Tennessee Deer Population:  An estimated 950,000 deer in Tennessee in 2015 and 2014 with a modest upward trend into 2016.  About 925,000 deer in 2013 and one million before the hunting season in 2012.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Tennessee deer harvest data and news archive.

Tennessee Deer News

Keep an eye out for illegal deer dumping November 23, 2016 Tennessee, WKRN.com
... many of these dumping happen along rural county roads, most often in the dead of night... Aggravated criminal littering is a class A misdemeanor ...

... TWRA officials said the hunter brought the deer into Tennessee after killing it in Missouri, a state infected with a disease called Chronic Wasting Disease, or C.W.D... 

Potential world record deer antlers could be worth $100,000 November 15, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean
... The rack itself could be worth more than $100,000, said Jared Steele, owner of Great Basin Antler Buyers in Utah ...
... The deer’s antlers totaled more than 300 inches in length ...

Hunters Encouraged To Take Deer To Checking Stations On Nov. 5 And 19 November 2, 2016 Tennessee, The Chattanoogan
... The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be collecting deer biological data on the opening day of muzzleloader season, Nov. 5 and the opening day of the rifle season, Nov. 19 at various locations across East Tennessee... Hunters are also reminded of the restriction that bans the importation of deer, moose, and elk carcasses from any state not bordering Tennessee that has found a positive case of CWD...

Lt. Col Cape Taylor, of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, answers the questions you have on baiting in Tennessee. - November 2, 2016


... A new Tennessee rule that prohibits carrying animal carcasses across the state line into Tennessee is outraging local hunters and business owners. The stricter importation rules are meant to be a way to restrict a fatal disease [chronic wasting] from coming into Tennessee ...

The Tennessean
... The current harvest is 13,755, which is 1,552 behind the same point in 2015 ...

... any deer, moose, or elk carcasses harvested in a state that has tested positive for CWD must now be deboned and the skulls cleaned of meat and tissue before it will be allowed in the Volunteer state...

Let's talk about our deer regulations October 20, 2016 Tennessee, WilsonPost.com
... Button bucks are no longer antlerless deer ...   if the antlers protrude far enough to break the hairline, the deer must be checked in as one of the two bucks we are allowed. ... one hunter told me, "I don't give a damn what they say, I aint wastin a buck tag on button buck. I aint check-in it in at all." ...

Deer disease prompts new regulations in Tennessee October 14, 2016 Memphis Commercial Appeal
...  a deer killed from a CWD zone can’t be brought back to Tennessee to be processed...

Tennessee Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game and Fish
... a total of 167,339 whitetails last season ... TWRA expects this season to be very similar again in harvest numbers ... “The age structure of our herd is good and is slowly improving toward an older age-class of bucks being harvested,” ... 

Deer harvest dips on opening weekend of archery season September 28, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean
... The harvest Saturday and Sunday was 1,794, which was 730 fewer deer than were killed on the opening weekend in 2015 ... opening weekend harvest in 2014 was 2,764 and in 2013 was 3,076...

Changes In Regard To Antlered, Antlerless Deer September 21, 2016 Tennessee, Full Coverage
... An antlered deer is now defined as any male or female deer with an antler protruding above its hairline. An antlerless deer is now defined as any deer with no antler protruding above its hairline...

Tennessee 26th in nation for deer-auto collisions, says survey September 20, 2016 Knoxville News Sentinel
... The odds drivers will hit a deer in Tennessee are 1 out of 147, above the national odds of 1 in 164, according to new claims data from the agency measured from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016...

Tellico, Deer population causes concerns in Tellico Village neighborhood September 15, 2016 Tennessee, WATE 6 On Your Side
... “The issue is if eating flowers is a capital offense,” Hammersmith said.  There is a push by some in the neighborhood to “cull” the deer meaning they would get approval through TWRA to be able to hunt the deer. The issue has to be approved by the Tellico Village Property Owners Association ...

Tennesseans hunting deer out of state reminded of new rules September 10, 2016 Clarksville Now
... the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) voted unanimously to approve a proposal that  ... extends the restrictions on importation of deer, moose, and elk carcasses to the entirety of any state not bordering Tennessee that has found a positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It also includes states bordering Tennessee if that state has a CWD-positive county within 150 miles ...

