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Tennessee Landowners Exemption
by Steve McCadams

 People, hunting or fishing in Tennessee without a license under the landowner exemption law, must carry proof that they qualify for the exemption, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

 A law took effect last year that requires a Farmland Owner Exemption Statement be completed and carried by the person hunting or fishing without a license. The form must also be presented when checking big game animals at a big game checking station.

 The statement form can be found in the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide or picked up at the TWRA regional offices. It can also be found on TWRA's Web Page at

 The statement requires that the property be identified by county, map #, parcel #, location, owner's name and address, and how the person qualifies to hunt or fish without a license. The map # and parcel # can be found on the property tax statement. Categories for license exemption are: owner of the property, spouse of the owner, child of the owner, tenant residing on the property, or dependent child of the tenant.

 In order for anyone to hunt or fish on farmland without a license, the land must be owned by one individual or a family (a family being husband and wife, brothers and sisters, or parents and children). First cousins, owning property together, and their children may hunt small game or fish on their own property without a license.

 To qualify as a tenant, the individual must receive compensation such as free rent or money for acting either in the place of or at the direction of the landowner in tending to the requirements needed to care for the farmland. Tenants and their dependant children must actually reside on the property.

 If you have questions about whether or not you qualify to hunt or fish without a license, contact the nearest TWRA office.


Steve McCadams
  is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series  IN-PURSUIT. 



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