Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License

Matt Johnson
Matt JohnsonPublished: January 25, 2023
Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License

Hunting and fishing are popular outdoor activities in Tennessee, with plenty of options for both residents and nonresidents. While we recommend the Tennessee lifetime hunting license and fishing license over other typical resident licenses, keep in mind that you have plenty of options before you head outdoors.

Annual sportsman license holders will be happy to hear that there is a lifetime sportsman license.

What is the Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License?

The Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License is actually known as the Tennessee Lifetime Sportsman License, despite many people referring to it as the Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License.

This single license grants a person hunting and fishing privileges for their lifetime in Tennessee.

The Lifetime Sportsman License gives its holder the same hunting and fishing privileges as those with an Annual Sportsman License. It can't be transferred or fees refundable, but it remains valid for life, even if the license holder moves out of state.

While many hunters and fishermen go for the annual sportsman license, the lifetime sportsman license is a great option for those who aren’t certain that they will be able to hunt in Tennessee every year.

It allows them to save money in the long run by not having to pay an annual fee.

One of the things we love about this license is that the applicants will also receive a certificate that can be framed and given as a gift to children or grandchildren.

Imagine that - giving the gift of hunting for the rest of their lives. That's how you make lifelong outdoorsmen!

Reasons you want to get the lifetime license.

White Tailed Deer in Tennessee
White-tailed deer grazing on grasses in western Tennessee.

Compared to the annual sportsman license, the lifetime sportsman license offers great value over time.

The most obvious reason to get a lifetime license is that it eliminates having to pay for an annual license every year.

That may not seem like much at first, but when you add up the costs of years of hunting and fishing, you will quickly realize how much money you could be saving with a lifetime license.

Not only will you save money over the years, but you'll also get to enjoy hunting and fishing in Tennessee for life. That means you can go out and explore all the different places across the state that are perfect for hunting and fishing without having to worry about getting an annual license every year.

In addition to saving big, you also don't need to get any of the supplemental licenses that annual license holders need to.

This all-inclusive license provides sportsman license holders (both annual and lifetime) the ability to hunt, trap, and sport fish without requiring any additional state supplemental licenses or non-quota permits. Additionally, the license allows holders to apply for quota permits at no additional fee.

Whether you’re a lifelong hunter or just getting started, the Tennessee Lifetime Sportsman License is a great way to save money and enjoy hunting and fishing in the state of Tennessee for years to come.

Eligibility requirements for the lifetime sportsman license.

It's worth noting that not just anyone can get the lifetime sportsman license. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has specific requirements for who is eligible to apply for this particular license.

  • Must have resided in Tennessee for the previous 12 consecutive months.
  • Must have a valid social security number.
  • No requirement to have had an annual license or to be a hunter at the time of application.

In order to be eligible for the Lifetime Sportsman License, you must have resided in Tennessee for the previous 12 months (consecutively) and have a valid social security number.

That's it!

You don't need to have had an annual license or even be a hunter at the time of the application. All you need is to meet the eligibility requirements and have the fee ready.

Here's how to get your lifetime hunting license.

Obtaining lifetime sportsman licenses is a little more cumbersome than getting an annual license, but the process is still fairly straightforward.

To apply for the new license, applicants must provide a legible copy of their valid Tennessee Driver's License that they've had for at least 12 months as proof of residency.

If the applicant is under 16, they must also present a photocopy of a parent/guardian's license and the applicant's birth certificate.

Applications can be requested by phone, mail or fax. A Social Security number must also be provided in order to process the application.

Sure, you can email the application and proof in to [email protected] but keep in mind that you'll be emailing sensitive information, and you should take appropriate measures to make sure it's secure.

Once everything has been submitted and the required fee paid, the applicant will be issued a Lifetime Sportsman License valid for life.

Lifetime permit cost.

The fees for the hunting and fishing license are quite a bit more expensive than the annual license, but keep in mind that you never have to renew this permit. So it's more expensive but totally worth it.

  • $320.00 for applicants under three years old or under 13 and adopted within 3 years prior to the application.
  • $659 for applicants three to seven years of age
  • $988 for applicants seven to thirteen years of age
  • $1,976 for applicants thirteen to fifty-one years of age
  • $1,153 for applicants fifty-one to sixty-five years of age
  • $329 for applicants 65 years old or older

Tennessee Lifetime Hunting License FAQs.

There's a good chance that you have some questions. We hear them all the time. So we put together a comprehensive list of questions we hear the most. Let us know if you have any additional questions or comments about hunting and fishing licenses in TN.

How do I purchase a lifetime sportsman license in TN?