'America's very best idea' September 2, 2016 Tennessee, Oak Ridger
... “In 1934, there were 12 whitetail deer in Tennessee and six in North Carolina. … U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn ...

Saturday is Free Hunting Day in Tennessee August 25, 2016 Tennessee, The Daily Post-Athenian
... "There were no deer around here for deer hunting when I was growing up in the 1970s. There was rabbit and quail hunting, but those really need dogs, so squirrel was really the easiest way to get someone into hunting." ...

Wildlife commission to meet in Crossville August 17, 2016 Tennessee, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
... Chronic Wasting Disease is moving closer to Tennessee and the TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division will present recommendations for deer and other cervid carcass importation restrictions, along with an update on the CWD cooperation efforts with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture...

Hendersonville, Fine Can Be Imposed On Residents Who Feed Deer - July 8, 2016


TWRA rescues deer stuck on fence in Powell July 5, 2016 Tennessee, WATE 6 On Your Side
... deer hanging on the fence and decided the best thing to do would be to tranquilize it...

Hendersonville deer feeding ban begins July 1 June 29, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean
... Violators could face a $50 fine as well as court costs... An aerial survey conducted in March and April of 2015 showed the city’s deer population to be at around 19 deer per square mile...

This, that and the other June 8, 2016 Tennessee, Wilson Post
... Starting this fall, if the deer has visible antlers that have broken the skin, it is a buck and must be checked in as a buck. I support that and fully realize it will have very little impact on anything other than some hunter's score sheet. He can say, "I limited out on bucks." That is all it will do in terms of balancing the actual sex ratio in our statewide herd...

Arkansas' cases of CWD in deer could affect Tennessee May 28, 2016 Knoxville News Sentinel
... Chronic Wasting Disease being found in the northwest corner of Arkansas ... three border states, Virginia and Missouri are the other two, now have had confirmed cases of CWD ... most of the cases are, more or less, close to captive deer farming operations. ... Arkansas is an exception ...

Deer, elk and turkey populations are at risk in state May 25, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean
... The TWRA is taking proactive steps in trying to prevent chronic wasting disease, which is detrimental to deer and elk and is currently in 24 states including Arkansas, from entering Tennessee... recommended the deer urine that hunters use as lure be certified...

TWRC sets 2016-17 hunting rules May 21, 2016 Tennessee, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
... two additional deer hunting units. The new units, C and D, are in East Tennessee and were part of the previous Deer Unit B... Lake, Dyer, Lauderdale and Tipton counties were added to Deer Unit L ...

Change looms in 'antlerless' deer definition May 19, 2016 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat
... In the past, bucks with antlers less than three inches long were classified as "antlerless" and could be harvested as such... The proposed new definition of an antlerless deer would be literal - a deer with no visible antlers...

...  prior hunts, beginning in 2010, had sufficiently thinned the herd...

... its May 12-13 meeting... held at the Gossick Leadership Center near Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma...The commission asked the agency to redefine antlered bucks...

... Recommendations ... included simplifying antlerless regulations, allowing additional antlerless harvest during gun season, establishing two new deer harvest units and eliminating the Claiborne County special red deer hunt as there are no more known red deer, a non-native species, in the area... Proposed changes

TWRA Monitoring Chronic Wasting Disease Issue In Arkansas March 26, 2016 Tennessee, The Chattanoogan
... Abnormal proteins known as prions cause chronic wasting disease in cervids. Located in the brain, this neurological infection is similar to mad cow disease ... So far, all confirmed CWD cases in Arkansas have been in the northwest portion of the state about 200 miles from Tennessee...

State's poaching price tags need adjusting March 22, 2016 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat
... Under the restitution law, any illegally-killed whitetail deer costs the violator at least $1,000 - but more if it has big antlers... The logic - if it can be called that - is that the bigger the "trophy," the more valuable it is.  I disagree. In fact, an argument could be made that a little breeding-age doe is more valuable than a grizzled old 10-point buck ...

New law in effect regarding big game wildlife March 14, 2016 Tennessee, Claiborne Progress
... For white-tailed deer with at least eight, but not more than 10 antler points, restitution may be assessed in the amount of $1,000 per animal plus $500 for each antler point. For a white-tailed deer with 11 or more antler points, restitution may be assessed in the amount of $1,000 per animal plus $750 for each antler point that is illegally killed or possessed. ...

