Moultrie Products
TN Whitetails
Contributors to this thread:
CSS 08-Mar-13
Stablebuck 19-Mar-13
CSS 25-Mar-13
mountainman 01-Apr-13
CSS 02-Apr-13
mountainman 03-Apr-13
CSS 10-Apr-13
mountainman 11-Apr-13
CSS 03-Jul-13
BigBo 11-Jul-13
mountainman 17-Jul-13
BigBo 24-Jul-13
mountainman 30-Jul-13
CSS 15-Aug-13
hidenorhair 16-Sep-13
Bowriter 06-Jul-17
Elkslayer615 31-Dec-17
Elkslayer615 31-Dec-17
From: CSS
I may be moving from IL to TN and hoping to get some thoughts on bowhunting whitetails in TN. I will probably live around Nashville (maybe Franklin) so curious if there are many bowhunters who are around (hopefully there are!) and what one can expect in terms of deer opportunities. I would bet there are tons of deer there but not sure about the size (age, weight, antlers) of a typical 4.5 to 5.5 yr old buck in that area...any insights would be appreciated...

From: Stablebuck
You're gonna be a little disappointed in size of animals in TN coming from IL. However, you can kill a ton of them ;-) A 4.5 - 5.5 year old buck is probably gonna average 120" of antler. I live in Chattanooga and I would be tickled to death to kill a 120" buck on public land. If you can get on a lease then you're gonna have a little more fortune on your side or if you can get access to private land one way or another.

From: CSS
Thanks for the post - looks like some big deer get killed there though, per some record book i was looking at on-line (lots of >140 inch deer) - i am probably going to plant some food (about 10 acres) so hopefully that will help them grow a little (but who really knows)

i read that somewhere south of Chattanooga, a guy killed a monster with a bow...i think it was ~240 inch non-typical and the top buck in GA ever harvested

From: mountainman
I'd have to disagree with stablebuck on the antler size(but then again, we live on opposite borders of the state). I hunt in several areas about an hour north of Nashville. If they get over 4.5 years old, they are generally carrying decent bone, that being 135-155. And of course there are a few that are much bigger.

My neighbor killed a clean 155 inch 10 point with a crossbow on public land about 20 min from where we live. And this wasn't an exceptionally old deer. He looked right in the 4-5 year old range(our best guess). Not quite as good as IL but not bad.

The problem is most of them get killed as 2 year olds with an 80-100 inch rack. 3 bucks a year with any weapon tends to make some folks not as selective. I wish we had a one buck a year limit. We just don't have the number of older bucks that some states do.

I do agree with stable in the fact that we can kill a lot of them. 3 does a day in unit L, which is what you'll be hunting in if you're around Nashville.

In the area north of Nashville this is usually where they will be at weight/antler wise: 2 year olds, 80-100 inches, 100-120 lbs dressed. 3 year olds , 100-125 inches, 125-150 lbs dressed. 4 year olds,125-145 inches, 140-170 lbs dressed.

Again, these are averages from what I've saw killed in the area. Of course there are much bigger and smaller but I think these numbers are around the top of the bell curve.

From: CSS
awesome, sounds like some great action is out there

i can tell you this much, there are definitely some big deer in IL/WI (i hunt two farms now, one in IL and one in WI) but i have been hunting up here for 5 or 6 years and its very difficult to kill the >180 deer for two reasons (based on my experience anyway): 1) there arent many that make it to 5.5 yrs and 2) they are so friggn smart, its hard to catch them making a mistake, at least during the time your actually hunting them. i would say the typical 3.5 to 4.5 yrs old buck that gets taken is 130-160 inches across the head-gear

i have definitely seen some big deer up here but the giants are fairly rare and well educated

i am curious if the soil type is good for growing beans/corn there (even if you have to put a ton of lime down to raise the ph) - any thoughts?

From: mountainman
I can't help you much with the soil question. But I know it's possible because the farmers have huge fields of corn and soy bean here.

When will you know if your moving here?

