Hunting in Tennessee

Tennessee Hunting at Glance

Tennessee’s hunting history and heritage goes back to the days of the Longhunters in the 1760s and 1770s. Today, Tennessee is still a hunter’s paradise. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and black bears are abundant. Upland birds, ducks and geese, and small game are also found in Tennessee, and traditional nighttime raccoon hunting with dogs is a popular pastime. Black bears are also hunted with dogs in designated areas.

The most common types of hunting in Tennessee are deer, turkey, waterfowl, small game and big game. Big game includes animals such as bear, elk and boar, while small game includes animals such as squirrels and rabbits.

The best places to hunt in Tennessee depend on what type of animal you are looking to harvest. For deer hunting, some of the best areas include the Smokey Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Turkey hunting is popular in the eastern part of the state, around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Waterfowl hunting is often done in the wetlands around Memphis. Small game can be found all over Tennessee, but some of the best spots for squirrel and rabbit hunting are in Middle and West Tennessee.

Tennessee ranks #12 in the nation for hunting license per capita and has a strong hunting culture with over 10.2% of the population classified as registered hunters.

Table of Contents

Hunters (Based on Hunting Licenses)
Population: 6,910,840
Hunters 704,906
Hunter % 10.20%
Hunters Rank 12

The state of Tennessee is predominantly private land and only 8.93% of the total acres could be considred huntable public land. Tennessee ranks #24 overall in acres of public huntable land.

Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 26,380,800
Huntable Public 2,356,000 8.93% 24
Private Land 23,566,050 89.33% 26
Tribal Land 0 0.00% no tribal land

Tennessee ranks #26 for the percentage of private land vs total acres and doesn’t have any tribal land.

Tennessee Hunting Seasons & Requirements

For the most accurate information on Tennessee Hunting Seasons, along with the state’s requirements for tag and bag limits, it’s a good idea to check with the Tennessee DNR.  We’ve provided their contact information below, along with links to helpful resources, including licensing.

Tennessee DNR

P.O. Box 41489
Nashville, TN 37204

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Popular Game to Hunt in Tennessee

There are many different types of hunting on offer in Tennessee. The most common is deer hunting, however there are also excellent opportunities for small game hunting.

Small Game Hunting in Tennessee

The most commonly hunted small game animals include squirrel, quail, rabbit, dove, and pheasant. Each of these animals offers a unique challenge, and hunters can enjoy a variety of different hunting experiences depending on which species they pursue. Squirrels, for example, are fast and agile, making them a challenging target. Quail are relatively small and elusive, often working in pairs or groups to avoid detection. Rabbits can be difficult to spot in thick underbrush, but their quick movements make them a rewarding target when hit. Dove hunting requires patience and precision, as these birds are extremely fast and known for their evasive flying patterns. Finally, pheasant hunting can be a challenging but rewarding experience, as these birds are large and strong flyers

Big Game Hunting in Tennessee

Deer, bear, elk, and moose are the most popular big game to hunt in Tennessee. Each offers a unique challenge and opportunity for trophy hunters. Deer are the most populous big game animal in the state, and can be found in nearly every county. Bear hunting requires a bit more planning and effort, as they are only found in certain areas of the state. Elk hunting is relatively new to Tennessee, with reintroduction efforts only beginning in 2000. However, there are now around 600 elk in the state, primarily in Northeastern Tennessee. Moose are the largest big game animal in the state, and are found primarily in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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Where are the Best Areas to Hunt in Tennessee

Tennessee offers great hunting opportunities across the state, both on public and private land. We’ve included some of the best areas for public hunting below and as we have access we’ll be adding more private land too.

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We’re working with landowners all across Tennessee to provide private land access for more activities. Add your information below to stay up to date.

Popular Public Hunting Land in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to some of the best hunting grounds in the country. From the expansive Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge to the scenic Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, there are plenty of options for hunters looking to bag a trophy deer or turkey. The state is also home to several smaller hunting areas, such as the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge and the Big Cypress National Preserve. For those looking for a truly wild experience, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers ample opportunities to view – and hunt – wildlife in its natural habitat. No matter where you choose to hunt in Tennessee, you’re sure to have a memorable (and successful) expedition.

1. Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
2. Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
3. Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
4. Big Cypress National Preserve
5. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hunting Private Land in Tennessee

Since the majority of Tennessee is private land getting access for hunting can be very appealing. When you hunt private land, it’s not only less crowded, the animals also tend to be less skittish and this means you’ll have a better day out in the field.  Traditionally, accessing private land for hunting has been complicated and expensive.  You either needed to join a club, hire a guide, or start knocking on doors.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying this for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some options great below.

More Private Hunting Land

• 80 acres •
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
Wing It - Access. Granted White

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