Public Land Duck Hunting

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Tennessee offers a variety of public land duck hunting options with access for hunters statewide in the form of tier one 60-day blind locations as well as hunt locations designated for quota hunts for 2, 3, 4, or 5-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. Below you will find detailed information for permit options, blind types, site conditions, application period and seasonal requirements.

Permits Explained

Season Long Permits

For hunters who prefer a season-long blind on public lands:

  • Application and drawings will be electronic, web-based, and lottery-style (like the deer/turkey quota system).  
  • Applicants may form parties and each member’s name will be included in the lottery, so parties of 5 will have 5 chances to be selected, parties of 8 will have 8 chances, etc.
  • A minimum party size of 4 is required to apply.
  • Blinds must be constructed with solid materials. 

Important Dates

Application Period: June 29 - July 20, 2022 

Awarded: August 6th, 2022 (NOI due August 15, 2022)

Hunt Dates: Nov. 26-27, 2022; Dec. 5, 2022 - Jan. 31, 2023


Quota Hunt Permits

Quota permits will be for hunts from 3 to 7 days and are for agency-built blinds or marked locations. You can apply for these through our online quota hunt system (like the deer/turkey quota system).

There will be 3 application periods- early, mid, and late, as well as the ability to receive priority points for any drawing you are not selected. When selecting specific quota hunt locations (WMA and Site number), please note that there are several types for which to apply:

  • Agency-built blinds (Tier 2)
  • Marked/staked location that may or may not have a blind on site from the previous season (Tier 4)
  • Location with a natural cover but no blind structure and  must hunt within 25 feet of the location (Tier 4)

Important  Dates

Early Segment 

 Application Period: September 28 - October 18, 2022

NOI due October 31, 2022

Left-Over Drawing: November 14, 2022

Hunt Dates:  Nov 26 & 27, 2022 & Dec 5-18, 2022

Mid Segment

Application Period: October 26 - November 15, 2022

NOI due November 28, 2022

Left-Over Drawing:  December 12, 2022

Hunt Dates:  December 22, 2022- January 8, 2023

Late Segment

Application Period: November 16, 2022 - December 6, 2022

 NOI due December 19, 2022

Left-Over Drawing:  January 2, 2022

Hunt Dates:  January 11,  2023 - January 31, 2023

 

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Season - Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, 2023, Same as regular season daily bag limits

Veterans and Active Military Personnel - Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, 2022, Same as regular season daily bag limits

Application period same as Late Season.

 


Blind Tiers Explained

Tier  1

  • Season-long permit issued
  • Application and drawings will online
    • The program is lottery-style, meaning the computer will assign random numbers to each applicant in the party. The lowest number assigned is equal to the first name drawn. The program will give that person their first choice. The program then moves on to the second lowest number’s first choice. If the applicant’s first choice is not available, the program moves to that applicant's second choice, either awarding that choice if available (and moving on to the next applicant), or if not available, the program moves to the third choice, etc.
  • Minimum party size of 4 required to apply
  • Permanent blind structure required
  • Construction standards (solid walls required)
  • Occupancy requirements for daily use 
  • Blind hopping allowed
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted

 

Tier  2

  • Quota Process with 3 Computer application and draw periods (early, mid & late)
    • Applicants are sorted by priority points. For multiple applicants with the same number of priority points, the computer will choose at random. Group priority points are not averaged. The highest priority point of the group will be used for the draw.
  • Priority points can be earned
  • Minimum party size of 4 required to apply
  • Quota permits issued for 2 - 4 day hunts
  • Permanent blinds constructed and maintained by TWRA
  • Occupancy requirements - A permit holder must be present for daily use
  • No blind hopping
  • Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted

Tier 2 Blind Location Information Coming Soon

Tier  4

-  No permit required

-  Temporary blinds only

-  Permanent blinds may not be constructed, some structures may remain for a time

In order for the agency to understand the quality of your duck hunting experience and how we can better serve you, a post season survey is sent to everyone who receives a permit for a blind. After your hunt, you will be emailed a link to fill out a survey. You must fill out this survey within 10 days from the end of your permitted hunt, even if you did not hunt. We will remind you via email 3 times. If you do not take this survey, you will not be eligible to enter for a quota hunt opportunity next season.

