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Tennessee's free hunting day starts Saturday

"Squirrel hunting is one of Tennessee’s oldest and favorite traditions."

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

Every year the state celebrates the opening of squirrel hunting season with a day that lets hunters in the state help others enjoy the experience for free.

"Free Hunting Day is an event the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency annually provides 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 to experience the enjoyment of the sport," the TWRA said. 

On Saturday, August 27, all Tennessee residents will be allowed to hunt without a license and WMA permits. Hunter education requirements are not waived, though, so people born on or after January 1, 1969, are still required to have successfully completed a hunter education course.

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

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

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

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

Hunters are asked to check info for particular wildlife management areas in the 2022-23 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide and should always ask for permission to hunt on private lands.

The August archery-only antlered deer hunting season happens from August 26-28 and is limited to private lands outside Unit CWD in West Tennessee where chronic wasting disease is present. 

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