Deer Seasons

White-Tailed Deer Hunting Units, Seasons & Bag Limits

a deer in a fieldAll hunting seasons are closed unless opened by specific Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission Proclamation. Big game animals are deer, turkey, bear and elk.

The statewide bag limit for antlered deer is two (2).

No more than one (1) antlered deer may be taken per day.

The only way the bag limit of two (2) antlered deer may be exceeded is: if antlered deer are taken on TWRA or NWR managed hunts where antlered deer are noted as bonus deer (see WMA listings) pdf . Check with specific public lands for more information.

See the hunting guide for specific regulations.

Legal Antlered Deer, Antlerless Deer, & Albino Deer

Legal Antlered Deer

Antlered deer are male or female deer with antlers protruding above the hairline. The statewide bag limit for antlered deer is two (2).  No more than one (1) antlered deer may be taken per day.  The only way the bag limit of two (2) antlered deer may be exceeded is if they are taken on a public land hunt where antlered deer are noted as bonus deer (See WMA section for details).​

Male fawns with no antler protruding above the hairline do not count towards a hunter’s antlered bag limit; rather they count toward the hunter’s antlerless bag limits. Deer having already shed their antlers and does without antlers are also considered antlerless. Male fawns with antler protruding above the hairline do count towards a hunter’s antlered bag limit, since the deer does have antler(s) as opposed to hair covered pedicles (i.e., antler attachment point to the skull). Velvet antlered deer are also considered antlered

Antlerless Deer

Antlerless deer are defined as male or female deer with no antler protruding above the hairline.

Albino Deer

Hunting, trapping or possession of albino deer is prohibited as set forth in TCA 70-4-130. An albino deer is a deer with a lack, or significant deficiency, of pigment in the skin and hair, and has pink eyes

Antlerless Hunts

Antlerless deer can be taken during “doe days” in their respective county by anyone holding a Sportsman License, Lifetime Sportsman, Sr. Citizen with Type 166 & 167 license, and landowners hunting on their own land. Regular license holders (Type 001) will need to purchase a Special Season permit (Type 094) to take advantage of the antlerless opportunities.

Once securing the proper licenses or permits, to participate in the antlerless gun hunts,  simply consult the map below to find which unit the county you intend to hunt is located and then find the table with the dates and bag limits prescribed. Unit L hunters are allowed three does per day throughout the gun season (antlerless license requirements still apply). 

WMA Big Game Quota Hunts

The application period for the 2017 WMA Big Game Quota & Elk hunts will be available from June 14, 2017 until midnight July 26, 2017.

You can view the instruction sheet to find out what hunts are available this year.

Customers who are interested in applying for both the WMA quota hunt and elk quota hunt will have to submit two applications, one for each. The computer drawings will be handled separately. Quota Hunt applications can be conveniently submitted via Internet, TWRA Licensed Agent locations, or TWRA Regional Offices, via the TWRA Mobile App. Applications cannot be accepted by mail.

Hunting Units, Season Dates & Bag Limits

Unit A includes the following counties: Bradley, Carter, Hamilton, Hawkins, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Rhea, Roane and Sullivan.

Unit B includes the following counties: Anderson, Bledsoe, Campbell, Claiborne, Clay, Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Grundy, Hancock, Jackson, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Scott, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren, and White.

Unit C includes the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Jefferson ,Unicoi, Union and Washington. 

Unit D includes the following counties: Blount, Monroe, Polk and Sevier. 

Unit L includes the following counties: Bedford, Benton, Cannon, Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Coffee, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Moore, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Wayne, Weakley, Williamson, and Wilson.

A map of the deer hunting units
Season Type Season Dates Antlerless
Bag Limit
Bag Limit
    Unit  L Unit  A Unit  B Unit  C Unit  D Statewide
Young Sportsman  (G/M/A)* Oct. 28- 29, 2017
Jan. 13-14, 2018
3/day 2 2 2 2 2
(one antlered deer
per day not to exceed
2 for the license year)
(includes crossbows)
Sep. 23– Oct. 27, 2017
Oct. 30– Nov. 3, 2017
3/day 4 4 4 4
Muzzleloader and Archery Nov. 4–17, 2017 3/day 2 2 1 1
Gun, Muzzleloader and Archery** Nov. 18, 2017–
Jan. 7, 2018
3/day 2 1 1
(Nov. 18-
Dec. 3 only)
(Nov. 18-
Nov. 24 only)

Unit L: Private Lands Only
Antlerless Deer Only***

Jan. 8- 12, 2018 3/day CLOSED


* Youths 6-16 years of age may participate. Participating youth can use gun, muzzleloader, and archery equipment (G/M/A). Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a nonhunting adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device and who must also comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youths may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult Antlerless bag limits for Units A, B, C and D are not to exceed a total of 2 antlerless deer for the four days combined.

** A Type 094 permit is required to hunt antlerless deer during this season except for landowners hunting under the landowner exemption (as described in T.C.A. 70-2-204), Sportsman license holders. A Type 094 permit is required for all ages.

*** Hunting is allowed on all privately owned lands in Unit L (including leased land and lands owned by individuals). It is the responsibility of all hunters to obtain verbal or written permission to hunt on privately owned lands. No public lands or WMAs are open during this period. No antlered deer may be taken during this period

Antlerless deer hunters may harvest up to the unit antlerless bag limit in each unit. Moving to a different county within the same deer hunt unit does not increase the hunter’s bag limit.

Archery equipment is legal during muzzleloader and gun seasons, muzzleloading equipment is legal during gun season.

Deer Check in Procedures

Deer 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 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 deer:

Physical Checking Stations:

On The Internet

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.