Hunting on J. Percy Priest Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administers 19,462 acres of land as part of the J. Percy Priest Lake Project. Much of this land is managed for wildlife and is open to public hunting. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) administers the wildlife management program and has cooperative agreements with area farmers who perform management practices to benefit wildlife. The fields are interspersed among undeveloped woodlands and make for excellent hunting.

Many types of recreational activities occur on and around the lake. Practice good hunter ethics and remember, other people may be sensitive to seeing a hunter’s success.

State law prohibits hunting on public lands and waters within 100 yards of a visible residence without the owner’s permission, whether or not the residence is on public or private land.

WMA Unit I

Unit I consists of 1,408 acres near LaVergne that is operated by TWRA.   

Deer and fall turkey is archery only, same as statewide season. Muzzleloader may be used Nov 5-6 and 12-15 only.

Dove is Sep 1 and each Saturday and Sunday thereafter during statewide season.  Shooting from staked positions only.  On Sep 1, staked positions will be assigned by a drawing held on site at 10:00 am and hunters must check out at the conclusion of their hunt.

Quail, rabbit - Young Sportsman -    Mon-Thurs only, shotgun only during statewide season.  Young sportsman must be accompanied by an adult who may not hunt or carry firearms or archery equipment. Each adult must possess a valid hunting license and an area permit.

Turkey same as statewide season, except closed Fri-Sun until Apr 30. 

Other restrictions exist.



Unit II consists of 9,360 non-contiguous acres in Davidson, Wilson, and Rutherford counties. The seasons and limits are the same as set by TWRA.  Big Game and Small Game are the same as statewide seasons, except as noted:  Deer is archery, muzzleloader or shotgun only. Dog training is Sep 1-Apr 30, horseback hunting or training is prohibited.  Waterfowl is same as statewide season. Temporary blinds only.



The following areas are closed to public hunting:

  • Long Hunter State Park
  • YMCA Joe C. Davis Outdoor Center
  • Sharp Springs Recreation Area—Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department
  • Hamilton Creek Metro Park—Metro Department of Parks and Recreation
  • J. Percy Priest Wildlife Management area (Unit I) - see exceptions above
  • Developed portions of Corps of Engineers Recreation Areas (except for those areas periodically posted as being open for waterfowl hunting)

Legal firearms: In addition to State Laws restricting firearm usage, legal firearms that can be used for hunting are: 1) Shotguns with shot or rifled slugs  2) Rimfire pistols and rifles (.22’s) - NO CENTERFIRE 3) Muzzleloading rifles, shotguns and pistols and 4) Archery Equipment

Reminder: It is prohibited to posses a loaded firearm, ammunition, loaded projectile firing devices, bows and arrows, crossbows, or other weapons unless: 1) In the possession of a Federal, State or Local Law Enforcement Officer 2) Being used for hunting or fishing as permitted under State and Federal Law, or 3) Being used at an authorized shooting range.

There is only one authorized shooting range open to the public on J. Percy Priest Lake, and that is the Stones River Hunter Education Center on Hobson Pike.

Portable tree stands and waterfowl blinds are allowed, but must be removed at the end of each day’s hunt. Permanent tree stands and duck blinds are prohibited.


No vehicles of any type may be taken off of authorized roadways.