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What you need to know about deer hunting season in Tennessee

Deer hunting season for modern guns, muzzleloaders and archery equipment starts Nov. 20

TENNESSEE, USA — Deer hunting season has begun in Tennessee, and there's a lot of things hunters need to know to ensure a stress-free and happy hunt. 

In Tennessee, there are over 7,000 public places to hunt for animals. Across the state, the deer herd is slated to increase 1-2% per year, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). East Tennessee is projected to see the most deer population growth. 

Start Dates: 

Depending on the type of weapon used, deer hunting season starts on different dates for hunters. Archery season ran from Sept. 25 - Oct. 29 and Nov. 1-5. During this time, hunters could use longbows, recurves, compounds and crossbows to capture their bucks.  Starting Nov. 6, hunters can use both archery and muzzleloader firearms. Beginning Nov. 20, archery, muzzleloaders and modern guns can be used until Jan. 2, 2022, for certain hunting units. 

RELATED: TWRA: Muzzleloader and archery deer hunting season begins on Nov. 6

Licenses/Permits to Hunt: 

All prospective hunters who are born on or after Jan. 1, 1969, must take a hunter's education course. Children who are younger than 10 do not need to have a hunter's education course certificate; however, they must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older when hunting. Also, some hunters must have a Tennessee hunting license to legally hunt. 

RELATED: Number of car crashes involving deer bucks up in October

Bag Limits:

Hunters can capture antlered deer under the current license year. Hunters can not exceed one antlered deer per day. According to TWRA, the statewide limit can exceed two if hunters turn in and test their bucks for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  

Harvest Check In: 

Once you have your prized buck, hunters are required to follow the new tag before you drag requirements. The animal can be electronically tagged with the TWRA mobile app. A temporary transportation tag should be attached to the animal and checked in at a harvest station if the hunter is unable to use the TWRA app. According to TWRA, the animal has to be checked in before midnight on the day of harvest.  

Credit: eRegulations animal tagging

Once the hunt is completed, you can either keep your deer or donate the meat. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Hunters for the Hungry program accepts donations of white-tailed deer to their certified deer processors. The program gives deer meat to local food banks and soup kitchens.