Small Game Hunting and Trapping

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Hunting Seasons

All hunting seasons are closed unless opened by specific Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission proclamations.

Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit, except for migratory game birds and except on opening day.

Dogs allowed for hunting all small game species, except on specific WMAs where indicated. 

Season Dates

SPECIES

OPENING DATE

CLOSING DATE

DAILY BAG

HUNTING

Squirrel

Aug. 27, 2022

March 15, 2023

10

Spring Squirrel 2023

May 13, 2023

June 11, 2023

10

Rabbit

Nov. 5, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

5

Grouse

Oct. 8, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

3

Quail

Nov. 5, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

6

Beaver

year-round

 

None

Coyote

year-round

 

None

Groundhog

year-round

 

None

Striped Skunk

year-round

 

None

Armadillo

year-round

 

None

Fox

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Mink

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Muskrat

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Otter*

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Spotted Skunk

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Weasel

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Raccoon Private Lands Only

July 1, 2022,  Sunset

Sept. 16, 2022, Sunrise

2

Raccoon Taking Season

Sept. 16, 2022, Sunset

March 15, 2023

4

Opossum Private Lands Only

July 1, 2022, Sunset

Sept. 16, 2022, Sunrise

2

Opossum Taking Season

Sept. 16, 2022, Sunset

March 15, 2023

4

Bobcat** Private Lands Only ****

Sept. 24, 2022

Nov. 17, 2023

 
Bobcat** Nov. 18, 2022 Feb. 28, 2023  

Bullfrog

year-round

Except for state lakes***

20

* All river otters harvested must be tagged with Tennessee U. S. CITES tags. Contact your regional TWRA office for instructions.

** Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee U.S. CITES tags before being exported from the U. S. Contact your regional TWRA office for instructions.

*** Bullfrog season is June 1-30. Firearms are prohibited, but airguns are permitted. No WMA permit is required.

****Bobcats may be harvested with firearms, muzzleloader, or archery during deer season including during the young sportsman deer hunts.

SPECIES

OPENING DATE

CLOSING DATE

DAILY BAG

TRAPPING

Beaver

year-round

 

None

Coyote

year-round

 

None

Groundhog

year-round

 

None

Striped Skunk

year-round

 

None

Fox

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Mink

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Muskrat

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Otter*

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Spotted Skunk

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Weasel

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Raccoon

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Opossum

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

Bobcat**

Nov. 18, 2022

Feb. 28, 2023

None

** All river otters harvested must be tagged with Tennessee U. S. CITES tags. Contact your regional TWRA office for instructions.

** Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee U.S. CITES tags before being exported from the U. S. Contact your regional TWRA office for instructions.

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Dog Training

  • Training of bird dogs and squirrel dogs is permitted year-round on private lands, during daylight hours only.
  • Training of rabbit dogs is permitted year-round on private lands day and night.
  • The chasing of foxes with hounds is permitted year-round, day and night.
  • A hunting license is required while training dogs except when a person is competing in recognized field trials.
  • When training on a WMA, a small game permit is required.
  • Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA dog training seasons.
  • See bear regulations for bear dog training.
  • The taking of animals during dog training is prohibited.

Raccoon Dog Training

Year-round except where regulated by Private Acts.

The following counties are regulated by Private Acts: DeKalb County is open for year-round training except in the portion lying south and west of State Hwy. 96 and U. S. Hwy. 70 where the training season will open 30 days prior to the hunting season. Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA raccoon dog training seasons. The taking of animals during dog training is prohibited.

Raccoon and Opossum Hunting

Opossum can be taken during the raccoon hunting season. Night is defined as one 24-hour period beginning at sunset.

Private Land Season - Open sunset July 1 through sunrise Sept. 16, 2022. Bag limit is 2 per person per night. WMAs and all other public lands are closed during this period. Closed in Scott, Morgan, Roane, Rhea, Hamilton counties and all other Tennessee counties east of those counties.

Trapper Season Dates and Regulations
Trapper Education