From: CSS
i am 99% sure i will move down there over the summer (have to get the kids out of school before i move)

was looking up some ag stats - looks like Davidson/Williamson are on the eastern edge of the majority of the crop production (from the TN Ag Dept stats, it appears that west going towards central tennesse grows most of the row crops) so would seem soil is probably pretty good (obviously depending on the actual land you own/rent)

From: mountainman
I would agree. I hunt in Montgomery, Stewart and Houston counties. We generally get plenty of rain to.

From: CSS
quick follow-up, i sold my house in IL and moving to Nashville in early august...wont leave a ton of time to get a hunting spot lined up

From: BigBo
I am in the exact same situation as CSS. I am 95% sure I'm coming to Nashville, probably around late August, or right at season's start. I am from south GA, where I strive to arrow P&Y deer (My last two kills were 121 and 123(photo attached), so I've started letting those walk, with hopes for 130+.) What are the best counties for similar hunting near Nashville? It's not too far to Kentucky, what are the best counties in that southern KY area? Also, where/what is the best source to find leases or hunting clubs? I know it will probably be too late for this year, but it's worth a shot. Also, any reputable outfitters to supplement the lack of having my own spot this year? A lot of questions I know, but it sounds like mountainman has the answers. Thanks. Let me know.

A goal of 130+ every year in TN is a very high goal, at least IMO. It is possible, but tough. That is what I have been trying to do for several years and there just are not that many opportunities. Much of this depends on the country, crops, and exactly where you are hunting, which of course you already know. Leases and hunting clubs are easier to come by in the west part of middle tn or west tn generally speaking, but plenty within 90 miles of Nashville. You can probably find a spot this year on a lease if you look hard enough. PM me and we will talk more.

From: mountainman
Either of you guys are welcome to PM me with other questions you may have. I'll help out how ever I can.

From: BigBo
Thanks to you both. I should have confirmation next week if this move will take place. If it does, I will reach out. Thanks again.

From: mountainman
No problem.

From: CSS
saw 3 bucks today on the side of the road south of franklin - one really nice 8 (tall, about 18 inches wide, probably ~130 when out of velvet)...

From: hidenorhair
Elite Whitetail Taxidermy

Specializing in Whitetails and other Hooved Animals

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From: Bowriter
I have lived and hunted in the Nashville area since 1972. Here is the straight of it. A 4/5-5.5 year old buck may well have antlers in the 135-150 range. It will depend on where you are hunting even down to what part of the county you are hunting. Parts of Williamson County may easily have bucks with 10-15 more inches than bucks in Cheatham. Yes, we have a very liberal doe limit-3/day for over 100-days. But wildlife are like BB's in a skillet. Tilt the skillet and they all go to one side. Every part of every county has a different population and nutrition. Therefore different dynamics. Understand this: Planting food may help in attracting deer, It probably won't do much in terms of antler size. Here is why. Only three factors influence antler growth. Age-Nutrition-genetics. Possibly, you can increase age...possibly, if you have enough land. And, if you could afford that much land, I doubt you could find it in this area. Yes, possibly you can influence nutrition-slightly. But there is not one thing you can about genetics. You are still going to kill TN deer. There are some big, (antler-wise) bucks in some parts of the state and the regular anomaly crops up each year. But in Middle TN, a 120" buck is a good one. I have been fortunate to hunt all over the US and Canada. I have managed deer on various properties. I can tell you, you can certainly enjoy good deer hunting in TN. But you are not going to see Midwest deer here in numbers. I have hunted every county surrounding Nashville and have killed several deer 3.5 and older. I have two that measure over 130" from this area. Good luck, hope you enjoy TN.

From: Elkslayer615
The bell buckle area is great. I always see some massive bucks when I take my deer to the proccesor there. I myself killed a 170" deer there a couple years ago. Nothing but good things to say about that area.

From: Elkslayer615
The bell buckle area is great. I always see some massive bucks when I take my deer to the proccesor there. I myself killed a 170" deer there a couple years ago. Nothing but good things to say about that area.

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