Public Hunting Areas
Over 7,000 acres of public hunting lands are available for Tennessee’s hunters. This is a cooperative effort between the TWRA and landholding companies to provide public hunting with the landowner setting, collecting and administering permits and the TWRA enforcing the rules and regulations governing these areas.
Seasons are open same as statewide seasons. Public lands are important to hunters and non-hunters alike, so all users should work to maintain a good relationship with the owners. Never litter or abuse the land.
National Wildlife Refuges
General Regulations for National Wildlife Refuges
- Vehicles must remain on established roads open to public vehicles. Roads may be closed due to adverse weather conditions. Park vehicles in a manner that will not interfere with normal flow of traffic or block gates.
- Camping and fires are prohibited, except on Chickasaw NWR during small and big game hunts in designated areas.
- It is unlawful to drive a nail, spike, or other metal object into any tree or to hunt from any tree in which a nail, spike, or other metal object has been driven. Temporary blinds or stands permitted on the day of the hunt only. All blinds and stands must be removed at the end of each day's hunt.
- Dogs are prohibited except when used during refuge open seasons for small game and migratory birds.
- Designated areas of refuges will be closed to all public entry to provide sanctuaries for waterfowl.
- All shotgun hunters may only possess and use shotgun shells containing approved non-toxic shot.
- Hunters must possess and carry a signed refuge brochure/permit.
- All National Wildlife Refuges which are open to fall turkey quota hunts based on county designation, close for the season ½ hour after sunset on Nov. 10, except as otherwise noted.
- A federal permit may be required for hunts. Quota permits are required for quota hunts and special federal regulations apply as specified. A signed refuge brochure serves as the permit for non-quota hunts, except on Tennessee and Cross Creeks where an annual permit is required for all hunts.
- All antlered deer taken on National Wildlife Refuges count toward the statewide antlered deer bag limit except on NWR quota hunts or as otherwise noted. Antler-less deer taken on NWR quota hunts or where specific NWR hunt dates are listed are bonus deer except as otherwise noted.
- On all Young Sportsman Hunts, youth, ages 6-16 (youth waterfowl 6-15), may participate but must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device. Adults cannot hunt except as indicated otherwise. Adults must comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters when accompanying young sportsmen on Young Sportsman Big Game Hunts, except as indicated. Youth, ages 6-16, may participate on other NWR hunts (big game, small game, waterfowl, etc.) but must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device, except as otherwise noted.
- The use or possession of bait, or hunting over bait is strictly prohibited. Baiting means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing or scattering any salt, grain, powder, liquid or other feed to attract game.
- The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited while on refuge lands and waters.
- The cutting of holes, lanes, or any other manipulation of the vegetation (e.g. cutting of bushes and trees, mowing, herbicide use, and other actions) or hunting from or adjacent to manipulated areas is strictly prohibited. The possession of saws, machetes, axes, or other tools for cutting vegetation is prohibited.
Specific Dates & Regulations for Refuges & Other Federal Areas
Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge - (731) 635-7621
Cross Creeks Natl. Wildlife Refuge - (931) 232-7477
Lower Hatchie Natl. Wildlife Refuge - (731) 635-7621
Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge - (731) 772-0501
Reelfoot and Lake Isom NWRs - (731) 538-2481
Sunk Lake Public Use Management Area (Northern Unit Only) - (731) 635-7621
Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge - (731) 642-2091
Other Public Hunting Lands
Other TWRA lands not proclaimed as a WMA or refuge are open with statewide seasons unless otherwise indicated.
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area & Obed Wild and Scenic River Special Regulations
Taking wild hogs incidental to hunting requires permit from the National Park Service.
Wild hogs may be taken during any deer hunt, by legal deer hunters.
After the January closure of deer season, small game and furbearer hunters may take wild hogs if they are legally hunting small game or furbearers with equipment that would otherwise be legal for deer hunting.
Chasing wild hogs with dogs is not permitted. These special regulations apply at Obed Wild and Scenic River only on the lands administered by the National Park Service.
For information call Big South Fork NRRA at (423) 569-9778 or the BSFNRRA Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275.
Fort Campbell Outdoor Recreation
Holston Army Ammunition Plant - (423) 578-6276
(HSAAP) is now accepting applications for four white-tailed deer hunts to be held on the installation during the upcoming 2016 hunting season.
Applications must be received by July 27, 2016 in order to be considered in the drawing for this year’s hunts. Individuals interested in obtaining an application for this year’s hunts may call the HSAAP hunting and fishing information line at 423-578-6291 for recorded information on where applications are available in the tri-cities area.
Applications are also available online at www.holstonwildlife.webs.com. Individuals may also request an application by mail by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the following address:
Holston Army Ammunition Plant
Attn: Deer Hunt Information
4509 West Stone Drive
Kingsport, TN 37660
Milan Army Ammunition Plant
(731) 686-6682. Web site: http://www.milanarsenalhunting.com
Tims Ford State Park Huntable Lands
Permit required, available at the Park Office. Same seasons and regulations as Owl Hollow Mill WMA (see hunting guide). For more information call (931) 962-1183.