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Tennessee Big Game Hunting Laws & Regulations

Big Game Hunting Regulations

Definition of Big Game

Big game species include:

  • Deer
  • Turkey
  • Bear
  • Elk

Fluorescent Orange Requirements

While hunting big game (except during archery-only and turkey hunts), hunters are mandated to wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange (blaze orange), visible from both the front and back. This can be achieved by wearing a hat and vest. Blaze orange camo is acceptable if it includes the required amount of fluorescent orange. During overlapping archery-only deer and other big game gun seasons (like bear), archers must comply with the fluorescent orange requirement. Additionally, fluorescent orange is mandatory during the August Hunt in Unit CWD.

Field Dressing Big Game

When field dressing big game:

  • The evidence of species, sex, and, if applicable, antlered status must be preserved.
  • Normal field dressing, quartering, and icing down of the meat are allowed.
  • Turkeys must remain intact until they are tagged and checked in.

Big Game Found Dead

  • Generally, big game found dead should be left where found.
  • To claim big game (except bear) accidentally killed by a motor vehicle for personal use, one must notify TWRA or local law enforcement within 48 hours.
  • Possessing a bear killed by a motor vehicle is lawful only after receiving a possession tag from a TWRA enforcement officer.
  • Reporting sick or strangely behaving deer is encouraged but not mandatory. Reports can be made at tn.gov/twra/sickdeer.
  • Vehicles found with illegally possessed big game are subject to confiscation.

Albino Deer

  • The hunting, trapping, or possession of albino deer is illegal as per TCA 70-4-130.
  • Albino deer are characterized by a lack or significant deficiency of pigment in skin and hair, and have pink eyes.

Mississippi River Flood Closure

  • When the Mississippi River at Caruthersville gauge reaches 34 ft, all big game hunting in the Mississippi River Floodwaters Zone (both private and public land) is suspended.
  • Hunting remains closed until the river level falls below 34 ft at the Caruthersville gauge.

Tennessee Big Game Hunting Laws & Regulations

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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.