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Getting Tennessee hunting licenses is a requirement for all hunters in the state. However, prior to buying a hunting license, you must complete the hunting license application process. Hunting permits in Tennessee are divided into categories based on a number of factors, such as the applicant’s age, residency status, the type of game hunted and how long the applicant would like the hunting license to last for. Tennessee hunting license seekers can apply in two different ways: online and in person. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has made it more convenient for online applicants to order a hunting license, by offering the opportunity to do so via a mobile application. Another factor to consider when getting a hunting license is the education requirement, which applies to individuals born after a certain date. Hunter education programs were designed to increase safety awareness among participants of the sport, whereby decreasing the occurrences of hunting accidents. To obtain a TN hunting license, most first-time hunters and trappers are required to take a hunter education course. In addition to learning about application requirements, you may also read about how to replace your hunting license in the event that it is lost or damaged.  Navigate through the topics below to get a better idea of how to get hunting licenses in Tennessee:

  • Types of hunting licenses in Tennessee
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Tennessee
  • Hunter education in Tennessee
  • Replacing hunting licenses in Tennessee

What types of hunting licenses are available in Tennessee?

The TWRA offers many different Tennessee hunting permits from which hunters can choose. Prior to buying a hunting license, applicants should make sure that they know exactly which license they will need. In Tennessee, a license to hunt is issued together with a fishing license. Therefore, your TN hunting license will also come with fishing privileges. To be permitted to hunt a specific type of species or group of species, applicants must purchase a supplemental hunting license. The following is a list of the supplemental hunting licenses available from the TWRA:

  • Waterfowl supplemental license
  • Annual big game gun supplemental license
  • Annual big game archery supplemental license
  • Annual big game muzzleloader supplemental license

Hunting license types are issued based upon an applicant’s residential status. Residential and nonresidential hunting license applicants are entitled to similar privileges, but nonresidents must pay higher fees than their Tennessee resident counterparts. Tennessee hunting licenses can be valid for one year or for a lifetime, depending on the type purchased. Short-term nonresident hunting licenses are available for those visitors with a limited amount of time in the state. Nonresidents can choose between seven-day and annual hunting licenses.

In addition to the residential differences, hunting licenses are also issued based upon an applicant’s age. Minors 13 to 15 years of age are eligible for hunting privileges under the junior class of hunting licenses. Junior combination hunting and fishing licenses are available in addition to regular annual junior hunting licenses. Holders of the aforementioned junior types of licensure are not permitted to hunt big game species. Also, seniors 65 years of age and older are eligible for a heavily discounted license to hunt and trap.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Tennessee?

Hunters can buy hunting licenses in Tennessee in a variety of ways. Prior to buying hunting licenses though, verify that you have met all necessary criteria, such as completing the hunter safety course requirements and providing the proper identification documentation, including a driver’s license, your Social Security Number and proof of Tennessee residency (if applicable).

Options for buying hunting licenses include visiting in person and applying through a mobile application online.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a Tennessee hunting license purchase?

Most prospective hunters who plan on buying hunting licenses in Tennessee are required to complete the hunter safety requirements for the state prior to receiving their hunting permits. Hunter safety certificates are required to complete a hunting permit purchase for those born on or after January 1, 1969. Children younger than 10 years of age are exempt from hunter safety requirements but must be accompanied by a licensed adult on all hunting trips.

Hunter safety courses are offered free of charge by the TWRA and consist of a minimum of 10 hours of classroom instruction, though students can expect a typical course to last from 12 to 16 classroom hours. Once a student has successfully completed the course, he or she will receive a hunter education certificate. To buy a hunting license, the application must present this certificate of completion. Topics discussed in hunter safety courses cover material such as firearm safety training, hunting ethics and wildlife management. To pass the course, students must be able to pass a written knowledge test consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions.

The option to take a hunter safety course online is also available for a set fee. Online students must appear in person to participate in the mandatory field day. Students who are 21 years of age or older qualify for an exemption from field day events. To request an exemption, interested students must first complete the online course, send in a Hunter Education Field Day Exemption form and mail it to the designated address. A course exemption fee must also be included with the application materials.

How do I replace a lost Tennessee hunting license?

Tennessee hunting licenses that have been lost, stolen or damaged can be replaced easily by visiting any authorized licensing agent or TWRA regional office. At the time of a hunting license replacement purchase, verify that your current mailing address on file is up to date, as your new document will be mailed to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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