2020 muzzleloader season for deer set to open

Published 8:45 pm Monday, November 2, 2020

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NASHVILLE – The 2020 statewide muzzleloader/archery season for deer opens in Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 7, and continues through Friday, Nov. 20 in all of Tennessee’s deer hunting units, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The opening of muzzleloader season in the state has a permanent opening date of the third Saturday before Thanksgiving.

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For Unit CWD only, in addition to muzzleloader, the gun season will open on Nov. 7. Unit CWD, in the western portion of the state, is now comprised of 11 counties and was established after the confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in December 2018.

Muzzleloader firearms are defined as those firearms which are incapable of being loaded from the breach. Muzzleloading firearms of .36 caliber minimum, plus longbows, compound bows, and crossbows are legal hunting equipment for this season.

Hunters are also reminded that they must meet the blaze orange requirements while hunting.

The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is two. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day. Hunters are allowed the following antlerless bag limits: Unit L-3 per day, Unit A and B-2 total, and Unit C and D-1 total.

In Unit CWD, there is a limit of three antlerless deer per day with no season limit and the statewide bag limit of two antlered deer.

For the exact boundaries of the different deer units, hunters can refer to the 2020-21 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and at all TWRA offices.

In addition, regulations and other information for Unit CWD are included on pages 26-33 of the guide.

A list of the state’s permanent annual opening hunting dates is on page 11 of the guide. The guide can also be viewed at TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.

Resident hunters, ages 16 through 64 must possess in addition to other appropriate licenses, an annual big game license for the equipment used.

Lifetime Sportsman license, Junior Hunt/Trap/Fish, Adult Sportsman license, and Permanent Senior Citizens license holders are not required to purchase supplemental big-game licenses.

In addition to private lands, including public hunting areas, several wildlife management areas (WMAs) will be open to hunters during this muzzleloader season.

Hunters need to refer to the 2020-21 Hunting and Trapping Guide for a listing of these WMAs or go to TWRA’s website.

Tennessee’s gun season for deer opens in units A, B, C, D, and L on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year’s date is Nov. 21.

The season for gun/muzzleloader/archery will then continue through Jan. 3, 2021. Archery equipment is legal during muzzleloader and gun seasons. Muzzleloaders are legal during gun season.