WMA Waterfowl Hunting Locations

Waterfowl Sites Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 4 Quota Permit

Tier 4 Waterfowl Hunting Locations coming soon

WMA Waterfowl  Site Conditions 

Click on the region you want to view available site locations in.




Season Long Waterfowl Site Permit Details

  • Permits for all tiers requiring permits will be issued by a computer application and drawing.  Applicants must have a party of 4-8 people to apply.  Each party member's name will be included in the lottery, so a party of 5 has 5 chances to be selected, a party of 8 has 8 chances, etc.
  • No sign-ons can be made after the drawing.  Permits are nontransferable.
  • Residents: An applicant must hold any of the following license groupings to apply for season-long and segmented hunts. Segmented hunts have the option of licenses or the $12 fee:
    • Combo Hunt/Fish and WMA Small Game Waterfowl (Type 01 & 91) 
    • Annual Sportsman license and Migratory Bird permit
    • Lifetime Sportsman and Migratory Bird permit 
    • Annual Senior Sportsman and Migratory Bird permit 
    • Disabled Veteran and Migratory Bird Permit 
    • Permanent Senior and Migratory Bird Permit 
    • Wheelchair and Migratory Bird Permit 
    • SSI Hunt and Fish and Migratory Bird Permit 
    • Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap (holder must already be 16) and Migratory Bird Permit 
    • Reelfoot needs Combo Hunt/Fish and Reelfoot Annual preservation permit
  • Tier 1 (season-long) application period is June 29 -  July 20, 2022.
  • Drawing held in August 2022.
  • Notice Of Intent (NOI) is required. Hunters awarded a permit must return to TWRA a “Notice of Intent” (NOI) which states they do or do not intend to hunt during their permitted hunt. The NOI may be submitted online through your www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com account, by U.S. mail or e-mail. Detailed information will be provided to successful applicants. If TWRA does not receive the NOI by the speci­fied deadline, the permit will be forfeited and become a Tier 4 Blind.
  • No priority points will be issued for this drawing.
  • Individuals/Parties who receive a Season-Long Waterfowl Permit are ineligible for other waterfowl drawings.

Quota Hunt Permit Details (including Tier 2 & pools)

  • Applications must be submitted through at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com. No mail-in applications are accepted. When applying through the website, it is critical you include a current email address for your account.   The following notifications will arrive ONLY by email: your application has been submitted and accepted into the system, you have successfully made changes to your application (hunt locations, group members, etc.), you were/were not selected for hunts, and how to obtain permits. You can log into your account at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com at any time and see hunts you applied for, permits you were awarded, and your priority points balance. 
  • Tier 2 and pool permits will be issued during three (3) application periods during the regular duck season early, middle, and late; corresponding to three 20-day periods. Local vacancy (leftover) drawings will be held after a Notice of Intent (NOI) period. 
  • Residents: An applicant must hold any of the following license groupings to apply for season long and segmented hunts. Segmented hunts have the option of licenses or the $12 fee:
  1. Combo Hunt/Fish and WMA Small Game Waterfowl (Type 01 & 91)
  2. Annual Sportsman license and Migratory Bird permit
  3. Lifetime Sportsman and Migratory Bird permit
  4. Annual Senior Sportsman and Migratory Bird permit
  5. Disabled Veteran and Migratory Bird Permit
  6. Permanent Senior and Migratory Bird Permit
  7. Wheelchair and Migratory Bird Permit 
  8. SSI Hunt and Fish and Migratory Bird Permit 
  9. Junior Hunt/Fish/Trap (holder must already be 16) and Migratory Bird Permit 
  10. Reelfoot needs Combo Hunt/Fish and Reelfoot Annual preservation permit
  • Non-Residents:
  1. Non-resident hunting no big game and a WMA Waterfowl/Small Game permit: 
  2. OR the customer can pay a $12 application fee and purchase the required licenses once selected for the drawing (which includes a 7 day option versus the entire season if this their only opportunity to hunt). You will receive a priority point for each unsuccessful application. For example, if you apply for an Early Waterfowl Permit and are unsuccessful, you will receive a priority point for future Early Waterfowl drawings. 
  • Priority Points are not transferable from one drawing to another. You will have the ability to apply for a priority point only if you wish not to hunt this year.  These applications can only be submitted by individuals (not parties) and must be completed during the allotted application period.
  • For Early, Mid and Late waterfowl quota hunts, hunters awarded a permit must return to TWRA a “Notice of Intent” (NOI) which states they do or do not intend to hunt during their permitted hunt.  The NOI may be submitted online through your www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com account, by U.S. mail or e-mail. Detailed information will be provided to successful applicants. If TWRA does not receive the NOI by the speci­fied deadline, the permit will be forfeited and become invalid. Any forfeited or invalid quota permits will be reallocated by a local, in-person drawing.
  • Customers wishing to sign up for vacancy drawings will need to sign up for the desired location using TWRA’s Event System and then attend the local drawing. You must be present to be awarded a vacancy permit.

