If you’re looking for things to do in Chattanooga, and are interested in a different type of outdoor adrenaline, the area’s natural landscape is ideal for hunting, trapping, and sport shooting. With abundant forests and diverse wildlife, there is a wide range of options to choose from. Or if you are interested in fishing, Chattanooga has great waterways for you to enjoy as well. Tennessee’s hunting season varies depending on the species but generally takes place September through March, giving you another reason to enjoy fall in Chattanooga.

Before You Head Out

As with fishing, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency requires you to have a proper and valid Tennessee hunting license or permit to participate in hunting or trapping for both locals and visitors alike. There are a variety of permits depending on the type of animal, validity period, and age. In some instances, there are also combination fishing-hunting licenses. Be sure to have all your paperwork in order and follow all regulations regarding permitted hunting periods for animals with restricted seasons, quantity limits on animals, and the use of hunting dogs. If you’re new to the sport or looking to improve your knowledge consider taking a hunting education course.

A Woodman’s Paradise

When hunting in Chattanooga, you’ll quickly find that the natural environment allows for an extensive array of animals for you to choose from. This includes big game such as deer, elk, turkey, and bear, waterfowl, migratory birds, small game such as bobcat, coyote, muskrat, raccoon, squirrel, and more! For more recommendations check out the extensive Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide.

Picking The Perfect Spot

Chattanooga has an array of hunting spots to choose from, with many also featuring other outdoor activities, Starr Mountain is a great spot for horseback riding, hiking, as well as hunting deer, boar, turkey, and bears. For turkey hunting enthusiasts, Prentice Cooper has specific dates where the area is only open for hunters. Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge is a good spot for small and big game hunters as well as those interested in waterfowl. Both Crockford-Pigeon Mountain and Cherokee National Forest are great spots for hunters but also have a wide variety of other outdoor activities that you can take advantage of such as hiking, paddling, camping, horseback riding, climbing, and more!

Hunters For The Hungry

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry is a special program designed to match local citizens in need with hunters and processors by providing them with donated animal protein for consumption. Since the program’s start in 1998, they have donated over 7.6 million meals to locals in need. If you are looking to give back, you can make a difference by not only donating an animal but contributing to the animal processing cost which keeps the program up and running. The Federation also works on land and animal conservation efforts in multiple areas in order to keep the natural environment clean and abundant so that everyone can continue to enjoy it.

Shooting Alternatives

If you’re looking to shoot non-living targets, there are various ranges for practicing and skeet shooting, as well as archery. While we typically think of archery as an outdoor sport, as the temperatures drop, or when the weather doesn’t cooperate, that doesn’t mean you have to pack up your quiver and call it a day. For something new try indoor archery which features indoor targets and in some instances simulators. If you’re looking to improve your aim and practice, skeet shooting is a great alternative. Alternately, visit a shooting range to try out different types of firearms and consider getting additional certifications.

A Complete Weekend Of Outdoor Fun

A day or whitewater river rafting makes for a great activity for adventure seekers and woodsmen alike. Gain a new perspective on the area as you travel downstream rather than through the woods. Armed with your paddle and raftmates you’re guaranteed to have a great time on either our half-day or full-day rafting trips. No matter your interest, get outside and have a blast, but please remember to always obey the law and follow hunting and trapping regulations!