Elk Hunting Regulations in Tennessee for 2023
2023 Elk Hunting Season Dates
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has set specific dates for the 2023 elk hunting season, along with guidelines for hunters to follow. These regulations are in place to ensure sustainable elk populations and safe hunting practices.
- Hunting Period: The designated elk hunting dates for 2023 are from September 30 to October 20.
- Permit Drawing: Hunters should note that permits for this season were drawn in February 2023.
Safety Regulations for Deer Hunters
During certain periods of the elk hunting season, additional safety measures are implemented for deer hunters.
Blaze Orange Requirement:
- Archery Deer Hunters: From October 7 to 20, all archery deer hunters are required to wear blaze orange for safety.
Incidental Take of Elk
Under specific circumstances, deer hunters may legally harvest an elk.
Guidelines and Restrictions:
- Eligibility: A legal deer hunter can harvest an elk (of either sex) incidental to deer hunting.
- Geographical Limitations: This is allowed on all private and public lands open to deer hunting, with the exception of Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Scott, and Morgan counties, and areas like Big South Fork River and Recreation Area, Scott State Forest, and Obed National Scenic River Corridor.
- Harvest Limit: Only one elk per year can be harvested as an incidental take.
- Reporting Requirement: Any elk harvested incidentally must be reported to the TWRA on the day of harvest by calling 1-800-831-1174. This allows for physical checking by TWRA personnel.
Special Regulations for Elk Quota Permit Holders
Individuals who have obtained elk quota permits must adhere to specific requirements.
- Check-In Procedure: All elk harvested by quota permit holders must be checked in at the North Cumberland WMA office on the harvest day.
- Harvest Site Identification: Hunters must ensure the location of the harvest is adequately marked. This can be done by providing GPS coordinates or accompanying a TWRA employee to the site.
- Prohibited Equipment: The use or possession of electronic radio-tracking equipment is not allowed.
- Restrictions on Elk Calling: Bugling or calling of elk is forbidden within the Elk Hunting Zones during all elk hunts, except for permitted hunters and their assistants.
Elk Quota Hunts in Tennessee for 2024
Overview of Elk Quota Permit System
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regulates elk hunting through a quota permit system. This system is designed to manage elk populations sustainably while providing hunting opportunities to the public.
Application Period and Availability:
- Application Dates: The application period for the 2024 elk quota hunts is from February 7 to February 28, 2024.
- Where to Apply: Hunters can apply for permits through TWRA license agents or online.
- Total Permits: In 2024, a total of nineteen (19) quota permits will be issued.
Special Quota Permits
Unique opportunities are available through specific quota permits, catering to various segments of the hunting community and supporting wildlife conservation efforts.
Benefiting Wildlife Conservation:
- Non-Profit Wildlife Organization Permit: One of the nineteen permits will be allocated to a qualifying non-profit wildlife conservation organization. This permit will be auctioned in an online raffle, with all proceeds benefiting the TWRA's Habitat Management Program.
- How to Participate: Interested parties can purchase raffle tickets through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation website at www.twrf.net.
Young Sportsman Permit:
- Eligibility and Access: Another permit from the nineteen is reserved for a resident Young Sportsman. This permit allows the holder to hunt in all open Elk Hunt Zones (EHZs).
- Open Areas for Hunting: The Young Sportsman permit holder is authorized to hunt in any TWRA-designated open EHZ and on private lands in designated open counties.
Hunting Locations and Permissions
Elk permits are specific to designated areas, and hunters must comply with land access regulations.
Designated Hunting Zones and Private Land Access:
- Valid Zones: Elk permits are valid for designated EHZs in North Cumberland WMA and on private lands in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, and Scott counties.
- Public Land Restrictions: All public land, other than North Cumberland WMA, is closed to elk hunting.
- Private Land Hunting: Permit holders must obtain verbal or written permission to hunt on private property. The TWRA does not guarantee access to private lands.
- Landowner Regulations: Landowners are also subject to the quota permit requirement and must be successfully drawn to hunt.
Legal Hunting Methods
Hunters must adhere to the prescribed methods and means for hunting, as outlined in the TWRA's regulations.
Manner & Means:
- Guidelines: For information on legal hunting methods, hunters should refer to the "Manner & Means" section of TWRA regulations.