Purchasing a lifetime sportsman license in Tennessee requires submitting an application, providing proof of residency and paying the appropriate fee. You can either apply online or mail/fax the required information to any of the TWRA license regional offices.

How much is a lifetime sportsman license in TN?

There are some fees associated with the lifetime hunting and fishing license in Tennessee. The cost varies depending on your age but is generally between $320 and $1,976.

Do I need to buy a hunting and fishing license every year?

No, with the Tennessee Lifetime Sportsman License, you don’t have to worry about buying a new license each year. The license is valid for the lifetime of the holder, so you can enjoy hunting and fishing in the state of Tennessee for years to come without having to pay for a new license each year.

Should I get an annual or lifetime license?

Whether or not you want to get an annual or lifetime license is up to you. Both are great options, but keep in mind that there are some benefits to having the lifetime license, such as not getting a supplemental license. However, the annual option is much cheaper for those only looking to hunt for the current year.

Can I transfer my Lifetime Sportsman License?

No, unfortunately, you cannot transfer your lifetime sportsman license.

What are the specialty licenses?

There are four different specialty licenses.

  • The Annual Resident Hunting & Fishing Disabled Under 18 License is available to Tennessee residents under the age of 18 with a total and permanent disability, verified by a physician licensed in the state. It costs $5 and is renewable annually, although additional permits may be required.
  • The Hunt & Fish Intellect Disabled Resident License is a minimum license requirement to fish and/or hunt statewide. It is only valid while the resident remains in the state of Tennessee, and additional supplemental licenses may be required. Tennessee residents over 10 years old with an intellectual disability can purchase this license by providing a certification from a Tennessee physician, and the applicant must also complete the hunter education course. This license costs $10.
  • The Permanent Wheelchair Hunting and Fishing License requires an accompanying doctor's statement that states the applicant is permanently restricted or confined to a wheelchair. It covers all license requirements to hunt and fish, but the holder must purchase any applicable permits for a fee of $10.00.
  • The Permanent DAV Hunting and Fishing License is available to resident veterans certified by the VA as 30 percent disabled by reason of war service or 100 percent service-connected. It is only accessible by application to the TWRA License Regional Offices and must be accompanied by a DD214 form and Veterans Administration letter showing the percent of disability. It covers all license requirements to hunt and fish, but holders must purchase any applicable permits, including WMA Permits, in addition to this license for a fee of $10.00.

Can I hunt on my own land without a license in Tennessee?

Yes, you can hunt on your own land. Tennessee residents that are landowners do not need a license to hunt on their own property, but they must still follow hunting seasons, bag limits, and tagging/checking requirements like everyone else.

Do I need the Tennessee migratory bird permit to hunt ducks?

You do, but lifetime sportsman license holders do not need to have a migratory bird permit. Keep in mind, however, you will still need a Federal Duck Stamp to hunt ducks.

What's the Federal Duck Stamp and how much does it cost?

The Federal Duck Stamp is a stamp issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to raise funds for wetland habitat conservation. It costs $25 and is valid for one year from the date of purchase. You can get them at any TWRA license agent location. You'll need this to hunt duck in the state of Tennessee.

Do I need a hunter education certificate?

Yes, all Tennessee residents and non-residents need to have the hunter education certificate if they're going to hunt in Tennessee. Everyone born on or after January 1, 1969 must possess proof of satisfactory completion of an agency-approved hunter education course, in addition to any other necessary licenses and permits, before hunting.

However, if you can't get a hunter ed certificate, you can get an apprentice license for the time being.

What is an apprentice license?

The apprentice license is a supplemental license that allows hunters 10 years of age or older who have not completed the mandatory hunter education course to hunt for one year from the date of purchase. It can only be purchased for up to three consecutive years during the lifetime of the hunter. All other applicable hunting licenses and permits must be obtained. They must be accompanied by an adult, 21 years of age or older, who have met the hunter education requirements and can take immediate control of the hunting device.

Ready to start hunting and fishing in Tennessee?

As a Tennessee resident, you have the opportunity to take advantage of various hunting and fishing licenses that allow you to hunt on your own land or in other areas. Even nonresident hunters can get in on the action.

Whether it's getting your hunter education certificate, purchasing an apprentice license, or obtaining a permanent DAV Hunting and Fishing License for veterans, there are plenty of options available if you want to go out and enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

Make sure to follow all rules set by TWRA. That way everyone can safely participate in these activities while protecting wildlife resources. With multiple license types at different price points, there is something for every type of outdoorsman.

Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson

Master Outdoorsman

Matt is a seasoned outdoorsman with expertise in fishing, hunting, and wildlife. With a Master's degree in Wildlife Science, he combines his passion for nature with conservation efforts, sharing his knowledge through his writing for Fish and Game Report.

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