Big Game Hunting in Tennessee
General Hunting Regulations
Hunters must wear on the upper portion of their body and head a minimum of 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent-orange (blaze orange), visible front and back while hunting big game except on archery-only and turkey hunts. A hat and vest fulfill requirements.
Blaze orange camo is legal if it contains 500 square inches of fluorescent orange. In those areas where the archery-only deer season dates overlap with another big game gun season (i.e., bear) archers are required to wear 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange.
Fluorescent orange is required during the August Hunt in Unit CWD.
Evidence of species and sex and antlered status (if applicable) must not be destroyed and must remain with the animal while afield.
Normal field dressing, quartering, and icing down of the meat are permitted.
Carcass Transport into Tennessee
Only approved parts (i.e., deboned meat, clean skulls, skull plates and teeth, antlers, finished taxidermy, hides, and tanned products) from deer, elk, moose, and caribou may be brought back into TN.
Carcass Transport concerning CWD Affected Counties
Approved parts (i. .e., deboned meat, clean skulls, skull plates and teeth, antlers, finished taxidermy, hides, and tanned products) may be moved freely within Tennessee.
There are restrictions on moving unapproved parts (i.e. whole or undressed carcasses) from county to county dependent on a county’s CWD status.
Visit CWD Affected Counties – Carcass Transportations Restrictions for more details.
Mississippi River Flood Closure
When the Mississippi River at Caruthersville gauge reaches 34 ft. all big game hunting will close in the Mississippi River Floodwaters Zone (on private and public land) and will remain closed until the Mississippi River drops below 34 ft. at the Caruthersville gauge.
NOTE: Flood Closure area has changed. See the updated map.
Big Game Found Dead
All big game found dead should be left where found and need not be reported.
Individuals wanting to keep big game found dead must first contact the local Regional TWRA office for authorization. Big game, except bear, accidentally killed by a motor vehicle may be possessed by any person for personal use and consumption if the TWRA or local law enforcement agency is notified within 48 hours. A bear killed by a motor vehicle may be possessed only upon the issuance of a receipt from the TWRA.
Any vehicle in which an illegally possessed big game animal is found is subject to confiscation.