Tennessee Deer Population:  An estimated 950,000 deer in Tennessee in 2015 and 2014 with a modest upward trend into 2016 for about 970,000 deer.  About 925,000 deer in 2013 and one million before the hunting season in 2012.  An EHD outbreak in 2017.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Tennessee deer hunting data and news archive.

Tennessee Deer News

Matthew Cameron from the TWRA gives tips on deer season and dealing with coyotes. - December 14, 2017


... The current overall harvest is 93,360.  The final harvest in 2016-17 was 157,153.  The state record harvest of 182,023 came in 2006-2007...

...  officials in Tennessee charged four hunters after they imported white-tailed deer carcasses into the state from Virginia, where chronic wasting disease has been confirmed ...  importation restrictions apply to the entire state...

CWD, Deer rifle season opens Saturday November 17, 2017 Tennessee,  WCYB-TV
... As in the past, TWRA intends to collect 1,500 samples this year.  To date, 102 free-ranging elk and 11,381 free-ranging deer have been tested for the disease [chronic wasting disease] in the state with all the results coming back negative..,
Where are the deer? November 14, 2017 Independent Herald
... this weekend, hunters in Scott County have harvested only about one-third of the deer that are usually harvested by this point.  A late-summer outbreak of a deadly deer disease — epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD for short — is being blamed for the lack of deer ...

Deer gun hunting season opens this weekend November 13, 2017 Tennessee, WBIR-TV
... deer deaths from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease begins to drop off... across East Tennessee this year, with more than 700 white-tailed deer reported dead from it across our region alone ...

... current statewide harvest is 17,995. That is 1,513 fewer deer than were killed at the same point in the season in 2016 ...

... Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease ... the number of deer the virus has killed this year is the greatest since 2007... TWRA had received at least 32 calls with 158 deer reported dead in Morgan County alone..,

The Scoop On Bowhunting in Tennessee October 16, 2017 Tennessee, North American Whitetail Magazine
... Most of the best deer hunting in Tennessee is on managed private land, as is almost universally the case across the whitetail’s range... deer densities in Appalachia aren’t high ...

Read more: http://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/tennessee/the-scoop-on-bowhunting-in-tennessee/#ixzz4vmJICA80

...   opening weekend harvest is 447 fewer deer than were killed on the opening weekend in 2016...

2017 Tennessee Deer Forecast September 22, 2017 Game & Fish
... Deer numbers are best in the western and central portions of the state... the deer herd is in excellent condition ... Along the Mississippi River corridor, the bottomlands provide a very fertile habitat ...

Elk restoration efforts paying dividends September 13, 2017 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat
... Elk are native to Tennessee -- early frontiersmen wrote about encountering vast, grazing herds -- but their numbers rapidly declined due to unregulated hunting and loss of habitat. The state's last known wild elk was killed in Obion County in 1865...  elk comeback started with 50 animals imported from Canada ..,

EHD, Fatal deer virus sweeps through East Tennessee September 4, 2017 Chattanooga Times Free Press
... epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is the likely culprit.  The viral disease occurs in white-tailed deer throughout the United States and is relatively common in the late summer and fall, but this year's outbreak is the most severe in Tennessee since 2007..,

... “When I saw her and she was struggling, she was still alive. I couldn’t do anything but cry because I knew I couldn’t help her,” ... EHD which comes from a mite carrying the disease.  “They get high fevers and they’re looking for ways to cool their body ..,

... reports of dead deer being found in scattered areas of the state ... fewer deer in 2007 because of the outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.  The deer harvest in 2007 in Tennessee dropped 30 percent from 2006, when a record had been set at 174,937. It continued to dip in 2008 and in 2009..,

Deadly deer disease 'worse than normal" this summer August 21, 2017 Tennessee, News Channel 9
... at least 20 counties with more expected as the season progresses. The last major outbreak of EHD in Tennessee was in 2007. Layton said that year there were reports from 88 of Tennessee's 95 counties..,

Summer Deer Mortality Attributed to Common Virus August 18, 2017 Tennessee, WRCB-TV
...  reports are all indicative of hemorrhagic disease (HD)...  predominantly coming from East Tennessee, and based on the volume of reports it appears to be above average in severity... We don’t anticipate this outbreak to rival that of 2007 ..,

TWRA takes steps to keep deadly deer disease at bay August 9, 2017 Tennessee, The Hartsville Vidette
... A large portion of last month’s Game & Fish Commission meeting was devoted to a discussion about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), its impact on deer in other states, and measures the TWRA is taking to try to keep it from spreading into Tennessee...

TFWC Updated On CWD [chronic wasting disease] ... July 21, 2017 Tennessee, The Chattanoogan
...  after many years of ongoing sampling by TWRA, the disease is still not known to exist in Tennessee ...  risk factors for spreading CWD including:  captive deer and elk, infected, hunter-killed carcasses being transported into Tennessee by out-of-state hunters ...

...  an 8-point buck that had been shot and was lying in a field near the 600 block of Mill Branch Road in Huntsville ...

... What their group first thought was a log actually turned out to be a fawn struggling to stay afloat in the lake... 

