2017-2018 Tennessee Hunting Summary

Turkey

  • Management
  • General Regulations
  • 2016 Fall Hunting
  • 2017 Spring Drawings
  • 2017 Spring Hunting
  • Eastern Wild Turkey

    Now that the wild turkey has been restored to Tennessee, our goal is to ensure that a vigorous, self-sustaining population is maintained in all suitable habitats of the state.

    Turkeys will be managed to best meet the needs and desires of the people of Tennessee. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a long-range plan for managing Tennessee’s wild turkey resource; this plan will direct wild turkey management for the anticipated future.

    Certain parts of the state have experienced tremendous turkey population growth. The popularity of the turkey as a game species versus concern about turkey depredation in some areas of the state have brought about new challenges concerning turkey management. Large numbers of turkeys in certain parts of the state have brought about conflicts and in some instances economic losses. The strategies in TWRA's current management plan seek to resolve these issues while optimizing the worth of the wild turkey.

    In recent years, as a result of the wild turkey restoration efforts, Tennessee has a wider distribution of huntable flocks which can absorb declines in some local populations without a significant drop in the total harvest. Since weather conditions vary greatly across the state some flocks exist in areas that will be unaffected by the same storms which could be detrimental to poult survival in other localized flocks.

    Good production in these areas provides an alternate place for hunters to hunt when local populations are low.

    Turkey Disease Study

    Summary of Middle TN Turkey Disease Study

    Middle TN Turkey Disease  Study- Investigation of Hunter‐harvested Carcasses and Laboratory Trial

  • The use of any type of food to feed or attract wild turkeys on WMAs. Shooting or stalking turkeys from a boat in Shelby, Dyer, Tipton, Lauderdale, Haywood or Obion counties prohibited. Calling or attempting to call wild turkeys using any call to mimic the sounds made by a wild turkey is prohibited from March 1st to the opening day of the spring turkey hunts on all WMAs.

    A licensed turkey hunter, who has filled his/her bag limit or does not possess a valid permit for a quota hunt, may accompany another turkey hunter (except on Oak Ridge WMA) and assist him/her in calling, but may not have a gun or bow in his possession.

  • Statewide Fall Turkey Season

    During the fall turkey seasons a turkey hunter may not be in possession of both archery equipment and shotguns and/or rifles.  Any turkey harvested during these seasons count toward the county bag limit.  Hunters may move to a different county and hunt turkey after filling their bag limit in a county.

  • Archery:

  • Sept. 24 - Oct. 31 and Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 2016 (Same as deer archery-only season)

  • Shotgun/Archery:

  • Oct. 15-28, 2016

  • Fall Turkey Bag Limit:

  • One (1) turkey, either sex, per county except that Bledsoe, Bradley, Crockett, Dyer, Giles, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Shelby, Tipton, Unicoi, and Wayne counties are closed to all fall turkey hunting.

  • Hours:

  • Thirty (30) minutes before legal sunrise to sunset.


  • Learn About the New Big Game Check In Procedures & Harvest Logs

    The following map shows the counties that are open for fall turkey shotgun/archery hunting. If a county allows Fall turkey hunting, the turkey may also be be harvested with archery equipment during the deer/archery only season. Turkeys harvested during the deer/archery only season count toward the county bag limit. During a deer archery only season, a fall turkey hunter may not be in possession of both archery equipment and firearms.   Counties closed to Fall turkey hunting:  Bledsoe, Bradley, Crockett, Dyer, Giles, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Shelby, Tipton, Unicoi and Wayne
  • Map of counties that allow Fall turkey hunting

  • The application period for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2016 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts ended Feb. 3, 2016. The application period for the 2017 Spring Turkey Quota Hunt will be December 14, 2016 through January 18, 2017.  

  • Statewide Spring Turkey Season

    April 1 - May 14, 2017
    All Tennessee counties are open to wild turkey hunting including WMAs and refuges unless specifically listed.

    Learn About the New Big Game Check In Procedures & Harvest Logs

    Bag Limits

    One (1) bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four (4) per season. Turkeys taken on all quota hunts and specially designated WMAs are bonus turkeys.

    Spring Turkey Shooting Hours

    Thirty (30) minutes before legal sunrise to sunset.

    Spring Turkey On WMAs

    The use of any type of food to feed or attract wild turkeys on WMAs is prohibited. Calling or attempting to call wild turkeys using any means to mimic the sounds made by turkeys is prohibited on all WMAs from March 1 until the opening day of the spring turkey hunts on the WMA.

    Statewide Spring Young Sportsman Hunt

    March 25-26, 2017 (ages 6 through 16). One (1) bearded turkey which counts toward statewide bag unless taken on a WMA where turkeys are designated as bonus birds. Each youth must be accompanied by a nonhunting adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device, who is not required to have a license.