NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s 2023 statewide spring turkey season is set to open Saturday, April 15. The statewide opening date is two weeks later than in previous years. The Young Sportsman Hunt was April 8-9.
Hunters are also reminded that the bag limit has been reduced from three birds to two birds, and only one bird can be a juvenile or jake. The changes were made by the Commission to benefit the state’s wild turkey population. After hearing growing reports of decreasing turkey populations, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to delay the statewide turkey season to improve reproduction and nesting success.
New turkey regulations will be in effect on select Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and hunters are reminded to check each WMA they hunt in the 2022-23 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The practice of fanning or reaping turkeys is now prohibited on all WMAs statewide due to safety concerns.
“This spring season is shaping up to be a good one,” said Roger Shields, Wild Turkey Program Coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “We had very good production across the state in 2021, so now we are seeing a lot of 2-year-old birds coming into maturity. If we have decent weather during the early part of the delayed season, we should have excellent hunting.”
This will be the fourth spring turkey season to “Tag Before You Drag” where hunters tag their big game animal in the field prior to moving. Hunters can use the TWRA on the Go app to simply E-tag and report their harvest in the field in one easy step, with or without cell phone service, prior to moving.
Hunters not using a phone can attach one of the temporary transportation tags printed at the bottom of your license. Hunters using temporary tags have until midnight on the same day of the harvest (or before leaving the state) to check in a harvest online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com or in person at one of several manned check stations. Temporary transportation tags can also be obtained by logging in at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com.
A combination hunting and fishing license, plus a supplemental big game license, or a sportsman license is required. To purchase a license online, visit GoOutdoorsTennesssee.com.
More information on the 2023 spring turkey season can be found in the 2022-23 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. The guide is online at www.tnwildlife.org and available at TWRA offices and license agents.
Hunting hours are 30 minutes prior to legal sunrise until legal sunset. Legal hunting equipment includes shotguns using ammunition loaded with No. 4 shot or smaller, longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, and crossbows.
Firearms and archery equipment may have sighting devices, except those devices utilizing an artificial light capable of locating wildlife.