With abundant public land, long seasons, liberal bag limits and plenty of birds, Tennessee offers some of the best Eastern hunting in the country. License fees are a bit pricey for out-of-state hunters, but if you bite the bullet and buy an annual all-game license, you have everything you need for deer hunting, too.
2013 Season Dates
March 30 – May 12 (Youth season was March 23-24)
If you can picture a Southeastern setting in which to chase gobblers, Tennessee probably has it. Low-lying river bottoms and cypress knees 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.
Tennessee Turkey Hunting 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. Other counties allow fall hunters to kill up to six birds per season. What’s more, there is no statewide bag limit. A hunter could theoretically kill his six fall birds in one county, and then jump over to another county and legally shoot six more. Low participation keeps the fall harvest in check. Around 2,500 fall birds were taken in 2012, with Maury County in Middle Tennessee being the top producer.