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General Information About Big Game Hunting

Which Animals Are Considered "Big Game" in Tennessee?

Big game animals are deer, red deer, turkey, bear, and elk.

Differences between white-tailed deer, Red deer, and Elk

Hunting Big Game In Tennessee

All hunting seasons are closed unless opened by specific Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission proclamation.

A Word About Tree Stands

The TWRA urges all deer hunters hunting from tree stands to use a fall restraint system. Most deer hunting accidents involve hunters falling from a tree stand. Proper use of a fall restraint system could prevent or lessen the severity of these accidents.

Fluorescent "Blaze" Orange Requirements

Hunters must wear on the upper portion of their body and head a minimum of 500-square inches of daylight fluorescent orange (blaze orange), visible front and back, while hunting big game except on archery-only and turkey hunts. (A hat and vest fulfills requirements.) Blaze orange camo is legal if it contains 500 square inches of fluorescent orange. In those areas where the archery-only deer season dates overlap with another big game gun season (i. e. bear or boar), archers are required to wear 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange (TCA-70-4-124).

Big Game Found Dead

All big game found dead should be left where found and need not be reported. Individuals wanting to keep big game found dead must first contact the local Regional TWRA office for authorization. Any vehicle in which an illegally possessed big game animal is found is subject to confiscation. Big game, except bear, accidentally killed by a motor vehicle may be possessed by any person for personal use and consumption if the TWRA or local law enforcement agency is notified within 48 hours. A bear killed by a motor vehicle may be possessed only upon the issuance of a receipt from the TWRA.