Tennessee Free Hunting Day Saturday, Squirrel Season Begins

August 26, 2021

Tennessee residents can hunt without a license on Saturday, August 28, which coincides with the opening day of squirrel season.

Free Hunting Day is an event the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency hosts annually in hopes of increasing interest in hunting. Squirrel hunting is one of Tennessee’s oldest and favorite traditions. The day serves as an excellent opportunity for people to experience the enjoyment of sport.

The TWRA encourages regular hunters to introduce friends and family (young and old) to the sport of the outdoors. It’s also a great opportunity for people who haven’t tried hunting in a long time to get back into the sport.

On Free Hunt Day, in-state hunters are exempt from WMA hunting license and permit requirements. Many of the WMAs are open to hunters seeking public access on August 28. Hunters are asked to check information for specific WMAs in the 2021-22 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. Athletes are reminded to ask permission to hunt on private land.

TWRA offers a reminder that hunter education requirements are not waived on Free Hunting Day. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 must have successfully completed a hunter education course. An apprentice license is required for those born on or after January 1, 1969 if the hunter education course has not been completed. This license exempts the hunter from the compulsory hunter education law for one year from the date of purchase, but can only be purchased for up to three consecutive years during the hunter’s lifetime. Those under 10 years of age do not need a Hunter Education certificate, but must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device.

Hunters can take up to 10 squirrels per day from the opening day of the squirrel season through February 28, 2022. Each hunting day begins one-half hour before sunrise and ends one-half hour after sunset.
In addition to squirrels, those species that have a season throughout the year will also be open. Year-round species include armadillos, beavers, coyotes, marmots, and striped skunks.
For more information on hunting in Tennessee, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org or contact the TWRA regional office nearest you.