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Turkey Hunting in Tennessee



Not available

Wild Turkey Population


Turkey Subspecies

144,750 annual licenses

Number of Licenses Sold Annually


Hunting and fishing combination, $33; annual big-game gun, $33; permit fees required for some public properties

Cost of Resident License and Permit

$214 to $305

Seven-day all-game license, $214; annual all-game license, $305; permit fees required for some public properties

Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Image: eastern_14_nation

Photo by Bruce MacQueen

With abundant public land, Tennessee offers room to roam for spring gobblers. Wildlife management areas are good places to start, though for some, hunting pressure is high.

If you can picture a Mid-South setting in which to chase gobblers, Tennessee probably has it. Low-lying river bottoms are found throughout western Tennessee. Middle Tennessee is full of crop fields, cattle pastures, and rolling hills. Eastern Tennessee is mountain country. Recent hunting regulation changes have been based on turkey population declines. However, good hatches in 2021 and 2022 have put plenty of gobblers on the landscape. Central Tennessee has traditionally held the most turkeys, but numbers in the eastern part of the state look good this year, and reproduction the past two years has been strongest in the western portion of the state. During Spring 2023, Tennessee hunters took 31,802 birds.

Hunters should be aware that Tennessee's season opens April 13 this year and runs through May 26. That opening date is two weeks later than the traditional timing of the Saturday closest to April 1. Fanning and reaping are prohibited on WMAs, and calling to mimic turkey sounds is prohibited on WMAs from March 1 until the opening of spring turkey hunts.

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