The 2013-14 statewide waterfowl hunting seasons will open on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) in Tennessee. In the Reelfoot Zone, the late season will reopen two days later on Saturday, Nov. 30. The seasons will both end on Jan. 26, 2014.
In addition to the traditional waterfowl season, the inaugural sandhill crane hunting season also starts on Thanksgiving and will continue through Jan. 1, 2014. The length of the season is more conservative than the number of days allowed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The sandhill crane hunting season is restricted to an area south of Interstate 40 and east of Tennessee Highway 56. Sandhill crane hunting hours are from sunrise daily until 3 p.m. (EST). There were 400 permits issued in October and each permit carries a limit of three birds. Hunters were required to pass a crane identification test and have their validation code written on their permit. Sandhill crane hunters should be aware that whooping cranes are currently in the Hiwassee Refuge area and will probably be present throughout the sandhill crane hunting season.
For late waterfowl seasons, the possession limit has been increased from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit. This does not change the daily bag limit. Hunting hours, with the exception of the sandhill cranes, are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset (except where otherwise noted).
The youth waterfowl hunting season is set for Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 2014. The season is for youth ages 6-15. This season does not include sandhill cranes.
Sportsmen are reminded not to shoot unless they are sure of their target. Many protected species of waterfowl, wading birds, and other waterbirds occur alongside the many species of waterfowl that can be legally hunted in Tennessee.
More information on waterfowl hunting in the state can be found in the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s 2013-14 Tennessee Waterfowl Hunting Guide. The guide is available at TWRA regional offices, license agents, and online at www.tnwildlife.org.