Quota Hunts

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency realizes that in some areas of Tennessee, the number of hunters needs to be restricted so as not to cause a major impact on the resource. In these areas, the Agency utilizes a quota hunt system. 

The quota hunt system randomly selects a specified number of hunters from a pool of applicants. Applications are processed through the Online License Center on the Internet and through any TWRA license agent.

Tennessee has a priority point system in place for several of its quota hunts. An applicant is awarded one point for each year he/she applies and is unsuccessful up to the maximum for that particular hunt.

Each point system is unique and separate for the different quota hunts.

With the new system, you can log into the quota hunt module to apply for a quota hunt. You will also be able to edit a quota hunt application that you have submitted up until the deadline for that hunt. You will be able to see members that are in your quota hunt party.

Transaction ID numbers are issued for all transactions that are completed in the REAL system. That number is your assurance that your application has been accepted into the system. If you have a valid email address on your account, an email is sent immediately after your transaction is complete. If you do not have a valid email address, you can screenshot the "CHECKOUT COMPLETE" page to retain your Transaction ID number or you may click the "Print Application" button located in the top, right corner of the page. If you have questions about your quota hunt application, you MUST have your Transaction ID number. 

You will also be able to see the results of your quota hunt drawing as soon as we finish the drawing validation process and release the results to the public. ALL from your customer account.

Quota Hunt applications can be submitted or viewed:

Applications cannot be accepted by mail.

WMA Big Game 

The WMA Big Game Quota Hunts application period will be June 15 - Midnight July 27, 2022.

Customers who are interested in applying for both the WMA quota hunt and elk quota hunt will have to submit two applications, one for each.  The computer drawings will be handled separately. 

Cherokee Bear Hunts

The application period for the 2022 Cherokee Bear drawing will be from June 15 – Midnight, July 27, 2022.

This is a party hunt. In order to be a qualifying party, there must be 50 members in the party before the deadline.  

WMA Waterfowl Drawings

The application period for the 2022 Computerized Waterfowl Sites drawing will be:

  • The application period for season-long sites (Tier 1)  will be June 29 – Midnight July 20, 2022 The Notice of Intent deadline is August 15. 
  • The application period for the early waterfowl sites is September 28 – Midnight October 18, 2022. The NOI deadline is October 31. 
  • The application period for the middle season waterfowl sites will be October 26 – Midnight November 15, 2022. NOI deadline will be November 28. Mid-Season Waterfowl Information
  • The application period for the late-season waterfowl sites will be November 16 – Midnight December 6, 2022. The NOI deadline is December 19. Late Season Waterfowl Information
  • The application period for the youth/military waterfowl sites will be November 16 – Midnight December 6, 2022. The NOI deadline is December 19thYouth/Military Waterfowl Information

An interactive map of the waterfowl blind sites can be found at Waterfowl Blind Site Map

Statewide Sandhill Crane

The application period for the statewide sandhill crane this year will be August 31 – Midnight September 21, 2022. 

All hunters must have filled out and returned a post-season survey at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com before February 9th, 2023. Failure to return the post-season survey may results in hunters not being eligible to apply for a sandhill crane tag in the future.

Spring Turkey Quota Hunts

The application period for the 2023 Spring Turkey Quota hunts will be December 14, 2022 – at Midnight on January 11, 2023. Spring Turkey Information



What exactly is a quota hunt?
TWRA realizes that on some WMAs, the number of animals harvested must be restricted so there will not be a major impact on wildlife. In these areas, the agency uses a quota hunt system. Wildlife biologists determine how many animals need to be harvested then determine how many permits need to be issued in order to reach their harvest goals. Permits are allocated through an electronic drawing and the result is a quota hunt. Quota permits are non-transferable.

What types of quota hunts are there?
Hunters can apply for exclusive bear, deer, elk, sandhill crane, turkey or waterfowl hunts. Find more information in the TWRA Hunting & Trapping Guide.

How do I apply for a quota hunt? 
No mail-in applications are accepted. Applications must be submitted through any TWRA license agent or at https://QuotaHunt.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com. When applying through the website, it is critical that your email address is on your account. Notification of the following will arrive ONLY by email: your application has been submitted and accepted into the system, you have successfully made changes to your application (hunt locations, group members, etc.), whether or not you were selected for a hunt(s), and how to obtain permits. You can log into your account at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com at any time and see hunts you were selected for, prior applications and your priority points balance.

What is “priority”?
Tennessee has a priority point system in place for several of its WMA quota hunts. Each point system is unique and separate for the different quota hunt category. An applicant is awarded one point for each unsuccessful application. When a person is drawn for a quota hunt, their priority points will be reset to “0” the following year. Priority points only apply to the hunt category in which they were earned, i.e., WMA Big Game, Spring Turkey Waterfowl, etc. Applicants with the highest priority are always drawn first.

Party leaders choose whether to allow their members that have lower priority.  If applicants in a party have varying priority points, the points will be averaged.   If party is unsuccessful, each party member’s individual priority will increase by 1 point.  Each applicant’s priority is individual; it is only in the drawing that an applicant’s party priority is considered.  When a party is unsuccessful, each applicant’s actual current priority points balance will increase by one point up to the maximum.

  • Spring Turkey: No limit: Current maximum is six (6) priority points.
  • Youth Spring Turkey WMA: No limit.  Current maximum is three (3) points. 
  • Elk and Youth Elk: No priority point system. An applicant successfully drawn may not reapply for ten (10) years. 
  • Cherokee Party Dog Bear: No priority point system.
  • WMA Big Game: No limit. Current maximum is fourteen (14) points.
  • Youth WMA Big Game: No limit. Current maximum is three (3) points. 
  • Season-Long Waterfowl: No priority point system.
  • Early Waterfowl Season: No limit. Current maximum is one (1).
  • Mid Waterfowl Season: No limit. Current maximum is six (6).
  • Late Waterfowl Season: No limit. Current maximum is one (1).
  • Youth/Military Waterfowl Season: No priority point system.

How does the drawing work?

Applicants choose specific hunts by date and location and sort these choices by preference. You will not be awarded an area different from the one(s) you requested. Do not specify choices unless you are interested in attending those hunts.

The system always awards applicants with the highest priority first. If the applicant’s first choice is available, it is awarded. The program then moves on to the next applicant’s first choice. If the applicant’s first choice is not available, the program moves to that applicant's second choice, either awarding that selection if available (and moving on to the next hunter), or if not available, the program moves to the third choice, etc.

After the first attempt to award each hunter a permit, the system repeats the drawing process, going through the remaining choices until it has awarded all available permits. Applicants choose how many drawings they would like to participate in when applying. Each drawing applied for affords you the opportunity to be drawn for a permit. If you enter one drawing, the maximum number of permits you are eligible to be awarded is one. If you enter two drawings, the maximum number of permits you are eligible to be awarded is two permits. 

How much does it cost to apply? 

Unless you are a Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime License holder or seniors possessing a Type 167, the cost is $12.00  non-refundable for each permit applied for. Example: The “Maximum Awarded Permits” for WMA Big Game is two, meaning two drawings are held for the same pool of applicants. You may choose to enter the one drawing, you will only be eligible for one permit and the cost will be $12.00, plus any applicable fees. If you enter two drawings, you will be eligible for two permits and the cost will be $24.00, plus any fees. You must choose the number of drawings, party information, and hunt choices on one application. Please see the instruction sheet for the hunt you are interested in for additional information.

Any questions regarding Quota Hunts, please call (615) 781-6621.