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Turkey Regulations

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 statewide turkey gun seasons.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Turkeys must remain intact while afield and until checked in.
  • All turkeys harvested on public land hunts count toward statewide bag limits. There are no bonus turkeys.(see WMA section for details).
  • Fanning or reaping turkeys on WMAs is prohibited. See Wildlife Management Area General Regulations.

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. 14, 2022 - Jan. 11, 2023.

Identifying Adult Gobblers

An adult gobbler has at least one of the following:

1. The beard is longer than 6 inches.

2. Tail feathers are the same length.

3. A spur is at least 1/2 in long.

4. Wing feathers have white barring all the way to the tip.