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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Law Enforcement

TWRA Honor Guard

Report a hunting, fishing violation or a boating accident in your area.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) offers a reward up to $1,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of wildlife poachers.

Individuals with information about poachers or poaching activities can contact the TWRA by calling one of the regional offices from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight, seven days a week.

In addition to the reward offered by the TWRA, the Tennessee State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation offers up to a $300.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals poaching wild turkeys.

Information such as the individual’s name or description, vehicle tag number or description, nature of offense and location of the offense greatly assists the TWRA in apprehending wildlife poachers. All information received by TWRA is kept in the strictest confidence.

To report a Hunting/Fishing/Boating violation, call the numbers below, 7:00a.m. until 12:00 midnight, seven days a week:

West Tennessee - Region I Middle Tennessee - Region II Cumberland Plateau - Region III East Tennessee - Region IV
1-800-831-1173 1-800-255-8972                1-833-402-4699 1-800-831-1174

Wildlife Rehabilitators & Educators

Chances are at some point you will encounter an animal that has been injured or orphaned. The most important thing to remember is to not keep the animal and take care of it yourself! Not only could it potentially do more harm than good to the animal, it is also illegal!

In the event you ever find an injured or orphaned animal out in your yard or in the wild, contact a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator prior to picking the animal up. The TWRA is happy to provide a list of authorized Wildlife Rehabilitators to ensure the safety and well being of the animal and yourself.

Note: Wildlife Rehabilitators do not pick animals up. If you find an animal and a rehabilitator can accept the animal, you will need to arrange transportation to deliver the animal to the Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Qualifications Needed To Be Eligible For A Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit

  1. A person must meet one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit:
    1. 200 hours of experience in rehabilitating the species in which the person wishes to be permitted
    2. One year of full-time employment as a Veterinary Technician
    3. Possess a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and be Board Certified in the State of Tennessee
    4. Possess a valid permit for Wildlife Rehabilitation from another state for the species in which the person wishes to be permitted. Also, individuals in this category must have been in good standing in the state in which the permit was held.
  2. In the Event a person cannot meet the needed criteria, they may substitute the following:
    1. Every credit hour earned for college courses worked in zoology, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine can be submitted for hours of experience, up to 100 hours.
    2. There will be no substitutions for the following categories:
      1. One year full time employment as a veterinary technician
      2. Possession of a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
      3. Have been permitted for Wildlife Rehabilitation by another state
  3. Anyone who has been found in violation of any state wildlife laws or federal wildlife laws does not qualify for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.
  4. Anyone holding Captive Wildlife Permits or possessing non-native wildlife species is not eligible for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.
  5. The possession of any wildlife must be in accordance with the city and/or county ordinances in which the wildlife is being held.
  6. Issuance of a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit will be done on an "an needed" basis, in which need is determined by TWRA.
2018 WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR DIRECTORY

Wildlife that cannot be rehabilitated for release back into the wild can be authorized for use at facilities for wildlife education. Most wildlife species can be authorized for use in education programs. However, white-tailed deer and black bear are not eligible for such authorization.

The programs provided by these facilities are performed at no cost. An individual who provides such programming must have a minimum of 200 hours of experience in handling and care of the species to be used in educational programs.

Facilities utilizing raptors for programs must also have permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Qualifications Needed To Be Eligible For A Wildlife Education Permit

  1. A person must meet one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a Wildlife Education Permit:
    1. 200 hours of experience in handling and care of the species in which the person wishes to be permitted
    2. One year of full-time employment as a Veterinary Technician
    3. Possess a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and be Board Certified in the State of Tennessee
    4. Possess a valid permit for Wildlife Education from another state for the species in which the person wishes to be permitted. Also, individuals in this category must have been in good standing in the state in which the permit was held.
  2. In the Event a person cannot meet the needed criteria, they may substitute the following:
    1. Every credit hour earned for college courses worked in zoology, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine can be submitted for hours of experience, up to 100 hours.
    2. There will be no substitutions for the following categories:
      1. One year full time employment as a veterinary technician
      2. Possession of a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
      3. Have been permitted for Wildlife Education by another state
  3. Anyone who has been found in violation of any state wildlife laws or federal wildlife laws does not qualify for a Wildlife Education Permit.
  4. Anyone holding Captive Wildlife Permits or possessing non-native wildlife species is not eligible for a Wildlife Education Permit.
  5. The possession of any wildlife must be in accordance with the city and/or county ordinances in which the wildlife is being held.
  6. Issuance of a Wildlife Education Permit will be done on an "an needed" basis, in which need is determined by TWRA.

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

interstate Wildlife Violator Compact Logo

The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. This means that illegal activities in one state can affect a person’s hunting or fishing privileges in all participating states. Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member state may also be suspended in Tennessee. If a person's hunting, fishing, or trapping rights are suspended in Tennessee, they may be suspended in member states as well. This cooperative interstate effort will enhance the Division of Wildlife’s ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources.

The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact also establishes a process whereby wildlife law violations by a non-resident from a member state are handled as if the person were a resident, meaning they can be served a ticket rather than being arrested, booked, and bonded. This process is a convenience for hunters, fishermen, and trappers of member states, and increases efficiency of Wildlife Officers by allowing more time for enforcement duties rather than violator processing procedures. 

 IWVC Member States

Tennessee honors all similar wildlife violation suspensions from other member states.  This would include Failure to Appear in court violations.

One of the benefits to sportsman who violate wildlife laws is if they are from a member state TWRA officers can write them a simple citation instead of taking them to jail and having them post a cash bond.

If a non-resident sportsman is issued a wildlife citation fails to comply with the citation or appear in court, the TWRA will notify their home state of a Failure to Comply. The home state will then suspend that person's resident hunting or fishing license. Once the sportsman complies with the Tennessee violation, their home state will be notified and their resident license will be reinstated.