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2013-2014 Small Game Hunting & Trapping Seasons

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

Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit except on opening day when it shall be the same as the daily bag limit. Dogs allowed for hunting all small game species, except on specific WMAs where indicated.

2013-2014 Small Game Hunting Seasons

Species Opens Closes Daily Bag
Squirrel (fox, red, gray) Aug. 24 Feb. 28 10
Spring Squirrel (2014) May 10 June 8 10
Grouse (closed W. of I-65) Oct. 12 Feb. 28 3
Rabbit Nov. 2 Feb. 28 5
Quail Nov. 2 Feb. 28 6
Dove1
(Opens at noon on Sept. 1)
Sep. 1 Sep. 26
152
Oct. 12 Oct. 27 152
Dec. 19 Jan. 15 152
Woodcock1 Oct. 26 Dec. 9 3
Wilson snipe1 (will be set in August)
Crow (Fri./Sat./Sun.) June 1 Feb. 28 No Limit
Canada goose1 Sep. 1 Sep. 15 5
Wood duck/Teal1 Sep. 14 Sep. 18 43
Armadillo Year Round   No Limit
Beaver Year Round   No Limit
Coyote Year Round   No Limit
Groundhog Year Round   No Limit
Striped Skunk Year Round   No Limit
Bobcat* Nov. 22 Feb. 28 1 per day
Fox** Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Mink Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Muskrat Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
River Otter*** Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Spotted Skunk Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Weasel Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Raccoon Sunset
Sep. 20
Sunrise
Feb. 28
2 per person
per night
(night is defined as one 24-hour period beginning
at sunset)
Opossum Opossum can be taken during the raccoon hunting season. No limit.

 

1. Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit required.

2. No limit on collared dove. Doves not readily identifiable as collared doves will be considered to be mourning doves and will count toward the mourning dove daily bag limit.

3. Not to exceed 2 wood ducks. Total bag of 4 ducks.

*Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee US CITES tags in order to be exported from the U.S. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

**Exceptions to the statewide fox season are:

  • Benton - unlawful to take or kill red foxes
  • Dyer, Lauderdale, Smith, and Wilson - open year round to hunting and trapping red and gray foxes
  • Washington - unlawful to take or kill red and gray foxes

***All river otters harvested must be tagged by harvester with Tennessee US CITES tags. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

Bullfrog Hunting

All waters of the state are open to bullfrog hunting except waters within state and federal wildlife refuges. The season is open year-round, except on TWRA managed lakes the season is June 1-30. The bag limit is 20 per person, per night. The use of firearms is prohibited for bullfrog hunting on Wildlife Management Areas and TWRA lakes. Pellet guns (air rifles) are not firearms. Only domestically raised bullfrogs or parts thereof may be sold. A hunting license is required to take bullfrogs. No WMA permit is required.

2013-2014 Trapping Seasons

All trapping devices must be clearly marked with the owner's name. All traps must be inspected every 36 hours or less and animals removed. When trapping on another's property, the trapper must carry on his or her person written permission from the landowner, and make a written report to the owner of any domestic animal caught and pay damages for those animals.

Species Opens Closes Bag Limit
Beaver Year Round   No Limit
Coyote Year Round   No Limit
Groundhog Year Round   No Limit
Bobcat* Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Fox** Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Mink Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Muskrat Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Opossum Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Otter*** Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Raccoon Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Spotted Skunk Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Striped Skunk Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit
Weasel Nov. 22 Feb. 28 No Limit

 

*Bobcat pelts must be tagged with Tennessee U.S. CITES tags in order to be exported from the U.S. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

**Exceptions to the statewide fox season are:

  • Benton - unlawful to take or kill red foxes
  • Dyer, Lauderdale, Smith, and Wilson - open year round to hunting and trapping red and gray foxes
  • Greene and Washington - unlawful to take or kill red and gray foxes

***All river otters harvested must be tagged by harvester with Tennessee US CITES tags. Contact your TWRA regional office for instructions.

Legal Traps & Specific Regulations

Steel Leg-Hold Traps
Leg-hold traps with an outside measure of jaw spread that is 9 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, are legal. These must be placed at least 12 inches inside the entrance to a burrow or hole except in the case of a water set. Water sets are defined as traps set in water adjacent to and part of streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands or other water courses, and include floating sets.

Steel Instant-Kill Traps
Square instant-kill traps that have an exterior jaw measurement 16 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, and circular instant kill traps that have an exterior measurement 12 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, are legal. Instant kill traps are considered steel jawed traps and their use is restricted to that allowed for steel jawed traps. Conibear traps are instant-kill traps.

Live traps
Those traps that act as a cage after capture.

Steel Cable Snares
These have a minimum cable diameter of 5/64 inch and maximum cable diameter of 3/32 inch. Spring activated snares, except Collarum snares, are prohibited.

Cushion-Hold Traps
Cushion-hold trap means a commercially available spring-loaded trap with offset jaws designed to capture an animal by closing upon one (1) of its legs and that is so constructed that the edges designed to touch the animal are composed of nonmetalic pads that eliminates or mitigates injury to the trapped animal. Cushion-hold traps that have an outside measurement that is 9 inches or less, as measured at the widest point, are legal. Cushion-hold traps are the only steel traps legal for trapping in the open and on top of the ground, provided that the trapper has specific written permission from the landowner to use the trap.

Dog Proof Traps
Dog-proof traps, also known as species-specific traps are legal for trapping

Dog Training

Training of bird dogs and squirrel dogs is permitted year-round on private lands, during daylight hours only.  Training of rabbit dogs is permitted year-round on private lands day and night. The chasing of foxes with hounds is permitted year-round, day and night. A hunting license is required while training dogs except when a person is competing in recognized field trials. When training on a WMA, a small game permit is required. Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA dog training seasons.

Raccoon Dog Training (No Taking)

Year-round except where regulated by Private Acts. The following counties are regulated by private acts: DeKalb is open for year-round training except in the portion lying south and west of State Hwy. 96 and U.S. Hwy. 70, where the training season will open 30 days prior to the hunting season. Refer to specific WMA listings for WMA raccoon dog training seasons.

Ginseng Harvesting

Important Notice of Ginseng Harvest Season Law Change (TCA 70-8-203)

Effective July 1, 2012 the harvest season for wild ginseng shall be from September 1 - December 31, inclusive, of each year. For additional information contact the Department of Environment and Conservation, (615) 532-0431.