Tennessee’s spring turkey hunting season opens April 13

Published 2:17 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

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NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s statewide spring turkey hunting season is set to open on Saturday, April 13, and will continue through Sunday, May 26. Roger Shields, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Wild Turkey Program Coordinator, suggests that hunter success may vary depending on the region of the state where one plans to hunt.

“I think with the early spring we appear to be having, we should have a decent season, depending on which part of the state you will be hunting,” he said. “West Tennessee has seen a few years of really good production, and I suspect they will see the best numbers along with the central portion of the state. Productivity in the northeast has not been as good the past couple of years.”

In 2023, the spring harvest yielded 31,802 birds, marking a 6 percent increase from 2022 and a 2 percent decrease from the previous 5-year average of 32,495. The harvest was notably high at the beginning of the season but decreased as the season progressed. A total of 25,500 hunters harvested at least one turkey, which is 20 percent greater than the 5-year average of successful hunters.

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All 95 counties will be open for hunting this year, with the same hunting season dates. The spring turkey bag limit allows for one bearded turkey per day, not exceeding two per season, and only one can be a jake.

Hunters are reminded about the “Tag Before You Drag” policy, where they must tag their big game animal in the field before moving it. They can use the “TWRA on the Go” app to E-tag and report their harvest in the field, even without cell phone service, before moving.

If a hunter does not have access to a phone, they can attach one of the temporary transportation tags printed at the bottom of their license and complete their check-in online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com or at manned check stations by midnight on the same day of the harvest (or before leaving the state).

More information on the 2024 spring turkey season, regulations, and license requirements can be found in the 2023-24 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide, available online at www.tnwildlife.org and at TWRA offices and license agents. Licenses can be purchased online at GoOutdoorsTennesssee.com.

Hunting hours are from 30 minutes prior to legal sunrise until legal sunset. Legal hunting equipment includes shotguns loaded with ammunition of No. 4 shot or smaller, longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows. Firearms and archery equipment may have sighting devices, except those utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife.