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Migratory Bird Seasons & Bag Limits

Migratory Bird Seasons

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




Daily Bag*

(Opens at noon on Sept. 1)

Sept. 1

Sept. 28


Oct. 14

Nov. 5


Dec. 8

Jan. 15



Nov. 11

Dec. 3


Jan. 10

Jan. 31

Gallinule and Moorhen1

Sept. 1

Nov. 9



June 11

July 123

no limit

Sept. 1

Sept. 5

Sept. 9

Dec. 203

Jan. 1

Feb. 28

Rails (Virginia and Sora)1

Sept. 1

Nov. 9



Nov. 14

Feb. 28


1. Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit required.

2. No limit on Eurasian collared doves; however, any doves not readily identifiable as Eurasian collared doves will be considered mourning doves and count towards the mourning dove daily bag and possession limits.

3. Hunting allowed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only.

* The possession limit is three (3) times the daily limit for all migratory game birds, except opening day when it shall be the same as the daily bag limit, and the second day of the season when it shall be twice the daily bag limit, and except for crows which have no limit.

Reporting Banded Birds

The USGS Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) encourages hunters to report banded birds. Band reports must be submitted through the mobile-friendly website,, by persons in the US and other countries, aside from Canada.

The BBL encourages everyone reporting a band to use After a report is submitted, the date and location where the bird was originally banded is provided and a Certificate of Appreciation along with additional banding details (date, location of banding) will be sent via email.

Capturing and banding birds requires considerable effort, and documenting recovery or re-sighting of banded birds is essential to profit from that effort. Band recovery data are the basis for improving the conservation and knowledge of bird populations in North America. Please help the BBL and its many partners, by continuing to report your band recoveries.

To Report Recovered Duck and Goose Bands:

Special Regulations

Plugged Shotguns

No person shall hunt migratory game birds, except crows, with a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three (3) shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three (3) shells.

Legal Shot

All federally approved non-toxic shot (bismuth-tin, steel, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-iron, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-tin-bismuth or tungsten-tin- iron-nickel) are legal for waterfowl and sandhill crane hunting. A complete list is available at

Possession or use of any loose shot other than non-toxic shot or any shotgun shells other than non-toxic while hunting waterfowl, sandhill cranes, coots, gallinules, Virginia rails and sora rails is prohibited.