Tennessee’s dove season opens Sept. 1 at noon (local time) and is one of the state’s most long-standing outdoor sports traditions. This year’s opening day falls on a Friday.
Tennessee’s dove season is once again divided into three segments: Sept. 1-Sept. 28; Oct. 14-Nov. 5; and Dec. 8-Jan. 15, 2024. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
Doves are found throughout the various regions of the state, but the highest concentration is in farming areas. The hunter must have a valid state hunting license and Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit at all times while hunting. Hunters must have the landowner’s permission to hunt on private land.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manages dove hunting fields in each of the four regions. For more information and the location of fields visit here.
The daily bag limit for mourning doves is 15. There is no limit on collared doves. Doves not readily identifiable as collared doves will be considered mourning doves and will count toward the mourning dove daily bag limit. No person shall take migratory game birds by the aid of baiting, or on any baited area. Any auto-loading or repeating shotgun must be incapable of holding more than three shells while being used for dove hunting.
In addition to the start of dove season, the early season for Canada geese, brant, blue, snow, and Ross’ Geese (light geese) also starts on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 17. Refer to the 2023-24 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide for daily bag limits.
Other hunting seasons that open on Sept. 1 are moorhens, gallinules, and rails (Virginia and sora) with a closure on Nov. 9. The Tennessee Migratory Bird Permit is also required to hunt these species.
A short crow hunting season overlaps with the opening week of dove season, Sept. 1-5. It will resume Sept. 9 through Dec. 17 and hunting is allowed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only in this segment.
More information on Tennessee’s dove and other migratory birds can be found on the TWRA website in the Hunting section. The 2023-24 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide can also be viewed on the website, and the TWRA App, or a copy may be obtained at any TWRA regional office.