All Tennesseans are reminded that Saturday, Aug. 27 is Free Hunting Day in Tennessee when state residents may hunt without a license. The annual event coincides with the opening day of squirrel season.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the free day 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 for persons to experience the enjoyment of the sport. Regular hunters are encouraged to introduce friends and family members (young and old) to the outdoors sport. It is also an excellent opportunity for those folks who have not tried hunting in a while to get back into the woods.
On Free Hunting Day, state resident hunters are exempt from hunting licenses and WMA permits requirements. Many of the WMAs are open to hunters seeking public access on Aug. 27. Hunters are asked to check the information for particular WMAs in the newly-published 2011 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide which is available online at www.tnwildlife.org or copies are available at any TWRA regional office or at most outlets where licenses are sold.
Hunter education requirements have not been waived for Free Hunting Day. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 is required to have successfully completed a hunter education course. A one-time, one-year apprentice license is required for those born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 if the hunter education course has not been completed.
Hunters are allowed to harvest up to 10 squirrels a day from this Saturday through Feb. 28, with each hunting day beginning a half-hour before sunrise and ending a half-hour after sunset.
In addition to squirrels, those species that have a year-round season will be open as well. The year-round species are armadillo, beaver, coyote, English sparrow, groundhog, nutria, pigeon, starling, and striped skunk.
For more information about hunting in Tennessee, visit TWRA's website at www.tnwildlife.org or contact your nearest TWRA Regional Office.