When Does Archery Season Open in Tennessee?

When Does Archery Season Open in Tennessee?

In the great state of Tennessee, the excitement begins to build as the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to change color, signaling the arrival of archery season.

Every year, thousands of dedicated archers eagerly anticipate the chance to indulge in their favorite pastime, while many newcomers take up the sport in search of camaraderie, adventure, and the unparalleled thrill of releasing an arrow towards a target.

In this article, titled, we will provide an in-depth look at the key dates, regulations, and important information every archer should know before embarking on this age-old tradition in the Volunteer State.

Whether you're an experienced bowhunter or a novice just starting out, this comprehensive guide will ensure you're well-prepared for the season ahead.

Archery Season Dates

Always consult the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) or their official website for the most current and accurate information on archery season dates.

The archery season dates in Tennessee typically follow this pattern:

Deer Archery Season:

  • The deer archery season usually begins on the fourth Saturday in September and runs until the last Friday in October.

Deer Muzzleloader/Archery Season:

  • This season typically starts on the first Saturday in November and continues for two weeks.

Deer Gun/Archery/Muzzleloader Season:

  • This combined season usually begins on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and lasts until the first Sunday in January of the following year.

Turkey Archery Season:

  • Turkey archery season typically runs from late March or early April through mid-May.

Please note that these dates can vary based on the specific hunting unit or Wildlife Management Area (WMA) you plan to hunt in. Additionally, Tennessee may have special regulations or restrictions, such as bag limits or antler restrictions, which can change from year to year.

To stay updated on the latest archery season dates and regulations, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's official website at https://www.tn.gov/twra.html.

General season dates for various game species

General hunting season dates for various game species in Tennessee typically follow this pattern:


  • Archery: Fourth Saturday in September to the last Friday in October
  • Muzzleloader/Archery: First Saturday in November for two weeks
  • Gun/Archery/Muzzleloader: Saturday before Thanksgiving to the first Sunday in January of the following year


  • Spring Turkey: Late March or early April through mid-May
  • Fall Turkey: October to early November (varies depending on hunting unit)


  • Archery: Late September to early October (varies depending on hunting unit)
  • Muzzleloader: Mid-October (varies depending on hunting unit)
  • Gun: Late October to early December (varies depending on hunting unit)


  • Archery: Late September to early October
  • Gun: Mid-October

Small Game:

  • Squirrel: Late August through early February
  • Rabbit: Late September through the end of February
  • Grouse: Early October through the end of February
  • Quail: Early November through the end of February

Migratory Birds:

  • Dove: Early September through late January, split into multiple segments
  • Waterfowl: Specific dates vary depending on the species and hunting unit; consult the TWRA for details

Tennessee Hunting License Requirements

Tennessee hunting license requirements mandate that all hunters, both residents and non-residents, must possess a valid hunting license before engaging in any hunting activities.

The type of license required depends on the hunter's age, residency status, and the species being hunted.

Youth hunters under 13 are exempt from license requirements but must be accompanied by an adult with a valid license.

Annual and short-term licenses are available, and additional permits may be required for specific game species, such as deer, bear, turkey, and elk.

Residents who are 65 or older can apply for a permanent senior citizen license. Disabled veterans and active military personnel may also be eligible for discounted or free licenses.

Hunters born after January 1, 1969, must complete a Hunter Education course and carry proof of completion while hunting.

Legal Equipment and Shooting Hours

For archery, the use of longbows, recurves, compounds, and crossbows is generally permitted.

When it comes to firearms, shotguns, rifles, and muzzleloaders are allowed for certain game species during their respective seasons.

However, there may be caliber, shot size, and magazine capacity restrictions, so it's essential to consult the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) for specific regulations.

Shooting hours for hunting in Tennessee are typically from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset.

However, exceptions may apply to certain species like raccoons and migratory birds, which may have different legal shooting hours.