New Law Can Cost Poachers $1000's March 4, 2016 Tennessee, WTVC
... Eddy Albert and Densibel Calzada agreed to pay $5,000 each in civil restitution after they were accused of poaching as many as 40 deer ... The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation last year that creates minimum restitution ...

Hendersonville bans feeding deer February 25, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean
... The ordinance prohibits the placement “on the ground or within five feet above the ground surface any grain, fodder, salt or mineral licks, fruit vegetables, nuts, hay or other edible materials, which may be reasonably expected to intentionally result in deer feeding...

Poachers get lifetime hunting bans February 21, 2016 Tennessee, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
... Poachers are not hunters. They are criminals and thieves and they need to treated as such. As a certified hunter education instructor, I try to instill this fact in my students... You can help ... Stop Poaching Hotline. For Middle Tennessee, the number is 1-800-255-8972. For West Tennessee, including Stewart, Houston and Humphreys counties, call 1-800-831-1173.

'Grotesque' deer poachers smear all hunters February 19, 2016 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat 
... As many as 40 deer are believed to have been poached ...  cell-phone videos of the men illegally killing and "disrespecting" deer... Crafting the precise language for the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment and walking it through the legislative process was years in the making ...

Hendersonville, Deer feeding ban clears first hurdle February 10, 2016 Tennessee, The Tennessean 
... The ordinance amends the city’s municipal code by prohibiting the placement “on the ground or within five feet above the ground surface any grain, fodder, salt or mineral licks, fruit vegetables, nuts, hay or other edible materials, which may be reasonably expected to intentionally result in deer feeding.”...

...  illegally killed as many as 40 deer .... "They were getting on top of the deer and doing all sorts of things ...They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off. They were high-fiving each other ...
     Poachers Banned for Life After Multiple Violations February 6, 2016 Tennessee, allaboutdeerhunting.com
...  banned from hunting in 44 states for the rest of their lives, fined thousands of dollars ... illegally killed at least 40 deer in Rutherford County. ...

Two Tennessee men, Densibel Calazada and Eddy Albert, have been banned from hunting in 44 states after they poached as many as 40 deer, and then took photos and videos mocking the animals, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The two men settled outside of court and will have to pay thousands of dollars in fines due to a new law aimed at cracking down on poachers. We look at the poaching case on the Lip News with Margaret Howell and Elliot Hill.


Cougars may be on the comeback in Tennessee January 31, 2016 Knoxville News Sentinel
... Recent cougar sightings have been confirmed at four locations in Tennessee ... The cougar has not been seen in Tennessee since the early 20th century until recently...

Tennessee deer season closes on upswing January 30, 2016 The Commercial Appeal 
... The much-talked-about change to a two-buck limit apparently didn't have an effect on the total. The buck harvest, Gudlin said, decreased 6 percent and the doe harvest increased 11 percent...

TWRA rescues deer with bucket stuck on its head January 28, 2016 Tennessee, LOCAL8now 
... "It appeared to be some kind of chicken feeder or bird feeder and it had the handle behind her head. There was no way she was going to take that off on her own," ...
... The crew was able to safely immobilize the deer with tranquilizing drugs and remove the bucket. They then gave the deer a reversal agent and set it free...

Average harvest and healthy deer herd January 24, 2016 Tennessee, Daily Times
...The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency estimates the deer population for Tennessee to be stabilized around 950,000. It regards these harvest totals as healthy and typical, and not likely to increase dramatically in the future...

Tennessee deer hunters have a good season January 24, 2016 Leaf Chronicle 
... Thanks to a late-season private lands hunt in Deer Unit L (most of Middle and West Tennessee) for antlerless deer, Tennessee deer hunters had the fifth best deer season on record, with a harvest of 167,306 deer ...

... The report indicated a harvest of 167,235 compared to 164,932 in 2014 and an average of 167,720 deer for the previous five years. The buck harvest saw a decrease of six percent while the doe harvest had an increase of 11 percent...

First Year Results of Controversial Buck Limit January 21, 2016 Tennessee, WTVC
... Based on current harvest figures, Tennessee deer hunters did indeed kill fewer bucks in the most recent season... One indicator Yoest said was most interesting was a dramatic reduction in the "Anterless Buck Harvest." Those are one-and-a-half year old deer that have small spikes, however their antlers have not reached the 3-inch minimum to legally qualify as an "Antlered Buck." ...
    If you hunt deer, read this January 20, 2016 Tennessee, Wilson Post
... Statewide, hunters killed approximately 166,000 deer this year compared to about 165,000 last year... After implementing the two buck limit due to hunter pressure, the racked and button buck kill went up, not down... The doe kill went up 7,199 and the buck fawn kill dropped 7,560... [?]

