Hunting License Requirements
Who Must Have a Tennessee Hunting License?
If you hunt game or attempt to hunt game by any method or if you assist someone else to do so, you must have a valid hunting license. There are some exceptions:
- Residents born before March 1, 1926 (with proof of age and residency).
- Military personnel on leave carrying leave papers.
- Landowners, their spouses, and children who hunt on farmland which is owned by said landowners. The aforementioned must be residents of Tennessee but need not reside on the land. This license exemption does not apply if the farmland is owned jointly or in common by unrelated persons.
- Resident grandchildren (under the age of 16) and resident great-grandchildren (under the age of 16) who hunt on farmland which is owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents.
- Tenants, their spouses, and their dependent children who hunt on farmland owned by an individual or family. The aforementioned must be residents of Tennessee and must actually reside on the land and have the permission of the landowner to hunt. A tenant is a person who, for money, free rent, or other consideration, cares for farmland. The tenancy must be agricultural in nature.
- First cousins who own farmland jointly or in common may fish and hunt small game on the farmland. Their children may fish and hunt small game as well.
- Resident and nonresident youths under 13. Hunters ages 10-12 need only a hunter education certificate to hunt. However, youths 6-16 hunting big game on a WMA must have a valid Type 094 or Type 095 permit or quota permit, as applicable.
Farmland Owner License Exemption
Persons hunting without a license under a resident farmland owner exemption must complete and sign a statement, attesting where the property is located and how this land qualifies for a landowner exemption. Persons may complete the form in advance and carry it with them while hunting or they may complete the form when requested in the field by a TWRA official or when checking game. Resident landowners and their children hunting on their parent's land under this exemption are also exempt from Hunter Education Certification requirements.