Public Hunting Information: A Comprehensive Guide

Overview of Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Lands

The TWRA governs various lands for hunting, with some designated as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) or refuges. However, there are other TWRA lands open for hunting, adhering to statewide seasons unless specified otherwise.

Big Hill Pond State Park (McNairy County) Hunting Zones

In Big Hill Pond State Park, the area south of the railroad tracks is designated for hunting during statewide seasons. This includes:

  • Wild hog hunting permissible for licensed deer hunters during deer season.
  • Adherence to Unit Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer seasons and bag limits.
  • Inclusion of the August Gun/Muzzleloader/Archery (G/M/A) Hunt.
  • For detailed deer season dates and bag limits, refer to the official Deer Seasons & Bag Limits resource.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Hunting Regulations

Notably, elk hunting is not permitted in this area. Key points include:

  • Mandatory Big South Fork Permit for wild hog hunting.
  • Restriction of hog hunting to deer season and the January-February small game season.
  • Requirement to use big game hunting devices for hog hunting.
  • Contact information for permit inquiries: Big South Fork NRRA (423) 569-9778, BSFNRRA Brandy Creek Visitor Center (423) 286-7275, or online at www.nps.gov/biso.

Fort Campbell Outdoor Recreation Contact

For inquiries and information: (270) 798-9824 or visit www.ftcampbell.isportsman.net.

Holston Army Ammunition Plant and Land Between the Lakes

  • Holston Army Ammunition Plant Contact: (423) 578-6276.
  • Land Between the Lakes Contact: (270) 924-2000, with a required LBL Hunter use permit. Additional details at www.landbetweenthelakes.us.

Long Hunter State Park (Davidson/Rutherford Counties) Hunting Specifics

This park offers an archery-only deer hunt, including crossbows. Important aspects include:

  • Mandatory check-in of harvested deer at the park's designated station.
  • Bag limit set at three deer, with a maximum of one antlered.
  • Requirement for the first deer to be antlerless.
  • Statewide bag limits apply to antlered deer.
  • Mandatory hunter safety meeting.
  • Contact for more information: (615) 885-2422.

Tennessee State Forests Hunting Guidelines

Managed by the Tennessee Division of Forestry, these forests are open for hunting during statewide seasons. Essential information can be found at www.state.tn.us/agriculture/forestry/stateforests.html. The state forests include:

  • Bledsoe, Cedars of Lebanon, Franklin, Lone Mountain, and Stewart State Forests.

Milan Volunteer Training Site Hunting Opportunities

This site offers quota hunts during specific application periods. For details, contact Region 1 at 731-423-5725.

Cedars of Lebanon State Forest and Natural Area Access

A permit is necessary for accessing the state natural area. For more information, call (615) 443-276.

Tims Ford State Park Huntable Lands

Hunting in this park requires a permit, available at the Park Office. The regulations align with those of the Owl Hollow Mill WMA (refer to Region I Wildlife Management Areas). For further details, contact (931) 962-1183.

Federal Refuges: Specific Hunting Seasons and Regulations

Understanding Federal Refuge Regulations

Federal refuges often have hunting seasons and regulations that differ from those listed in general guides. It is crucial for hunters to directly contact each refuge to obtain accurate and specific information about their individual hunting seasons and regulations.

Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge

  • Location: This refuge offers unique hunting opportunities.
  • Contact: For up-to-date information on hunting seasons and regulations, hunters can call (731) 635-7621.

Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge

  • Permit Requirement: All hunters, including lifetime and sportsman's license holders, must possess a type 064 permit.
  • How to Obtain: This permit can be acquired from all TWRA license agents.
  • Contact Information: For further details, call (931) 232-7477.

Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge

  • Contact: Hunters seeking information about this refuge can reach out at (731) 635-7621.

Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge

  • Unique Hunting Experiences: This refuge provides varied hunting experiences.
  • Inquiries: For more information, contact (731) 772-0501.

Reelfoot and Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuges

  • Contact for Information: Hunters can call (731) 538-2481 to learn about the specific hunting regulations and seasons for these refuges.

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge

  • Permit Requirement: Similar to Cross Creeks, all hunters, irrespective of their license type, need a type 064 permit.
  • Availability: This permit is available through all TWRA license agents.
  • Contact for Details: To get more information, call (731) 642-2091.

State Natural Areas: Hunting Regulations Overview

Introduction to State Natural Areas (SNAs)

Tennessee's State Natural Areas offer diverse hunting opportunities, each with specific regulations aligning with statewide seasons, except where noted. For comprehensive details on these areas, it's recommended to visit the Tennessee SNA website.

Big Cypress SNA

  • Regulations: Follows the Obion River WMA regulations.

