Deer Hunting in Tennessee 2013

Tennessee, Antler Nation State, Deer Hunting in Tennessee




Est. Whitetail Population


No. Licenses Sold Annually


Resident hunting license along with a gun, muzzleloader and archery big-game license totals out to $112.

Resident hunting license and deer permit


An annual all-game hunting license for nonresidents is $251.

Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

186 1/8"

Taken by W.A. Foster in Roane County in 1959.

Record B&C Typical Stat


Total B&C Typical Entries

244 3/8"

Taken by David K. Watchtel III in Sumner County in 2000.

Record B&C Non-Typical Stat


Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

Season Dates (2013): Tennessee is broken into three hunting zones, and each zone varies a bit in regulations and season dates. Archery season is Sept. 28 to Oct. 25 and Oct. 28 to Nov. 8. Muzzleloading season is Nov. 9-22 , followed by modern gun season, which runs Nov. 23 to Jan 5.

The Grade: B

With seven National Wildlife Refuges and numerous other WMAs and 7,000 acres of PHA (privately-owned Public Hunting Area), Tennessee shines when it comes to public land hunting in the Southeast. License fees are a little steep if you're deer hunting only, but it should be noted that you also get turkey tags with that all-game license. Though the trophy potential in Tennessee has improved in recent years, long firearm seasons in the heat of the rut and a three-buck limit per hunter keep many would-be monsters from reaching their potential.

Deer Nation Knowledge: One of the most coveted hunts in the state takes place in Tennessee's largest city—Memphis. President's Island, an island on the Mississippi River that's owned by the city of Memphis and within view of the downtown skyline, might have some the best big-buck odds in the entire Southeast. Three three-day draw-only hunts take place each season on President's Island. All are archery-only, and two of them are for antlerless deer/spike bucks only. There's a hunt for antlered bucks in early December. Bucks must have a minimum of 9 points. Odds for success, if drawn, are outstanding.