Nashville, TN – The 2015 deer archery-only hunting season opened statewide in Tennessee on Saturday, September 26th. The archery season dates in all three of the state’s deer hunting units are the same. The dates are September 26th-October 30th and November 2nd-6th
Tennessee is divided into three deer units for better management, A, B, and L. The antlerless deer bag limits are four in Units A and B deer management areas and three per day in Unit L areas. The antlered deer bag limit is a total of two for the entire deer season. A hunter may take his two antlered deer during any season, but no more than one per day.
In addition to the deer archery season, the bear archery season also opens in the state’s five bear hunting zones from September 26th-October 23rd. The bear archery season is open on private lands in these hunting zones.
However, dates for public lands, including the Cherokee National Forest, vary.
The bear hunting season on the North Cherokee National Forest does not begin until the first hunt with dogs from October 5th-9th. The archery only bear season is October 10th-23rd. The limit for any bear hunter is one bear either sex per year, regardless of the hunting equipment used in the harvest. (The five hunting zones are listed on page 30 of the 2015-16 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide.)
In addition to deer, archers may harvest wild turkeys of either sex during the archery-only deer season in counties that have a fall turkey hunt. Turkeys harvested during the archery-only deer season count toward the fall turkey county bag limits. (A list of counties and their bag limits are located on page 34 of the Hunting and Trapping Guide).
The TWRA makes the recommendation that all archery hunters obtain a 2015-16 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide lists the counties and bag limits for each of the different deer management units. The guides are available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org
During the opening weekend of the 2014 deer archery-only season, 2,764 deer were harvested. Other recent opening weekend totals have been 3,076 in 2013, 3,128 in 2012, 2,811 in 2011 and 2,404 in 2010.
Hunters are reminded that they must possess the appropriate licenses and permits. Any hunter born on or after January 1st, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses), while hunting any species in Tennessee.