Photo of hunters taking part in the Tennessee dove season.

Your Guide to Tennessee Dove Season [2022]

Last Updated on August 19, 2022 by Brian Grossman

Looking forward to the Tennessee dove season? You’ve come to the right place. This article highlights the 2022-2023 Tennessee dove season dates, bag limits, important rules and regulations, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Tennessee dove hunting.

Good luck this dove season chasing North America’s most hunted migratory game bird!

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2022-2023 Tennessee Dove Season Dates

SeasonDatesDaily Bag Limit
Phase 1Sep. 1-28, 2022*15**
Phase 2Oct. 8-30, 202215**
Phase 3Dec. 8, 2022 - Jan. 15, 202315**

* Dove season opens at noon on September 1, 2022
** There is no limit on Eurasian collared doves

Tennessee Dove Hunting License Requirements

To legally hunt doves in Tennessee, you will need the following:

  • Tennessee Hunting and Fishing Combination license (unless exempt)
  • Tennessee Migratory Game Bird Permit (unless exempt)

If hunting on one of Tennessee’s many wildlife management areas, a dove hunter will also need a Small Game WMA Permit.

Get the necessary licenses and permits now through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Legal Dove Hunting Weapons

  • Shotguns: Any, including muzzleloading shotguns, using ammunition loaded with No. 4 or smaller shot.
  • Archery: Crossbows, longbows, recurve bows, and compound bows are allowed for hunting dove (good luck with that!)
  • Raptors that are legally possessed under a valid falconry permit.

Baiting Doves in Tennessee

What is Considered Baiting

You cannot hunt doves or any other migratory game bird by the aid of baiting or on or over any baited area where you know or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited.

Baiting is the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could lure or attract doves to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them. A baited area is any area on which salt, grain, or other feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, if that salt, grain, or feed could serve as a lure or attraction for doves. Any such area will remain a baited area for 10 days following the complete removal of all such salt, grain, or other feed.

What is NOT Considered Baiting

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the following is legal to hunt doves on, over or from:

  • Lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural operations, which include normal agricultural harvest, normal agricultural post-harvest manipulations, or normal agricultural practices.
  • Lands planted by means of top-sowing or aerial seeding where seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, a planting for agricultural soil erosion control, or a planting for post-mining land reclamation.
  • Lands or areas where grain or feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of the manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown.
  • Standing crops.
  • Lands planted as wildlife food plots, provided the seed is planted in a manner consistent with Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service recommendations for the planting of wildlife food plots. In states without Cooperative Extension Service recommendations for the planting of food plots, the seed must be planted in accordance with Extension Service guidelines for producing a crop.
  • Lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock. (The Fish and Wildlife Service will not make a distinction between agricultural fields planted with the intent to gather a crop and those planted without such intent provided the planting is carried out in a manner consistent with the recommendations of State Extension Specialists).
  • Standing or manipulated natural vegetation.
  • A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation.
  • A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, provided your use of such vegetation does not expose, deposit, distribute or scatter grain or other feed. You should be aware that seeds or grains from such vegetation could create a baited area.

Tennessee Dove Hunting FAQs

What day does dove season open in Tennessee?

The Tennessee dove season opens at noon on Thursday, September 1, 2022.

How long is dove season in Tennessee?

Tennessee’s dove season is the maximum 90 days allowed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. However, it is a split season as opposed to 90 consecutive days.

How many doves can you shoot in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, you can shoot 15 doves per day, and the possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. There is NO LIMIT on Eurasian collared doves.

What time can you shoot doves in Tennessee?

Opening day of Tennessee’s dove season opens at noon and closes at sunset. You can shoot doves for the remainder of the season from one half-hour before sunrise until legal sunset.

What do I need to hunt doves in Tennessee?

To legally hunt doves in Tennessee, you will need a Combination Hunting & Fishing License and a Migratory Game Bird Permit. If you’re going to hunt doves on a Tennessee WMA, you will also need a Small Game WMA Permit.

Can you bait dove in Tennessee?

The short answer is NO, you cannot. Doves are federally regulated migratory birds, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service prohibits hunting them over bait. In the article above we discuss what is and is not baiting in depth.

Summary

Dove season can be an exciting time in Tennessee. We hope you’ll carve out some time to spend in the dove field this fall, enjoying the camaraderie and fellowship that is often lacking in other forms of hunting. If you have plans for this Tennessee dove season, we would love to hear about them in the comments section below.

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