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Wildlife Chatter: Statewide turkey season begins next month

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The statewide spring turkey season in Tennessee is March 29-May 11. 

The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four in a season. Turkeys taken on all quota hunts and specially-designated WMAs are bonus turkeys. 

A Statewide Young Sportsman Hunt will be held March 22-23 for ages six to 16. One bearded turkey, which counts toward statewide bag unless taken on a WMA where turkeys are designated as bonus, is the limit. Multiple youths may be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device and is not required to have a license. 

Hunting hours for turkey season are 30 minutes before legal sunrise to legal sunset. 

Legal hunting equipment

• Shotguns using ammunition loaded with number four shot or smaller. No restriction on number of rounds in magazine. 

• Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows and other bows drawn or held by a mechanical device. 

• Firearms and archery equipment may be equipped with sighting devices, except those devices utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife. Night vision scopes are illegal. 

Prohibited acts

• It is illegal to bait for turkeys. 

• Rifles and handguns are prohibited. 

• Turkeys may not be shot or stalked from a boat in Dyer, Haywood, Lauderdale, Obion, Shelby or Tipton counties. 

• Use or possession of electronic calls while turkey hunting is prohibited. 

• Use of live decoys is prohibited. However, artificial and mounted decoys are permissible. 

• Possession of ammunition loaded with shot larger than number four while turkey hunting is prohibited. 


Arnold Bull hosts “Wildlife Chatter” on WKBJ and has won numerous awards for his writing and television work. He can be reached at 476-4601 or arnold@bullinsurance.com.


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