Allen Earl | Claiborne Progress

A mature tom is the target of many hunters during the turkey season.

Youth hunt signals start of 2019 turkey season

The 2019 spring turkey season is scheduled to begin Saturday with the young sportsman hunt (ages 6-16) on March 23-24. The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day, which counts toward the statewide bag unless taken on a Wildlife Management Area where turkeys are designated as bonus birds.

Each young sportsman must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device. Youths 10 years of age or older must meet Hunter Education requirements. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single non-hunting adult who is not required to have a license.

The shotgun and archery season for licensed hunters over 16 will begin March 29 and conclude May 12. All Tennessee counties are open to wild turkey hunting including Wildlife Management Areas and refuges, unless specifically listed — permits required.

Hunters are limited to one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four per season. Turkeys taken on all quota hunts and specially designated WMA’s are bonus turkeys. Spring turkey shooting hours are thirty minutes before legal sunrise to sunset.

The use of any type of food to feed or attract wild turkeys on WMA’s is prohibited. Calling or attempting to call wild turkeys using any means to mimic the sounds made by turkeys is prohibited on all WMA’s from March 1 until the opening day of the spring turkey hunts on the WMA.

Safety is a concern during turkey season, be sure of your target. Turkey hunting can be the most exciting type of hunting out there as the sound of the “thunder chicken” echoes through the woods and fields as he comes to the calls of the hunter, but it can also be dangerous for that reason.

As always consult the online or physical hunting guide for rules and regulations.