for unwanted wildlife close to your home. To decrease habitat for snakes remove log piles, rock piles, tall grasses, brush, etc.
There is a Cardinal or Mockingbird flying at the window outside of my house or attacking the mirror on my car. What is it doing?
Male songbirds see their reflection in windows or mirrors and they think it is another bird of their same species. They are defending their territory, unfortunately against themselves. To stop this, cover the mirror or remove the reflectivity of the window by pulling down a shade or closing the curtains. You can also tape the silhouette of a falcon in the window to scare the bird away.
I saw a skunk, fox, or raccoon during the day. Is it rabid?
Just because you see a mammal during the day does not mean that it is rabid or otherwise sick. The animal would need to display further symptoms to warrant removal and testing for rabies. Keep in mind that to check for rabies an animal must be euthanized. If an animal is walking in circles or stumbling, report it to Animal Damage Control and your County Health Department.
I have found a bat. What should I do?
Never pick up a bat. Only 1/2 of 1% of bats may have rabies. But if you find a bat on the ground it could have rabies so call TWRA or Animal Control. Someone that has had a pre-exposure rabies shot will come remove the bat. Remember, once a bat has had human contact it must be tested for rabies and euthanasia is required for this test. Unless the bat appears sick, leave it alone. Bats are extremely beneficial, consuming over half their body weight in night flying insects every night during the warmer months. Many of these insects are mosquitoes and moths that's caterpillars are crop and forest pests. So, bats provide humans a great service but they, like all mammals, can carry rabies.
What is White-nose Syndrome and how can I help?
There is a disease affecting cave bats during hibernation. This disease is caused by a white fungus that appears on the muzzle, face and wings of bats. This fungus disrupts the hibernation of bats and causes them to be aroused when they should be hibernating. Hibernating bats survive the winter on fat reserves. Aroused bats use those fat reserves and starve before spring arrives. Some bats with White-nose Syndrome leave the cave too soon looking for insects to eat. These bats do not find enough food in the winter and starve or die of exposure to the cold temperatures.
TWRA wants to know if you see bats flying during the winter months if the temperature is still below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the most common bat species in Tennessee is the Red Bat. Red Bats are cold tolerant species and they do not live in caves. These bats are opportunistic feeders on warmer winter days. We also want to know if you find dead bats outside of caves. TWRA is discouraging people from going into caves. All publicly owned caves in Tennessee are closed, i.e. TWRA, Division of Forestry, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, National Forest, National Park, The Nature Conservancy. Signs have been posted prohibiting entrance into caves. Violators of cave closures will be prosecuted for trespassing. If the cave is an endangered species hibernaculum federal laws will apply. These closures reduce the stress that caving poses to bats and reduces the risk of humans spreading the disease by possibly transporting spores.
I've found a fawn, baby bird, owl, bunny ... (fill in the blank). What should I do?
The best answer to this question most of the time is, "Leave it alone." Most visible baby wildlife is still being taken care of by their parents. The baby animal cannot escape your attention. The adult can. There is often a parent in the vicinity that you cannot see. The best policy is to leave the animal alone unless it is in eminent danger, i.e. cats, dogs, traffic. Baby birds can be returned to the nest. Parents do not abandon them because they have been touched by humans. Birds have very little, if any, ability to smell. Therefore, they are not repelled by the "human scent." Baby owls are fed and cared for long after they fledge the nest. They will often be on the branches of trees and even on the ground. Baby Great Horned Owls can be 22" tall when they leave the nest. They cannot fly at this point but they are not injured. Keep in mind that if you approach a baby Great Horned Owl you may receive the wrath of the parent bird, which can result in considerable injury.
If the animal you have found cannot be returned to the nest or left alone, as a last resort, you can take the animal to a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator.