Muzzleloaders Added to Tennessee Deer Registry

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There has been a new category added to the Tennessee Deer Registry, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). This new category separates the muzzleloader harvests from gun harvests, giving muzzleloader harvested deer a better chance to get into the registry.

The Tennessee deer season is split into three main categories; archery, muzzleloader, and gun season. Historically, the Tennessee Registry combined all deer harvested by either a muzzleloader or a modern gun into the “Gun” category. Due to the fact that a muzzleloader’s effective range is greater than archery equipment yet less than a modern firearm, the minimum score requirement will fall in-between these two historic categories. Therefore, the new minimum entry requirements for a muzzleloader harvest will be: 125 Typical and 150 Non-Typical.

The Tennessee Registry is an ongoing database of some of our best scoring deer of all time. With our new interactive system, you can now see how your deer matches up with other deer in your county, or with your choice of equipment, or even how it ranks on the all-time statewide records list. Need help finding an official scorer? No problem?? find contact information for scorers near you. Need help getting a rough score on your latest kill? No problem? simply use our do-it-yourrself score sheet to get a rough estimate. Want to see pictures or read stories about some of our best harvested deer in Tennessee? No problem…our website ( ) is designed so registry entrants can now share their stories with the rest of the world.

If you have a record deer that was harvested with a muzzleloader prior to 2009, and is listed in the Registry as a “Gun” kill, please send an e-mail to with the corrected information or call Daryl Ratajczak at 615-781-6615.

Or if you had a muzzleloader harvested deer measured some time in the past and it missed the registry by measuring less than the minimum 140 for gun harvests but more than 125, contact your TWRA regional office to schedule a time to have it re-measured.

In addition to the Tennessee Registry, there are other organizations that keep national records on big game animals. Some of these organizations do require a fee to enter your deer into their record book.

Although the Boone and Crockett Club records animals taken by any archery, muzzleloader, or modern firearm, other organizations keep records just for archery harvests or just muzzleloading rifle harvests.

The Pope and Young Club, for example, records animals taken exclusively with archery equipment. Those minimum required measurements for whitetail deer are 125 for typical and 155 for non-typical.

While muzzleloader hunters may record their harvests with the Boone and Crockett Club, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association also maintains a record book for muzzleloader harvests with a minimum score of 130 for typical and 160 for non-typical.

Hunters may go to the programs section of this web site to find a score sheet. They can also “plug in” their measurements to see if their deer comes close to the minimum score required for entry into any of the record books.

So if you, or someone you know, has a “Wow!” deer hanging on the wall that has not been scored contact your nearest TWRA regional office and make an appointment to have it officially measured. It will provide the TWRA with some important data about Tennessee’s deer herd and it just might give you some bragging rights.

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