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Tennessee Deer Season Information

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General Deer Hunting Regulations

Fluorescent Orange

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.

Field Dressing

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.  

Deer Harvest Check In

All harvested deer must be checked in. There is a new tag before you drag requirements this year.   Visit Big Game Check-In Procedures for details.

Antlered Deer

Male or female deer with at least one (1) antler that is a minimum of three (3) inches in length.

The statewide bag limit is two (2) antlered deer (one per day, not to exceed 2 for the license year).

The statewide bag limit of two (2) antlered deer may be exceeded if taken as a bonus deer, if taken under the Earn-A-Buck Program in Unit CWD, or if taken as a Replacement Buck.   

Antlerless Deer

Male or female deer with no antlers or with antlers that are less than three (3) inches in length.

Antlerless deer hunters may harvest up to the unit antlerless bag limit in each unit. Moving to a different county within the same deer hunting unit does not increase the hunter’s bag limit.

Regular license holders (Type 001) will need to purchase a Special Season permit (Type 094) to take advantage of the antlerless opportunities. Hunters with a  Sportsman License, Lifetime Sportsman, Sr. Citizen with Type 166 & 167 licenses, and landowners hunting on their own land do not need the Special Season permit.

Albino Deer

Hunting, trapping, or possession of albino deer is prohibited as set forth in TCA 70-4-130.

An albino deer is a deer with a lack, or significant deficiency, of pigment in the skin and hair, and has pink eyes.

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. 

A Word About Tree Stands

The TWRA urges all deer hunters hunting from tree stands to use a fall restraint system. Most deer hunting accidents involve hunters falling from a tree stand. Proper use of a fall restraint system could prevent or lessen the severity of these accidents.