Percy Priest WMA

Site Directions: From I-24, take exit 66, Sam Ridley Parkway, east 2.8 miles and merge onto US-41/US-70S towards Smyrna/LaVergne and travel north on “US-41N/US-70N/Murfreesboro Rd/Lowry St” (the road has a lot of names and numbers).   Travel 1.3 miles to a light at Fergus Rd. and make a right onto Fergus Rd.  Travel 0.8 miles and turn right on Jones Mill Rd. 

Travel past the main entrance to the WMA for a total of 1.8 miles from Fergus Rd to the entrance to the Field Trial Area (there are signs).  Make a left onto Old Jones Mill Rd and enter the WMA.

Lat-Long: 36.031887, -86.512917, entrance to the field trial area on the WMA

Lat-Long: 36.038325, -86.51517, "goose ponds" on either side of the road

Hours: daylight hours

Seasonality: See regulations below

Fees: license is required for hunting and fishing.


Centerfire rifle prohibited on all units.



Unit I closed to all activity from sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, except as noted. Trucks and ATVs are allowed off-road during field trials and training only.

All activities, except dove hunts on designated fields and scheduled field trials, are prohibited on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Sept. 1, 2023 - Apri l 30, 2024.
Additional WMA closures for special field trial dates are determined by the manager. 

Dove - Sept. 1, 2023, and each Saturday and Sunday thereafter, and Labor Day during the first and second segments of the statewide season. Shooting from staked positions only. On Sept. 1, 2023, staked positions will be assigned by a drawing held on-site at 10 a.m. and hunters must check out at the conclusion of their hunt. Successful applicants must be at their staked position at the start of shooting hours.

Squirrel - Same as statewide season, except as noted.

Quail, Rabbit (Young Sportsman) - Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 15, 2024. Same as statewide seasons, except Monday through Thursday only.   Shotguns only.   Each Youth must be accompanied by an adult who may not hunt or carry weapons. Each adult must possess a valid hunting license and an area permit.

Deer, Turkey (Archery Only) - Same as statewide seasons, except closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and except as noted.

Deer (Muzzleloader) - Nov. 13-16, 20-23, 2023. Statewide bag limits. Closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The remainder of deer season is archery only.

Turkey - Same as statewide spring turkey season, except closed Friday–Sunday until April 30, 2024. Bag limit one (1) bearded turkey during the first 14 days of the statewide season, not to exceed two (2) for the season. One bird must be an adult gobbler.

Dog training - Year-round. License and permit requirements apply. Training from horsebackphohibited before Oct. 1, 2023. Blank ammunition only. Daylight hours only

Field Trials - Sept. 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024 in designated areas only. Trials must be scheduled with Area Manager. Field trial applications must be submitted to the TWRA Region 2 office at least 30 days in advance of trial dates. Participants of sanctioned field trials may train 72 hours before and after scheduled trial dates without a small game permit. Field trail gallery must be kept out of standing planted crops by marshals provided by sponsoring clubs.
Rabbit and bird dog training are restricted to Sep. 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024.


Big Game, Small Game, and Trapping - Same as statewide seasons, except as noted. Deer is shotgun/muzzleloader/archery only. Fall turkey is archery only.

Quail - Nov. 4, 2023 - Jan. 15, 2024.

Spring Turkey - Same as statewide season. Bag limit one (1) bearded turkey during the first 14 days of the statewide season, not to exceed two (2) for the season. One bird must be an adult gobbler.

Waterfowl - Same as statewide seasons. Temporary blinds only. No blinds, blind materials, boats, or decoys may be left overnight.

Dog training - Sept. 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024. No hunting or training on horseback.

Site Description: The field trial area has a mixture of agricultural fields, old fallow fields, shallow water ponds (sometimes dry), and has a view of Percy Priest Lake.   Hunting is allowed

All roads are gravel and we encourage people to stay on the main gravel roads at all times.   Dirt roads can be very slippery when wet and are often in poor condition for cars and small trucks.

After entering the WMA, take the first left turn approximately 0.3 miles from the gate.  This gravel road will pass “goose ponds” on both sides of the road that are periodically flooded.  Follow the main gravel road around the WMA to explore other ponds and fields.

Wildlife to Watch: The old fields attract sparrowsIndigo BuntingsNorthern Bobwhite, among other grassland birds in season.

In the fall, Rose-breasted Grosbeak can be common.

In summer, Prairie Warblers, Indigo BuntingsEastern BluebirdBlue Grosbeak, and Field Sparrows can be abundant.

The “goose ponds” along the first gravel road on the left (mentioned above) can be excellent for wading birds, sora, and shorebirds if the water level is suitable.   The habitat is very hit or miss but has been excellent.

Buff-breasted Sandpipers were present along with Pectoral SandpipersLesser and Greater YellowlegsLeast Sandpipers, among others in fall 2011.

In fall 2012, Sora was found in ponds on both sides of the road. There are a couple of pull offs for parking and you are allowed to walk the fields.

Bald Eagles may be found year-round, while Peregrine Falcons could pass through in spring and fall. Northern Harriers are likely regular in winter.

Waterfowl and gulls may occur on the lake proper in season.

View the Weekly Fishing Forecast

Contact Information

Region 2 Office: 615-781-6622
Toll-Free: 1-800-624-7406
E-mail the office
Area Manager: Mark Vance (615) 355-0914

Interactive Map
Hunting Regulations Link
Driving Directions
Buy a license link
Priest WMA’s Mark Vance Works Against Trash Violators

Priest WMA’s Mark Vance Works Against Trash Violators

Catching individuals who dump trash is a difficult task and Percy Priest Wildlife Management Area is often plagued with illegal dump sites. Manager Mark Vance found several areas on the WMA littered with trash and went to work to identify the culprits.

Through careful investigation, Mark was able to put pieces of evidence together and build a case against the individuals responsible for the dumping. In the past month he has prosecuted two big litter cases resulting in fines of $400 and $500, plus court costs and community service. Currently, there are four more littering cases Mark has pending.