Duck River Complex SNA

  • Hunting Seasons: Adheres to statewide hunting seasons.

Elsie Quarterman Cedar Glade SNA

  • Hunting Information: Statewide seasons apply.

Fate Sanders Barrens SNA

  • Regulations: Aligns with statewide hunting seasons.

Fall Creek Falls SNA

  • Seasons and Regulations: Follows statewide norms.

Hampton Creek Cove SNA

  • Specific Restrictions:
    • Permitted Hunting: Turkey, grouse, rabbit, squirrel, and deer (archery only).
    • Prohibitions: Use of tree stands, hunting dogs, dog training, motorized vehicles.
    • Hunting Area: Limited to designated zones.

Ghost River SNA

  • Regulations: Coincides with Wolf River WMA Unit 1, specifically for deer hunting.

Hicks Gap SNA

  • Hunting Seasons: Adheres to statewide regulations.

Reelfoot SNA

  • Regulations: Follows the Reelfoot WMA regulations.

Sunk Lake SNA

  • Designated Hunting Area: Only in the northern unit.

Twin Arches SNA

  • Hunting Seasons: Statewide seasons apply.

Honey Creek SNA

  • Restrictions:
    • No hunting in the No Hunt Zone around Chariot Lodge.

Walker Branch SNA

  • Hunting Information: Follows statewide hunting seasons.

William R. Davenport Refuge SNA

  • Regulations: Adheres to statewide norms.

TWRA Public Hunting Areas (PHAs): Regulations and Locations

Introduction to PHAs

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has established Public Hunting Areas (PHAs) as zones for wildlife conservation and public use, catering to both consumptive and non-consumptive users. These areas, although not intensively managed, are pivotal in wildlife protection. They are typically smaller and more isolated compared to other TWRA-managed lands.

General Regulations

  • WMA Regulations Applicability: General Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Regulations (pages 38–43) apply to PHAs.
  • Permit Information: Notably, WMA Permits are not required on these lands.
  • Location Details: For precise locations and additional information, visit www.tnwildlife.org and search for Wildlife Management Area Maps.

PHAs Open with Statewide Seasons

  • Cowan Swamp (Franklin County)
  • Shady Park (Robertson County)
  • Battle Creek (Marion County)
  • Whites Creek (Rhea County)
  • Mullins Island (Cocke County)
    • These areas adhere to statewide hunting seasons.

PHAs with Specific Restrictions

  • Anderson Pond (White County)
  • Hampton Crossroads (White County)
  • Long Branch (DeKalb County)
    • These areas are open with statewide seasons, but restrict deer hunting to archery equipment only.

PHAs Aligned with North Cherokee WMA Seasons

  • Big Springs (Sullivan County)
  • Henderson Swamp (Washington County)
    • The hunting seasons in these areas are in line with those of the North Cherokee Wildlife Management Area.

Hunting on TWRA Lakes: Regulations and Restrictions

Overview of Hunting on TWRA Lakes

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) allows hunting on several lakes and adjacent state lands during the regular hunting season. However, specific regulations and restrictions apply, especially in areas marked as safety zones.

Lakes Open for Hunting

  • Garrett Lake
  • VFW Lake
  • Whiteville Lake
    • Note: In the Oak Dain Wetland portion of Whiteville Lake, deer seasons follow Unit Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) dates and bag limits, including the August Gun/Muzzleloader/Archery (G/M/A) Hunt. For comprehensive deer season dates and bag limits, refer to the official Deer Seasons & Bag Limits resource.
  • Coy Gaither Bedford Lake
  • Laurel Hill Lake
  • Carroll Lake
    • Big game hunting is not allowed on Carroll Lake and adjacent State-owned land.
  • Reelfoot-Indian Creek Watershed Lakes

Trapping Regulations

  • Location: Trapping is permitted on Reelfoot-Indian Creek Watershed Lakes.
  • Statewide Regulations: All trapping activities must comply with statewide regulations.

Waterfowl Hunting Specifics

  • Permitted Locations: Waterfowl hunting is allowed on Garrett Lake, Laurel Hill Lake, Whiteville Lake, and Reelfoot-Indian Creek Watershed Lakes.
  • Blind Usage: Hunting from temporary or natural blinds is permitted.
    • Removal Requirement: Blinds and decoys must be removed daily from Garrett Lake, Whiteville Lake, and Reelfoot-Indian Creek Watershed Lakes.
  • Boating for Hunting: Boats may be utilized for waterfowl hunting on these lakes.
  • Laurel Hill WMA: For details regarding the waterfowl hunt at Laurel Hill Lake, refer to the Laurel Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) section.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.