You may not realize it but humans aren't the only things boaters can hit while riding on a lake. - July 4, 2017



  Watch These Deer Battle It Out While Standing On Hind Legs June 24, 2107 Tennessee, NDTV
... The unusual sight was captured by wildlife officers at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, or TWRA, and a short 10-second clip was posted to TWRA's Facebook page ...

... Every summer, TWRA officers ... are flooded with calls from people who have picked up a baby deer thinking it’s been orphaned... it’s actually normal for mother doe to leave their newborn deer alone for six to eight hours at a time...

Tennessee: Managing deer has come a long way since the earliest days of restoration decades ago. While deer populations are healthy statewide, there are always concerns about the best way to manage deer populations in such a way that a variety of interests are taken into consideration. Deer Project Management Leader James Kelly discusses deer management in 2017, which includes the current definition of antlered versus antler-less deer. - May 31, 2017


...  the new law passed last year defined a buck as any deer with antler visible above the hairline... hunters ... concern is that tiny antlers are difficult to see in many hunting situations, and there are many occasions when hunters thought they were (legally) taking a doe that turned out to be a small buck ...

... TFWC voted to increase the total number of elk hunt permits from 11 to 15 ... No changes were made to the deer and turkey hunting seasons ...

Charges pending against 3 after skinned deer left in Franklin pool May 25, 2017 Tennesee, WKRN.com
... a skinned, pregnant doe was found at the bottom of a Franklin pool...

TWRA Commission Presents 2017-18 Seasons Previews April 26, 2017 Tennessee, The Chattanoogan
... The total statewide reported deer harvest was 157,702 for 2016-17, with 86,007 bucks and 71,695 does taken by hunters... a continued positive trend in an increased age structure of harvested bucks.  Bucks 2.5-3.5 years old comprised the greatest proportion (57 percent) of those sampled ...

Wildlife Management Committee - Hunting and Trapping Season Preview


...  a brief preliminary response from the Agency on the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s “Whitetail Deer Resolution” ... to formulate a statewide strategic whitetail deer management plan...

... even a buck with 1-inch antlers is classified as a buck and counts toward a hunter's current annual bag limit of two bucks... what's happening is you're leaving little bitty, inferior bucks out there. When you're raising cattle do you kill your best bull and leave your scrub bull to breed your herd? ...

Kahite, Deer culling in Kahite has Tellico Village community divided February 4, 2017 Tennessee, Knoxville News Sentinel
... Two things we don’t talk about here are who you voted for and deer,” ... The committee contacted numerous authorities and went through numerous possible ways to cut the deer population, including sterilization, removal and building a large fence. For various reasons, all but one were rejected – hiring hunters to shoot the deer...

Private land owners hold deer management decision February 1, 2017 Tennessee, WDEF News 12
... Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has little to do with deer management issues on private lands, but does provide depredation permits through a vetting process...  has been contacted by Kahite Community in Monroe County ...

Henry County third statewide in deer harvest January 19, 2017 Tennessee, Paris Post Intelligencer
... The unofficial total from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stood at 157,227 deer for the year...

TWRA invites hunter input January 19, 2017 Tennessee, Lebanon Democrat
... Over the next few weeks hunters can make their feelings known to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency by submitting comments and suggestions... I oppose further regulations that favor trophy deer hunting...

Deer costs man nearly $10,000 under new Tennessee law January 12, 2017 Knoxville News Sentinel
... shot an 11-point buck from his driveway ... did not have permission to hunt... fine was imposed under recent legislation that increases financial penalties ...

...  a Boone and Crockett panel of four judges measured the 47-point rack ... larger than the non-typical current net world record ... had 38 points... deer antlers could be worth $100,000 ...

Tenn. hunters cussing, discussing antlerless deer rule January 7, 2017 Tennessee, The Commercial Appeal
... As of Friday morning, 82,331 male deer have been killed during the 2016-17 season ... compares to 89,202 bucks killed last season...  antlerless deer killed thus far this year compared to a year ago — 62,662 to 74,659...

...A new Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency rule prohibits deer, elk, and moose harvested in states that have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, CWD, from entering the state unless they have been processed ... 

Deer illegally killed, left to waste December 30, 2016 Tennessee, WBBJ-TV
... the buck grew up on their property and got along with their livestock, and many people in the area knew the buck as “the community deer.” ...

Citizens report cougar sightings in Mt. Juliet December 21, 2016 Tennessee, xWilson Post
... A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wildlife biologist confirmed Monday she's had several reports of cougar sightings from Mt. Juliet ...

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...

Tennessee Data: TWRA estimates 950,000 deer in 2015 and 2014, expected one to two percent growth in the near future.   An EHD outbreak in 2017 could reduce the herd.
     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.  A two buck limit was set for 2015, the first change since 1999 when the limit went to three.  Fewer male deer and more does were killed in 2015.   Peak of the rut is around November 20.
     Chronic Wasting Disease  As of November, 2017, no chronic wasting disease discovered from testing in the state.
     Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).  The 2017 outbreak of EHD was the worst since 2007 which killed many deer. 
    History:  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.  The last know wild elk was killed in 1865.

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