Hunting on Cheatham Lake

Excluding developed recreation areas, marinas, and designated safety zones, hunting is allowed on public property at Cheatham Lake, subject to state game laws and regulations. Except for a few small parks in Davidson County, the public lands on Cheatham Lake are located in Cheatham and Dickson Counties.

The best opportunities for public hunting can be found in Cheatham Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has a license with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the active management of habitat on 2,796.31 acres of public lands and waters at Cheatham Lake. This includes most of the larger tracts of public land around the lake. TWRA also exercises hunting control rights on 2,502.5 additional acres of lands and waters.

The bottomlands of the Cheatham Lake WMA contain a mosaic of cultivated fields, woodlands, hardwood wetlands, marshes, and constructed waterfowl ponds. TWRA uses sharecrop agreements with local farmers to plant crops beneficial to waterfowl. Agency personnel also control water levels during the winter months to make these crops available to waterfowl. Competition is intense for the designated duck blinds in the WMA, and a drawing is held the first Saturday in August each year to allocate them to hunters.

While management activities in the WMA are focused on waterfowl habitat, public hunting opportunities are also good for deer, turkey, dove, and other species. Please remember that you must always have the permission of the owner to cross private property to get to public property. Also, state regulations prohibit hunting within 100 yards of any dwelling.

Special permits are required for hunting within the WMA, and special regulations apply. For specific information contact the Area Manager at (615) 792-4510.


Cheatham Lake WMA - TWRA

SG - Small game WMA permit or combination waterfowl and small game WMA permit.  Small game permit also required for trapping.

WG - Combination waterfowl and small game WMA permit.

BG - Big Game quota trip permit or non-quota WMA annual permit.

Deer, opossum, quail, rabbit, raccoon, snipe, squirrel, trapping, turkey, waterfowl, woodcock - Same as the statewide seasons on Sycamore Creek upstream from railroad trestle, Harpeth River upstream from Hwy. 49, and on Johnson Creek upstream from Johnson Creek Bridge. Hunting on remainder or Cheatham WMA same as statewide seasons except during the late duck season when hunting is open only on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and the first and last day of each segment of the late statewide duck season. Waterfowl hunting is permitted only from registered blind sites and from staked temporary blind sites during the late duck season. Hunting on Harpeth Island, Marks Creek, and Bluff Creek wade-in areas is not restricted to registered or staked temporary sites. Night hunting, trapping, and fishing are prohibited in waterfowl impoundments during the waterfowl season. The subimpoundents are closed, as posted, to all types of activities six (6) days prior to the opening of the first segment of the late duck season. Beaver may be taken during any hunt.

Spring squirrel seasons - Same as statewide, dogs prohibited.

Dove - Same as statewide season except opens at noon each day during the first segment of the dove season.  Dove hunting allowed only from designated fields.

Dog training - Sept. 1 - Mar. 15 except closed during the duck seasons.

Waterfowl - Wheelchair only blind site - Same as statewide seasons. Applications must be received by the TWRA Region II office by noon on the fourth Friday in October. Persons holding a permit for another blind are not eligible to compete in the wheelchair blind drawing. If blind is not occupied by shooting time, another hunter in a wheelchair and one to three assistants (age 16 and older) may occupy the blind for that day. 

Pardue Pond Refuge & Dyson Ditch Refuge Units

Public use, including all forms of trespass, is prohibited from Oct. 15-Feb14 except as otherwise indicated.

Deer - archery - Sept. 22 - Oct. 13. Bag limit same as statewide.

Dog training - Sept. 1 - Mar. 15 except closed Oct. 15 – Feb. 14.

TWRA operates Cheatham WMA on state property located south of the lake in Cheatham County. For more information about hunting in this area, contact Mr. Randy Cromer, Area Manager, (615) 792-4510.

Hunting Licenses

Hunting licenses are required by the State of Tennessee. Special permits are required for hunting certain game such as deer and waterfowl. Specific requests for information regarding hunting regulations should be directed to:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)

P.O. Box 40747

Nashville, TN 37204

or visit the TWRA Hunting Information web site. Licenses may be purchased at the County Clerk’s Office and many commercial establishments in Tennessee.  You can also visit the TWRA Online License Center to order one on the web or by phone.