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Deer Hunting

Important Notes:

  • All deer and turkey hunters are required to report their harvest using Game Check and have a deer / turkey harvest record (either paper or app form) in possession. See 2021 Mandatory for all Deer & Turkey Hunters for more information.
  • All persons hunting on private lands of another must have written permission from the landowner with few exceptions.
  • Legal hunting hours for deer are 30 minutes before official sunrise time until 30 minutes after official sunset time. See Sunrise & Sunset Times.
  • All required hunting and fishing licenses and waterfowl stamps must be in possession when hunting or fishing (either paper or digital form).
  • See hunter orange requirement and definition of open permit – public land. Consult management area map permit for special rules and regulations and seasons before hunting State Wildlife Management Areas.
  • Any party controlling hunting rights may, by choice, be more restrictive on seasons and bag limits than those stipulated below.
  • Hunting with the aid of bait is prohibited on public lands (WMA, USFS, TVA, Corp. of Engineers).


Antlered Bucks

Male deer with one or more antlers visible above natural hairline – Statewide – one a day.

White-Tailed Buck Limit

Three per hunter during all combined seasons. One of the three must have at least 4 antler points 1” or longer on one antler (except for Barbour County). A point is defined as an antler projection of at least one inch in length from base to tip. Main beam tip shall be counted as a point regardless of length.


  1. Barbour County Antler Restriction – Antlered bucks must have a minimum of three points on one side, (except on the statewide special youth deer hunting dates during which any antlered buck may be taken).
  2. Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Bonus Buck – One per hunter during all combined bonus buck hunt dates will be allowed to be harvested from a select collection of WMA’s on specific hunt dates depicted on the WMA map permits that will not count towards the hunter's State three buck limit. Must be validated at WMA check station by WFF personnel.

Unantlered Deer

During the Unantlered Deer Gun, Special Muzzleloader, Bow and Arrow and Special Youth (under 16) Seasons, one unantlered deer may be taken per day in addition to one antlered buck per day. See Special Exception #3 for selected areas with one deer per day limit on U.S. Forest Service Lands (see #3 on Other Seasons & Bag Limits).

Special Youth (Under 16) Deer Hunting

Statewide, (includes all Privately Owned, Leased Lands and Open Permit – Public Lands (except Wildlife Management Areas) in Zones A, B & C November 12-15 and in Zones D & E October 29 – November 1. Dog hunting in those counties or parts of counties where and how it is allowed during the regular dog deer hunting season. Same legal arms and ammunition apply as in Deer season, in accordance with Rule 220-2-.119. See the current Wildlife Management Area Map Permits for youth deer hunting dates and other information.