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Big Game Hunting

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).

Field Dressing Big Game

Evidence of species or sex of big game animals must not be destroyed prior to checking in and/or while the animal is afield. Normal field dressing, quartering and icing down of the meat is permitted. Turkeys must remain intact until checked in.

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.

Big Game Check In

Big game must be check in before leaving the state of Tennessee or being gifted to another, and before the end of the calendar day.

Evidence of the animals sex, species and antlered status (if applicable) must remain with the animal while afield and until checked in. After check in, the harvest confirmation number shall be available for inspection by TWRA personnel until time of final processing.

There are three ways you may check in game:

Physical Checking Stations:

On The Internet

  • GoOutdoors
  • Provide your harvest information
  • Keep a record of your confirmation number

Mobile Application

It is a violation of this section to provide false information during the check-in process. By completing the required check-in information, whether on paper or electronic form, the hunter is affirming that the information as it appears on the permanent record is valid and correct. This harvest record is a legal document. The harvest confirmation number shall accompany any big game animals taken to a taxidermist or meat processor. 

Example of a harvest report confirmation page.

Requirements

Youth hunters under the age of 13 must have a TWRA ID number in order to use the mobile check-in for big game animals. Kids can go to an agent location, check station or Regional Office with their parent and SSN card and have a TWRA profile created which will last forever. After that, those youth hunters can use the mobile check-in.

More Information

  1. Big game animals shall be checked in at any approved TWRA checking station, on the TWRA website, or by the TWRA mobile application before leaving the state or being gifted to another, and before the end of the calendar day. Evidence of the big game animal’s species and sex must be available for inspection by TWRA personnel until the animal is checked in. After check in, documentation of the TWRA confirmation number from an approved TWRA check in station, TWRA website or mobile application shall be available for inspection by TWRA personnel until time of final processing. This documentation of a confirmed check in shall accompany any big game animals taken to a taxidermist or meat processor. Evidence of the animal’s sex, species, and antlered status (if applicable) must remain with the animal while afield. Additionally, turkeys must remain intact until checked in. 
  2. All harvested bears must be checked in at any approved checking station (excluding internet and mobile applications). Bears may be whole or field dressed, but must weigh 75 pounds or greater when checked in. If bears are quartered or boned out, the total of the meat, hide, etc., must equal or exceed 75 pounds. The reproductive sex organs shall remain attached to each bear harvested at least until the bear has been officially checked out at any official checking station.
  3. Elk shall be checked in as instructed in the hunter’s informational packet.
  4. It is a violation of this section to provide false information during the check in process. By completing the required check in information, whether on paper or electronic form, the hunter is affirming that the information as it appears on the permanent record is valid and correct. This harvest record is a legal document.