Young Sportsman’s Deer Hunt, a prelude to gun season, arrives

The first of Tennessee’s two special Young Sportsman deer hunts will be held Saturday and Sunday. It’s for youngsters in the bracket of 6-16 years of age. Another special hunt will be held after the regular gun season ends. 

Youngsters across Tennessee will have the woods and fields to call their own this weekend. The first of two special youth hunts arrive for those falling in the age bracket of 6-16 years of age.

Each year, Tennessee kicks off the gun deer season with the two-day youth hunts, and children will be up in their stands and scanning the distance for movement on both Saturday and Sunday.

Another cold front and falling temperatures will coincide with kickoff and that should stimulate movement from deer that will likely be moving and feeding in response to changing weather. It should be a good hunt.

Most of the corn and a lot of soybeans have already been harvested across the region, so deer should be easier to spot when maneuvering through the massive agricultural acreage of West Tennessee.

A lot of deer have been seen lately throughout the region. Numbers appear to be pretty good overall in this area.

Still on the minds of all deer hunters in Henry County is the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease after the discovery of a doe that tested positive late this summer. Hunters are concerned as the season gets going, but it doesn’t seem to have curtailed the interest level just yet.

Youngsters can use gun, muzzleloader or archery equipment. They must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 or older, who must remain in position to take immediate control of the hunting device.

Adults must also comply with the fluorescent orange regulations as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult.

Archery season began in the state on Sept. 25 and the first segment ends today, the day prior to the opening of the young sportsman hunt. The second segment of archery-only season is Monday through Nov. 5.

Then, deer hunters get busy when the muzzleloader/archery season starts Nov. 6. Add the gun portion of the season starting Nov. 6 as well, at least in Unit CWD. The statewide gun/muzzleloader/archery season has the traditional opening date of the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which this year is Nov. 20.

Updates on deer harvest locally show Henry County hunters have already checked in 110 since the archery season opened back on the fourth Saturday in September.

A check of neighboring counties shows Stewart off to a pretty good start as hunters there have checked in a total of 258 as of midweek. Carroll County hunters have checked in 83, followed by Weakley with 67 and Benton at 56.

The statewide total stood at 10,137 at midweek. Sullivan County still leads the statewide harvest at 357.

Here’s hoping those youngsters get their season started on a good note. Indications are the weather is in their favor.


STEVE McCADAMS is The Post-Intelligencer’s outdoors writer. His email address is

Load comments