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Hunting in Tennessee: 3 Things for Landowners to Know About Hunting on Private Property

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By    |   Sunday, 07 Jun 2015 05:02 PM

The majority of Tennessee land is in the hands of private owners, and hunting in the state is more successful when outdoors enthusiasts work with property owners to venture onto their land.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency recognizes the fundamental importance of cooperation with private landowners when it comes to successful conservation and management efforts. The agency has specific exemptions and allowances that are made for the interests of private lands and related agricultural activities, as wildlife populations present a very real potential for damage and depredation if not properly and successfully managed.

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Here are three things landowners should know about hunting on private property in Tennessee:

1. Hunting on their land
When hunting on their own property, landowners and their immediate family, including spouses and children, are not required to have current licenses or permits. They are also not required to complete hunter education courses. Jointly or commonly owned farmland among unrelated persons fails to qualify for this exemption. Grandchildren are excluded from this exemption as well.

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2. Tenants
Resident tenants of farmland and their children are also permitted to engage in sport hunting without hunter education certification or the purchase of licenses or permits, TWRA said. Persons who qualify as tenants are those who care for the land in exchange for free rent or other compensation.

3. Hunting Leases
For those landowners who do not have the time to invest in exhaustive management practices for their land and the wildlife inhabiting it, the TWRA permits and often facilitates the potential for contractual hunting arrangements with interested sport hunters. These leases can vary in length from specific days to game seasons or years, depending on the interests of the hunters and the needs of the landowner.

Such written agreements are detailed and legally binding but benefit both parties for myriad reasons, a University of Tennessee Extension office publication about leases said. Hunters, be they individuals, parties, or formal clubs, who are leasing tracts of land for the purpose of harvesting game will have incentive to protect their interests, and thus the landowner’s interests, when it comes to discouraging trespassing, maintaining sound wildlife habitats and resources, and ensuring the soundness of sustainable agricultural activities on the land.

4. Hunting by written permission only
If landowners properly post signs on their property, Tennessee laws allow them to require written permission to hunt on those lands. If law enforcement officers or wildlife officers discover hunters on the land without that written permission, hunters will be held accountable in court without the landowner being involved, according to the Department of Tennessee Wildlife Resources

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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The majority of Tennessee land is in the hands of private owners, and hunting in the state is more successful when outdoors enthusiasts work with property owners to venture onto their land.
hunting, Tennessee, landowners
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2015-02-07
Sunday, 07 Jun 2015 05:02 PM
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