Turkey Hunting in Tennessee

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  • A
  • 248,748

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 120,000

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $34

    Resident annual hunting/fishing license and big-game gun license. The type of hunting equipment to be used determines which supplemental license is necessary.

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $214.50

    7-day non-resident all-game hunting license.

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

With abundant public land, long seasons, liberal bag limits and plenty of birds, Tennessee offers some of the best Eastern wild turkey hunting in the country.

As those bag limits go, four bearded turkeys a season, and no more than one per day, is as good as it gets for the traveling spring gobbler hunter.

License fees are a bit expensive for out-of-state hunters, but if you buy an annual all-game license and hunt year-round, you have everything you need for deer and fall turkey hunting, too. 

Wildlife Management Areas are good places to start.

If you can picture a Southeastern setting in which to chase gobblers, Tennessee probably has it.

Low-lying river bottoms are found throughout West Tennessee.

Middle Tennessee is full of crop fields, cattle pastures and rolling hills.

East Tennessee is mountain country.

There’s good public land — and plenty of turkeys — in all three regions, although Middle Tennessee is the shining star when it comes to quality habitat.

It’s no surprise that region leads the state each year (both in spring and fall) for the turkey harvest. 

In 2014, 32,586 turkeys were taken. Last season, 2016, the total hit 31,048, a bit less.

Fun Fact: Tennessee’s fall turkey hunting system is among the most interesting in the country. Rather than institute statewide bag limits and seasons, the potential harvest is set by county. Some counties allow no fall turkey hunting at all. Low participation keeps the fall kill in check.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Tennessee (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Tennessee Turkey Hunting

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