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Small Game Hunting

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Small Game Species

Migratory Birds

Furbearers

Other

Coots

Beaver

Armadillo

Crow

Bobcat

Bullfrog

Gallinules/Rails

Coyote

Collared Dove

Mourning Dove

Fox

Grouse

Waterfowl: Ducks & Geese

Groundhog

Quail

Wilson Snipe

Mink

Rabbit

Woodcock

Muskrat

Squirrel

Opossum

River Otter

Raccoon

Skunk

Weasel

  • » Hunting Seasons

All hunting seasons are closed unless opened by specific Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission proclamation.

Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit except on opening day. Dogs allowed for hunting all small game species, except on specific WMAs where indicated.

Armadillo, beaver, coyote, groundhog, striped skunk – Open year-round, no limit.

Foxb, mink, muskrat, otterc, spotted skunk, weasel- Open Nov. 22 – Feb. 28, 2014 no limit.

Bobcata- Open Nov. 22 – Feb. 28, 2014. Limit 1 per day.

a. Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee U.S. CITES tags in order to be exported from the U.S. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions

b. Exceptions to the statewide fox season are: Benton – unlawful to take or kill red foxes; Dyer, Lauderdale, Smith and Wilson – open year round to hunting and trapping red and gray foxes; Washington – unlawful to take or kill red and gray foxes.

c. All river otters harvested must be tagged by harvester with Tennessee U. S. CITES tags. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

  • » Bullfrog Hunting

All waters of the state are open to bullfrog hunting except waters within state and federal wildlife refuges. Season is open year-round, except on TWRA managed lakes the season is June 1–30. Bag limit is 20 per person, per night. The use of firearms is prohibited for bullfrog hunting on wildlife management areas and TWRA lakes, except air guns may be used. Only domestically raised bullfrogs or parts thereof may be sold. A hunting license is required to take bullfrogs. No WMA permit is required.

  • » Raccoon and Opossum Hunting

Opossum can be taken during the raccoon hunting season. No limit.

Statewide – Opens sunset Sept. 20 – Feb. 28, 2014; bag limit 2 per person per night. Night is defined as one 24-hour period beginning at sunset.

  • » Trapping Seasons

All trapping devices must be clearly marked with the owner’s name. All traps must be inspected every 36 hours or less and animals removed. When trapping on another’s property, the trapper must carry on his or her person written permission from the landowner, and make a written report to the owner of any domestic animal caught and pay damages for those animals.

Beaver, coyote, groundhog – Open year-round, no limit.

Bobcata, foxb, mink, muskrat, opossum, otterc, raccoon, spotted skunk, striped skunk, weasel – Open Nov. 22 – Feb. 28, 2014; no limit

a. Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee U. S. CITES tags in order to be exported from the U. S. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

b. Exceptions to the statewide fox season are: Benton – unlawful to take or kill red foxes; Dyer, Lauderdale, Smith and Wilson – open year round to hunting and trapping red and gray foxes; Washington – unlawful to take or kill red and gray foxes.

c. All river otters harvested must be tagged by harvester with Tennessee U. S. CITES tags. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

  • » Legal Traps & Specific Regulations

Steel leg-hold traps – Leg-hold traps are steel jawed traps that have an outside measure of jaw spread that is 9 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, are legal. These must be placed at least 12 inches inside the entrance to a burrow or hole except in the case of a water set. Water sets are defined as traps set in water adjacent to and part of streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands or other water courses, and include floating sets.

Instant-kill traps – Square instant-kill traps that have an exterior jaw measurement of 16 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, and circular instant kill traps that have an exterior measurement of 12 inches or less as measured at the widest point are legal. An instant-kill trap is considered a steel-jawed trap and its use is restricted to that allowed for a steel-jawed trap.

Live traps – Those traps that act as a cage after capture.

Steel cable snares having a minimum cable diameter of 5/64 inch and maximum cable diameter of 3/32 inch. Spring activated snares, except Collarum snares, are prohibited.

Cushion-hold traps – Cushion-hold trap means a commercially available spring-loaded trap with offset jaws designed to capture an animal by closing upon one (1) of its legs and that is so constructed that the edges designed to touch the animal are composed of nonmetallic pads that eliminates or mitigates injury to the trapped animal. Cushion-hold traps that have an outside measurement that is 9 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, are legal. Cushion-hold traps are the only steel traps legal for trapping in the open and on top of the ground provided that the trapper has specific written permission from the landowner to trap.

Dog proof traps- Raccoon traps of a dog proof design are legal for furbearers during the legal trapping season.

  • » Dog Training

Training of bird dogs and squirrel dogs is permitted year-round on private lands, during daylight hours only. Training of rabbit dogs is permitted year round on private lands day and night. The chasing of foxes with hounds is permitted year-round, day and night. A hunting license is required while training dogs except when a person is competing in recognized field trials. When training on a WMA, a small game permit (see License Fees) is required. Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA dog training seasons. See Bear Hunting for bear dog training.

  • » Raccoon Dog Training (no taking)

Year-round except where regulated by Private Acts. The following counties are regulated by Private Acts: DeKalb County is open for year-round training except in the portion lying south and west of State Hwy. 96 and U. S. Hwy. 70 where the training season will open 30 days prior to the hunting season. Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA raccoon dog training seasons.

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Species

Opens

Closes

Daily Bag

Squirrel (fox, red, gray)

Aug. 24

Feb. 28

10

Spring squirrel (2014)

May 10

June 8

10

Grouse (closed W. of I-65)

Oct. 12

Feb. 28

3

Rabbit

Nov. 2

Feb. 28

5

Quail

Nov. 2

Feb. 28

6

Migratory bird seasons are subject to change by federal framework;
check TWRA website for updates. Proposed seasons are:

Species

Opens

Closes

Daily Bag

Dove1 (Opens at noon on Sept. 1)

Sept. 1

Sept. 26

152

Oct. 12

Oct. 27

152

Dec. 19

Jan. 15

152

Woodcock1

Oct. 26

Dec. 9

3

Wilson snipe1

Nov. 14

Feb. 28

8

Crow (Fri./Sat./Sun.)

June 1

Feb. 28

no limit

Canada goose1

Sept. 1

Sept. 15

5

Wood duck/Teal1

Sept. 14

Sept. 18

43

1. Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit required (see License Fees).

2. No limit on collared dove. Doves not readily identifiable as collared doves will be considered to be mourning doves and will count toward the mourning dove daily bag limit.

3. Not to exceed 2 wood ducks. Total bag of 4 ducks.

Regulations for the late duck and goose seasons will be published in the Waterfowl Hunting Guide available in October. Check TWRA website for updates.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
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JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com