Wild Hog Regulations in Tennessee
Overview of Wild Hog Issues
Invasive Impact of Wild Hogs: Wild hogs are considered invasive exotic animals in Tennessee. Their presence causes significant damage to crops, wildlife habitats, and contributes to soil erosion and water pollution. They are also carriers of diseases that can affect livestock and humans.
Classification and Legal Restrictions: In Tennessee, wild hogs are classified as a species deemed destructive. It is illegal to possess, transport, or release live wild hogs within the state.
Private Land Control
Regulations for Landowners: On private lands, landowners have several options for controlling wild hogs:
- Unlimited Hunting: Landowners can shoot wild hogs without limit, year-round, during daylight hours. Any weapon and ammunition legal for big and small game hunting are permitted.
- Trapping: Trapping with bait is allowed outside of big game seasons.
- Landowner Wild Hog Exemption: Obtainable from the TWRA regional office. This exemption permits additional methods like spotlight hunting at night and allows family members, tenants qualifying under the Farmland Owner License Exemption, and up to ten additional designees (or more for larger properties) to assist in control efforts. Annual reporting of hog takes is required for exemption renewal.
- Technical Assistance: Available through USDA Wildlife Services at 615-736-5506 or regional TWRA offices.
- Bear Hunters: Licensed bear hunters are permitted to take wild hogs during scheduled bear hunts that allow dogs.
Public Land Control
Designated Areas and Regulations: Hunting of wild hogs on public lands is subject to specific regulations, varying by region:
Region 1 - West Tennessee:
- During deer season, licensed deer hunters can hunt in Meeman-Shelby State Park and Big Hill Pond State Park (south of the railroad tracks).
Region 3 - Cumberland Plateau:
- Licensed deer hunters can hunt during any deer hunt in several WMAs including Alpine Mountain, Bridgestone-Firestone, Skinner Mountain, South Cherokee, Standing Stone State Forest, and Tellico Lake.
- Catoosa WMA offers two 5-day control seasons with dog use permitted.
Region 3 and 4:
- Special permits are required for hunting in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area during deer season and Jan.–Feb. small game season.
Region 4 - East Tennessee:
- North Cherokee WMA allows hunting during any big game hunt by licensed big game hunters.
- Kyker Bottoms WMA permits hunting during deer or turkey hunts.
- Foothills and North Cumberland WMAs allow hunting during any big or small game hunt by licensed hunters.