Job Posted, Wildlife Biologist 3 – Statewide Deer Coordinator: Tennessee January 16, 2016 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Job Board
... Work involves planning, conducting, and interpreting biological studies; developing and coordinating statewide program activities; and giving consultation to regional personnel on specific programs...

Deer season shivers to an end January 14, 2016 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat
...The tally for the 2013 season was approximately 168,000. In 2014 it dropped to 165,000. I expect 2015 will show another decline... Tennessee's buck limit was reduced from three to two this past season, but that probably didn't drastically affect the harvest total. TWRA surveys showed that relatively few hunters were taking three bucks in the past...

Stories Of Wildlife In The Mountains Continue To Abound January 9, 2016 Tennessee, Greeneville Sun
... Elk, too, once roamed in what is today Greene County. The much larger cousin of the white-tailed deer is back and thriving in sections of western North Carolina, but no immediate plans call for elk re-introduction in the county's mountain community...

TWRA closes area in west Tenn. to deer hunting for 2 days January 7, 2016 Tennessee, Memphis Commercial Appeal
... done to protect deer affected by the flooding along the Mississippi River in northwest Tennessee...  the season should be closed in the defined area to protect the deer that are confined to high spots ...

... Upon recommendation from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the commission voted  to close all lands, both private and public, to deer hunting ... deer being stranded on high ground ...

Tennessee Data: TWRA estimates 950,000 deer in 2015 and 2014, expected one to two percent growth in the near future.  Harvest data for 2013 indicated a decline in population. About one million deer in the state before hunting season in 2012 and 900,000 deer in 2011.  The state deer population has been approximately stable for several years.  Some estimates put the herd about 20 percent lower than these estimates from TWRA.  The agency expects the herd to grow by one or two percent with most growth in East Tennessee and along the Mississippi.  Hunter success in 2011 was estimated at 83 percent of all hunters taking at least one deer, highest in the nation.  About 55 percent of the deer taken in 2012 were bucks.  Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease killed many deer in 2007.   Hunting statistics  A two buck limit was set for 2015, the first change since 1999 when the limit went to three.  Peak of the rut is around November 20.
    Deer populations were hunted to near extinction in the early 1900's and hunting was closed to protect the herd.  An estimated 12 deer in the state in 1934.  In the 1940's there were fewer than 2,000 deer, all located in the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Hunting was reopened in the 1950's. From the 1950;s to 1985, about 9,000 deer were relocated into the state.  "During 1966-67, 75 black-tailed deer purchased from Oregon were released at the Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant. They were used in an experimental breeding program until 1973. At that time, the 46 remaining black-tailed deer were released in Hamblen County and the hybrids were released at Milan Arsenal. Because of the blacktail's susceptibility to meningeal worm, the gene pool is believed to have been eliminated from Tennessee."  From:  A History of Deer Restoration in Tennessee  Estimated population in 1989:  625,000
    By 1805 the woodland buffalo was hunted to extinction.
    About 400 Elk in 2015 after a restocking effort.  Plentiful in 1783, as reported by road surveyors, by the 1820's they were gone from the middle of the state, western herds soon followed.

Stop Poaching Hotlines:  For Middle Tennessee, the number is 1-800-255-8972. For West Tennessee, including Stewart, Houston and Humphreys counties, call 1-800-831-1173.

Other useful links: 
Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Exotic Petting Zoo

Tweet on the timeline below using #deer #Tennessee

Amicalola Deer Park This 1200-acre park is nestled in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains along the headwaters of the Amicalola River. It serves the needs of 150 rescued animals, primarily Sika and Fallow Deer, as a place of retreat, restoration, recreation, preservation and conservation. Amicalola Deer Park is now a toured facility offering many special events throughout the year to promote awareness and funding for their mission.

Tweets about Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency


 

This five-minute long, high-definition feature explores Tennessee's heritage of abundant wildlife, biodiversity, and conservation successes, and is largely a visual narrative of the work of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation since its creation in 1946. - June 10, 2014