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Turkey Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Tennessee Hunting

General Regulations

Hunting Hours

Thirty minutes before legal sunrise to legal sunset.

Legal Hunting Equipment

  • Shotguns using ammunition with No. 4 shot or smaller. No restriction on number of rounds in the magazine.
  • Archery equipment (longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows).
  • Sighting devices including scopes are legal. Night vision, infrared, and other devices using artificial light to locate wildlife are illegal.
  • A pre-charged pneumatic gun (Airbow) which shoots an arrow is legal for all hunters to use during Spring statewide turkey season.

Prohibited Acts
(see Manner & Means for more details)

Baiting, possessing rifles, using handguns, possessing or using electronic calls, using live decoys, and loaded ammunition larger than No. 4 shot are prohibited. Turkeys may not be shot or stalked from a boat in Dyer, Haywood, Lauderdale, Obion, Shelby or Tipton counties.

Special Regulations

  1. A licensed turkey hunter who has filled his/her bag limit or does not possess a valid permit for a quota hunt, may accompany another turkey hunter who has a valid permit (except on WMAs where prohibited) and assist them in calling, but may not have turkey hunting weapons in their possession.
  2. On a Young Sportsman Hunt, youths must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device and is not required to have a license. Multiple youths may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult.
  3. Turkeys must remain intact until checked in.
  4. Turkeys defined as “bonus” animals on public land hunts do not count toward statewide bag limits (see WMA section for details).

Wildlife Management Areas

  • Many WMAs are open with statewide seasons and bag limits, though some have restricted dates or quota hunts (see WMA section for details).
  • Calling or attempting to call turkeys using any means to mimic the sounds made by turkeys is prohibited from March 1 to opening day of spring turkey hunts on all WMAs.
  • WMA spring turkey quota hunt application period is from Dec. 11, 2019 – Jan. 15, 2020.

Fall Turkey

During the fall turkey seasons a turkey hunter may not be in possession of both archery equipment and shotguns and/or rifles. Any turkey harvested during these seasons counts toward the county bag limit. Hunters may move to a different county and hunt turkey after filling their bag limit in a county.

Archery

Sept. 28 – Oct. 25 and Oct. 28 – Nov. 8, 2019 (same as deer archery-only season)

Shotgun/Archery

Oct. 12-25, 2019

Fall Turkey Bag Limit

One (1) bearded turkey per county, except that Bledsoe, Bradley, Crockett, Dyer, Giles, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Shelby, Tipton, Unicoi, and Wayne counties are closed to all fall turkey hunting.

Spring Turkey

All counties are open to spring turkey seasons, however there are some exceptions on public land (see WMA section for details).

Young Sportsman*

Mar. 28-29, 2020

Shotgun/Archery

April 4 – May 17, 2020

Spring Turkey Bag Limit

One (1) bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four (4) per season.

*Any turkey harvested during the Young Sportsman Hunt counts toward the spring season limit of four (4).