Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 INFORMATION

Public Land Duck Hunting

Permits Explained

Season Long Permits

For hunters who prefer a season-long blind on public lands, most things will remain similar to 2020-21 except for these key changes:

  • Application and drawings will be electronic, web-based, and lottery-style (like the deer/turkey quota system).  
  • Applicants may form parties and each member’s name will be included in the lottery, so parties of 5 will have 5 chances to be selected, parties of 8 will have 8 chances, etc.
  • Slightly fewer permits will be issued for season-long blinds; historically successful locations are included.
  • Blinds must be constructed with solid materials. 

Important Dates

Application Period: June 30 - July 21, 2021 

Awarded: August 2nd, 2021 (NOI due August 9th)


Quota Hunt Permits

Quota permits will be for hunts from 3 to 7 days and are for agency-built blinds or marked locations. You can apply for these through our online quota hunt system (like the deer/turkey quota system).

There will be 3 application periods- early, mid, and late, as well as the ability to receive priority points for any drawing you are not selected. When selecting specific quota hunt locations (WMA and Site number), please note that there are several types for which to apply:

  • Agency-built blinds (Tier 2)
  • Marked/staked location that may or may not have a blind on site from the previous season (Tier 3 & 4)
  • Location with a natural cover but no blind structure and  must hunt within 25 feet of the location (Tier 3 & 4)

Important  Dates

Early Segment 

 Application Period: October 6 - October 26, 2021

Awarded: November 1st (NOI due November 8th)

Left-Over Drawing: November 15, 2021

Hunt Dates:  Reelfoot Zone: Nov 13 & 14, 2021 & Dec 4-19, 2021

Statewide Zone: Nov 27 & 28, 2021 & Dec 4-19, 2021

Mid Segment

Application Period: November 3 - November 23, 2021

Awarded: November 29, 2021 (NOI due December 6th)

Left-Over Drawing:  December 13, 2021

Hunt Dates:  Reelfoot and Statewide Zone: December 20, 2021- January 9, 2022

Late Segment

Application Period: November 24, 2021 - December 14, 2021

Awarded: December 20, 2021 (NOI due December 27th)

Left-Over Drawing:  January 3, 2022

Hunt Dates:  Reelfoot and Statewide Zone: January 10,  2022 & January 30, 2022


Leftover Permits

Leftover permits are the result of people not turning in a notice of intent to hunt. Leftover permits will be allocated by an in-person, local drawing.  Any license holder may register for a leftover drawing, but any applicant drawn must be present at the designated time and location to claim the permit.  

For a list of hunt locations and dates available for each property, visit the registration site and click on each property. The Leftover drawings will begin at 6:00 p.m., please register prior to the drawing time. You can register on site if you don’t preregister.

Register For Leftover Permits

Blind Tiers Explained

Tier  1

- Season-long permit issued

-  Application and drawings will be electronic, web-based, and lottery-style (like the deer/turkey quota system).  

- Permanent blind structure required

 - Construction standards (solid walls required)

- Occupancy requirements for daily use 

- Blind hopping allowed

- Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted

 

Tier  2

- Quota Process with 3 Computer application and draw periods (early, mid- late)

- Quota permits issued for 2 - 4 day hunts

- Permanent blinds constructed and maintained by TWRA

- Occupancy requirements - A permit holder must be present for daily use

- No blind hopping

- Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted

Tier  3

- Quota Process with 3 Computer application and draw periods (early, mid- late)

- Quota permits issued for 3-7 days

- Temporary blinds may be constructed - Must be removed at the end of the hunt period

- Permanent blinds may not be constructed, some structures may remain for a time

- Occupancy requirements for daily use

- Blind hopping allowed

- 3 local draws will be held per hunt period for vacant blind sites.

- Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted

Tier  4

-  No permit required

-  Temporary blinds only

-  Permanent blinds may not be constructed, some structures may remain for a time

WMA, Waterfowl Site Tier Map

Bogota pool 1, Thorny Cypress pools 10-12, and Cheatham lake are open access which means they are non-draw sites.

Waterfowl Sites Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Quota Permit Tier 2 locations Tier 3 locations Tier 4 Locations

WMA, Waterfowl  Site Conditions & Crop Status by Region

Click on the region you want to view available site locations in.




Season Long Waterfowl Site Permit Details

Permits for all tiers requiring permits will be issued by a computer application and drawing.  An application may be made by an individual or party (max party size is 8 adults).  Each party members' name will be included in the lottery, so a party of 5 has 5 chances to be selected, a party of 8 has 8 chances, etc.

No sign-ons can be made after the drawing.  Permits are nontransferable.

Quota hunt application fees have been waived for the remainder of the 2021 season. 

The cost is $12.00 (Fees waived for the 2021 season) non-refundable for the drawing. There is no cost to apply for holders of valid Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Licenses, or seniors possessing a Type 167. 

Tier 1 (season-long) application period is June 30 -  July 21, 2021.

Drawing held in August 2021.

Notice Of Intent (NOI) required. Hunters awarded a permit must return to TWRA a “Notice of Intent” (NOI) which states they do or do not intend to hunt during their permitted hunt. The NOI may be submitted online through your www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com account, by U.S. mail or e-mail. Detailed information will be provided to successful applicants. If TWRA does not receive the NOI by the speci­fied deadline, the permit will be forfeited and become a Tier 4 Blind.

No priority points will be issued for this drawing.

 Individuals/Parties who receive a Season-Long Waterfowl Permit are ineligible for other waterfowl drawings.