Priority Point Details

Each of the 3 waterfowl quota hunt periods have unique and separate priority points.  An individual is awarded one point for each unsuccessful application in a drawing. When a person is drawn for a quota hunt, their priority points for that application period will be reset to zero (0). Priority points only apply to the individual drawing in which they were earned, i.e., WMA Big Game, Spring Turkey, and the new Early Waterfowl, Middle Waterfowl, Late Waterfowl drawings.  

Applicants with the highest priority are always drawn first.  Points are not transferable from one drawing to another.

The highest priority point of party members will be used for the full party.  If a party application is drawn, all members are awarded a permit and removed from drawing.  If a party application is not drawn, all members receive one priority point

Existing Waterfowl priority points will all be applied to the Mid-Season application period. Points may not be moved to another application period nor be used on a season-long permit application.

How does the drawing work?

Applicants select specific hunt choices by location (WMA and hunt site) and dates and arrange these choices by preference.  Please select only hunts you are interested in.  Applicants will not be awarded a hunt they did not select.

The computer draw process awards applicants with the highest number of priority points first. If the applicant’s first choice is available, it is awarded. The program then moves on to the next applicant’s first choice. If the applicant’s first choice is not available, the program moves to that applicant's second choice, either awarding that choice if available (and moving on to the next applicant), or if not available, the program moves to the third choice, etc.

Each eligible application is included in the drawing.  If you are in a party, each applicant in your party is entered into the drawing (so a party of 5 has 5 chances, etc). When a party application is selected, the drawing runs the location/date choices in the order they are entered on the party leader’s application. If successful, all members of the party are awarded a permit and removed from the drawing. If unsuccessful, all members of the party are unsuccessful and awarded one (1) priority point.

Licensed Duck Hunting Guides in Tennessee

Guide's Name Company Address City/Town State ZIP/Postal Code Guide's Email Address Phone Number

Duck Hunting In Tennessee Background

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) approved several proposals by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for changes to public land duck hunting and blind draw procedures.

For many years Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received public comments about how the current public land duck hunting system operates. The comments mostly fall into 2 categories: the need for increased duck hunting opportunities on public lands (i.e. more access) and concerns over the fairness of the handheld duck blind draw system.  A scientific survey of duck hunters done in partnership with the University of Tennessee validated these comments, as well as other issues with in-person handheld draws, and desire for opportunities to hunt for shorter time periods.

In 2019, we made changes to make the in-person drawings more fair and equitable, with limited success. In 2020, due to COVID, all handheld duck blind drawings were computerized and online, which made the process fair and equitable for hunters across Tennessee.  

In 2021, we took another step, by increasing the number of duck hunters who get drawn to hunt our public WMAs each season. This was an effort to increase public access for duck hunters. TWRA’s final approved proposal for public land duck hunting was a significant effort to increase access for hunters statewide and retain traditional season-long, 60-day blind locations as offered currently. In addition to the season-long blinds, there are hunt locations designated for quota hunts for 2, 3, 4, or 7-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. There are no changes proposed to privately-owned/permanent registered blinds.