Hunting at Land Between the Lakes

All harvested deer and turkeys must be reported BEFORE leaving Land Between the Lakes.

During Business hours hunters must check in their harvested deer and turkeys at the North/South Welcome Stations or Golden Pond Visitor Center.
After hours, hunters must self-check their harvested deer and turkeys at a Welcome Station or at the Central Hunter Check Station by completing a Harvest Self Check Out Card.
In Addition to Land Between the Lakes reporting, hunters must also comply with all Kentucky or Tennessee harvest reporting regulations.

Hunting with Land Between the Lakes

Hunting is a popular recreational activity and is an integral part of our wildlife management program at Land Between the Lakes. In the absence of large predators, hunting helps to maintain healthy populations of such species as white-tailed deer.

With thousands of acres teeming with game and over 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline, Land Between the Lakes offers an impressive variety of hunting opportunities and more than 250 days a year of in-season hunting. Hunters will find white-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and other forest game species abundant.

We offer annual spring turkey and squirrel hunts, fall/winter hunts for deer, waterfowl, and a variety of small game species. Hunters can also enjoy a variety of camping choices, from the convenience of our developed campgrounds to the rustic adventure of camping in our back-country areas. Many hunters bring their families and stay in one of the area resorts.

For more detailed hunting information,  email us at [email protected]

All hunters age 16 and over must have a Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit and applicable state licenses, ie; Must hunt in Kentucky if hunter possesses a Kentucky state license.

The Annual Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permit is valid March 1 through February 28 and available at Welcome Stations, Visitor Center, and anywhere Kentucky and Tennessee State hunting licenses are sold:

To hunt deer with firearms, hunters must apply during the month of July and be drawn for a quota deer hunt permit. To hunt during the first several days of spring turkey season, hunters must apply during February and be drawn for a quota turkey hunt permit.

Kentucky Deer Hunting Dates 2020

  •  Youth Quota Hunt October 24-25
  •  Regular Quota Hunt November 20-22

Archery & Crossbow

  •  September 26- October 22
  •  October 26- November 19
  •  November 23-January 18

Deer Hunt Fact Sheet 2020-2021

Deer Hunting Results from the 2017-18 Season

Tennessee Deer Hunting Dates 2020

  • Youth Quota Hunt October  17-18
  • Regular Quota Hunts November 13-14 and November 28 -29

Archery & Crossbow

  • A turkey season brochure will not be produced for 2020. Furthermore, there will be no draw hunt this turkey season.  At the request of many turkey hunters, we will not conduct a turkey draw hunt this season in order to give all turkey hunters an equal opportunity to enjoy a traditional opening day experience. Many turkey hunters expressed an interest in hunting fresh uneducated birds. We are suspending the turkey draw this season to provide this unique experience.  Points accumulated in previous seasons will carry over to next season when we return to normal draw hunts.
  • Kentucky Turkey Hunt Season April 18 – May 1, 2020
  • Tennessee Hunt Season April 18 – 24 & April 25 – May 1, 2020

Trapping 2021

The Land Between the Lakes trapping season is January 16-31, 2021 in Kentucky Hunt Areas 3, 4, 5, and Tennessee Hunt Areas 12 and 14. There will also be a beaver trapping season February 1-28 in Kentucky and Tennessee in all Hunt Areas. Areas closed to hunting are also closed to trapping.

Print, complete, sign, and mail 2021 Trapping Permit Application to:

USDA Forest Service-Land Between the Lakes
Attn: Trapping Application
100 Van Morgan Drive
Golden Pond, KY 42211

Or scan and email completed, signed form to: [email protected] 
Applications will be reviewed, signed and returned to the applicants by December 2020.

2021 Trapping Report Form for Land Between the Lakes 
This form must be printed and carried throughout the season for reporting purposes and mailed to the address above at the end of the season.

See Small Game, Waterfowl, and Trapping Fact Sheet for more information.

Feral Hogs

It is illegal to possess, transport, or release live wild hogs in Kentucky or Tennessee.

Our forests are home to many native wild animals, but they have been invaded by other animals as well, including feral hogs.  Hogs are considered feral (or wild) when they are not marked to show ownership and are roaming freely. Feral hogs cause a wide variety of problems and are a serious concern for private landowners, fish and wildlife managers, and nature enthusiasts of all kinds.

Whether a 400 lb. boar with 4 inch tusks, or a sow with piglets, feral hogs are formidable and have been known to attack human beings on very rare occasions. Feral hogs have excellent senses of smell and hearing and normally avoid contact with humans; however, should you find yourself nose-to-snout with an angry hog, the best defense is to sidestep quickly, and promptly find a tree to scamper up. As with other large animals, be alert for signs of feral hogs, know where they are and what they are doing, and always keep your distance.

Feral hogs are not wildlife and are a serious threat to fish, forests and wildlife as well as agricultural resources. Economic losses resulting from feral hog damage in the U.S. is estimated at greater than $1.5 billion per year. Feral hogs damage property, agriculture, and natural resources by their aggressive rooting of soil in addition to their trampling and consumption of crops as part of their daily search for food. Their diet regularly includes ground-nesting bird eggs, reptiles, and amphibians. They consume and destroy resources needed by other native species to survive.

Feral hogs have expanded their range in the U.S. from 17 to 38 states over the past 30 years. Their populations grow rapidly because feral hogs can breed any time of year and produce two litters of one to seven piglets every 12 to 15 months. Feral hogs are also known to carry diseases such as swine brucellosis, pseudorabies, trichinosis and leptospirosis, which are a threat to agriculture and human health.

Hunting feral hogs in Land Between the Lakes is illegal. Throughout the country, research and management efforts have shown that hunting does not control feral hog numbers. Specifically, hunting pressure causes hogs to go nocturnal and actually promotes their spread as they seek areas with less human disturbance. Successful control and removal efforts have very limited success when competing with concurrent pressure from recreational hog hunting. Instead, we are pursuing a cooperative strategy for intensive trapping and removal efforts to effectively control the hog population.

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area asks that all feral hog sightings are reported. Reporting sightings helps with the ongoing interagency eradication efforts.

Report feral hog sightings or damage at any Land Between the Lakes Facility, with this hog form, or by calling 270-924-2065.

For More Information:

Kentucky Hog Regulations :

Tennessee Hog Regulations :

USDA-APHIAS Feral Swine Information : Here

State Hunting Information

Kentucky Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Resources Hunting Information
Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Hunting Information

Be sure to read Land Between the Lakes General Hunting Rules as well as the Rules and Regulations before you hunt. If you are camping, read the Camping Rules.

Other Resources