Tennessee Free Hunting Day, Squirrel Season Starts Saturday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn — August archery-only deer season is almost here, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is building excitement by hosting a statewide Free Hunting Day on Saturday during the opening day of the summer squirrel hunting season.

Each year, the state celebrates the opening of squirrel hunting season with a day that allows hunters in the state to help others enjoy the experience for free.

“Free Hunt Day is an event offered annually by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in hopes of increasing interest in hunting. Squirrel hunting is one of Tennessee’s oldest and most favorite traditions. The day serves as an excellent opportunity to experience the enjoyment of sport,” the TWRA said.

On Saturday, August 27, all Tennessee residents will be able to hunt without a license or permits from the WMA. However, hunter education requirements are not waived, so individuals born on or after January 1, 1969 must still have successfully completed a hunter education course.

Hunters under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old.

Hunters can catch up to 10 squirrels per day from the opening day of the season through March 15, 2023. Each hunting day begins one-half hour before sunrise and ends one-half hour after sunset.

The season was extended this year from the last day of February by the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Along with squirrels, year-round species like beavers, coyotes, groundhogs, opossums, raccoons, and striped skunks are open for hunting.

Hunters are asked to check Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide 2022-23 for information on particular wildlife management areas and should always seek permission to hunt on private land.

The August archery-only antler deer hunting season takes place August 26-28 and is limited to private land outside the CWD Unit in West Tennessee, where chronic wasting disease is present .