Quota Hunt Permit Details (including Tier 2, 3 & pools)

Applications must be submitted through at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com. No mail-in applications are accepted. When applying through the website, it is critical you include a current email address for your account.   The following notifications will arrive ONLY by email: your application has been submitted and accepted into the system, you have successfully made changes to your application (hunt locations, group members, etc.), you were/were not selected for hunts, and how to obtain permits. You can log into your account at www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com at any time and see hunts you applied for, permits you were awarded, and your priority points balance. 

Tier 2 and 3 permits will be issued during three (3) application periods during the regular duck season- early, middle, and late; corresponding to three 20-day periods. Local vacancy (leftover) drawings will be held after a Notice of Intent (NOI) period. 

You will receive a priority point for each unsuccessful application. For example you apply for an Early Waterfowl Permit and are unsuccessful, you will receive a priority point for future Early Waterfowl drawings. 

Quota hunt application fees have been waived for the remainder of the 2021 season.

The cost is $12.00 (Fees waived for the 2021 season) non-refundable for each drawing. Example: The “Maximum Awarded Permits” for WMA Big Game is two, meaning two drawings are held for the same pool of applicants. You may choose to enter one drawing, you will only be eligible for one permit and the cost will be $12.00, plus any applicable fees. If you enter two drawings, you will be eligible for two permits and the cost will be $24.00, plus any fees. There is no cost to apply for holders of valid Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Licenses, or seniors possessing a Type 167. 

Priority Points are not transferable from one drawing to another. You will have the ability to apply for a priority point only if you wish not to hunt this year.  These applications can only be submitted by individuals (not parties) and must be completed during the allotted application period.

For Early, Mid and Late waterfowl quota hunts, hunters awarded a permit must return to TWRA a “Notice of Intent” (NOI) which states they do or do not intend to hunt during their permitted hunt.  The NOI may be submitted online through your www.GoOutdoorsTennessee.com account, by U.S. mail or e-mail. Detailed information will be provided to successful applicants. If TWRA does not receive the NOI by the speci­fied deadline, the permit will be forfeited and become invalid. Any forfeited or invalid quota permits will be reallocated by a local, in-person drawing.

Customers wishing to sign up for vacancy drawings will need to sign up for the desired location using TWRA’s Event System and then attend the local drawing. You must be present to be awarded a vacancy permit.

Priority Point Details

Each of the 3 waterfowl quota hunt periods have unique and separate priority points.  An individual is awarded one point for each unsuccessful application in a drawing. When a person is drawn for a quota hunt, their priority points for that application period will be reset to zero (0). Priority points only apply to the individual drawing in which they were earned, i.e., WMA Big Game, Spring Turkey, and the new Early Waterfowl, Middle Waterfowl, Late Waterfowl drawings.  

Applicants with the highest priority are always drawn first.  Points are not transferable from one drawing to another.

Priority points of parties will be averaged.  If a party application is drawn, all members are awarded a permit and removed from drawing.  If a party application is not drawn, all members receive one priority point

Existing Waterfowl priority points will all be applied to the Mid-Season application period. Points may not be moved to another application period nor be used on a season-long permit application.

How does the drawing work?

Applicants select specific hunt choices by location (WMA and hunt site) and dates and arrange these choices by preference.  Please select only hunts you are interested in.  Applicants will not be awarded a hunt they did not select.

The computer draw process awards applicants with the highest number of priority points first. If the applicant’s first choice is available, it is awarded. The program then moves on to the next applicant’s first choice. If the applicant’s first choice is not available, the program moves to that applicant's second choice, either awarding that choice if available (and moving on to the next applicant), or if not available, the program moves to the third choice, etc.

Each eligible application is included in the drawing.  If you are in a party, each applicant in your party is entered into the drawing (so a party of 5 has 5 chances, etc). When a party application is selected, the drawing runs the location/date choices in the order they are entered on the party leader’s application. If successful, all members of the party are awarded a permit and removed from the drawing. If unsuccessful, all members of the party are unsuccessful and awarded one (1) priority point.

A different methodology was used for the July 31, 2021 drawing of Tier 1 duck blinds.  Read Full Release

Duck Hunt Guides in Tennessee

Guide's Name Company Address City/Town State ZIP/Postal Code Guide's Email Address Phone Number

Duck Hunting In Tennessee Background

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) approved several proposals by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for changes to public land duck hunting and blind draw procedures.

For many years Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received public comments about how the current public land duck hunting system operates. The comments mostly fall into 2 categories: the need for increased duck hunting opportunities on public lands (i.e. more access) and concerns over the fairness of the handheld duck blind draw system.  A scientific survey of duck hunters done in partnership with the University of Tennessee validated these comments, as well as other issues with in-person handheld draws, and desire for opportunities to hunt for shorter time periods.

In 2019, we made changes to make the in-person drawings more fair and equitable, with limited success. In 2020, due to COVID, all handheld duck blind drawings were computerized and online, which made the process fair and equitable for hunters across Tennessee.  

For 2021, we are taking another step, by increasing the number of duck hunters who get drawn to hunt our public WMAs each season. This is an effort to increase public access for duck hunters. TWRA’s final approved proposal for public land duck hunting is a significant effort to increase access for hunters statewide and retain traditional season-long, 60-day blind locations as offered currently. In addition to the 414 season-long blinds, there will be 53 hunt locations designated for quota hunts for 2, 3, 4, or 7-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. There are no changes proposed to privately-owned/permanent registered blinds.