Hunting Regulations

As a unit of the National Park Service, there are additional laws and regulations listed below which apply to hunting in Big South Fork. Apart from these regulations, the hunting regulations within the Big South Fork are the same as the respective state in which you are hunting. For those hunting in Tennessee, the Tennessee regulations would apply and for those hunting in Kentucky, the Kentucky regulations. Download a PDF file of Hunting Regulations for Big South Fork here (170 kb).

No Hunting/Safety Zones:
Hunting is permitted anywhere within the Big South Fork except for those areas designated as safety zones. These safety zones generally are located around areas of concentrated visitor use such as campgrounds and river access points. Download a PDF map of the Big South Fork Safety Zones. (1,600 kb)

The placement of salt, minerals, or food items or other bait to attract wildlife to a specific area is prohibited (36 C.F.R. 2.2(b)(4)). This does not prohibit the use of cover scents or attractant scents.

Hunter Orange:
All hunters and those accompanying hunters during any big game firearm season (except turkey) shall wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on their head and upper body during day light hours (36 C.F.R. 1.5(2)).

Shooting from a horse or other animal is prohibited within the park. This does not prohibit the use of a horse to gain access to the area in which you wish to hunt as long as it is an area that is open to horse use. Hunters must dismount from the horse prior to shooting.
Wild Turkeys are one of the big game animals located in Big South Fork.
Wild Turkey's is one of several big game species found in Big South Fork.

National Park Service

Firearms and Handgun Carry Permits:
Persons with a Tennessee handgun carry permit pursuant to TCA 39-17-1351 or a Kentucky concealed carry deadly weapon permit under KRS 237.110 may possess a handgun the entire year while on the premises of any public hunting area. Nothing in the law authorizes a person to use any handgun to hunt unless such person is in full compliance with all wildlife laws, rules and regulations. No one, even permit holders, is allowed to bring guns into any Federal Building. In Tennessee, if you do NOT have a permit, firearms loaded with ammunition in either the chamber or magazine may not be transported in or on motorized vehicles. Exception: muzzleloaders may be transported in a loaded condition if the percussion cap or primer is removed from the nipple or tube. Flintlock muzzleloaders must have the priming powder removed from the pan, the frizzen open and the vent plugged. Crossbows must be de-cocked to be considered unloaded. In Kentucky, firearms (rifles, shotguns and handguns) may be carried loaded and in plain view; loaded handguns may be carried in the glove compartment (center console is not allowed). If any type of gun is loaded and not in plain view it is considered a concealed weapon.

Dogs may not be used to hunt any big game animal within the Big South Fork. Dogs may be used to hunt small game, game birds, and those furbearers authorized by State Law. The practice known as trolling or tramming of raccoon and squirrel dogs and related activities are prohibited along the Leatherwood Ford Road, the Bandy Creek East and West Access Roads, the Blue Heron Road, East Rim Overlook Road, Yahoo Falls and Alum Ford Roads within the boundaries of the Big South Fork (36 C.F.R. 2.15(b)).

Food Storage:
Food storage regulations are strictly enforced throughout the park. Campers must have all food storage containers and/or coolers placed inside a vehicle when not attended. If backpacking, campers should hang backpacks and food packs from trees using the proper technique (contact visitor centers for more information). Do not leave any food or food scraps behind, please leave a clean camp.

Vehicles and ATV's must stay on designated roads and routes. ATV's are not allowed in the gorge area of the park. You may also download map of the authorized Hunting Access Routes (pdf 929kb) on which ATV's may be driven while actively hunting deer and boar.

This is a National Park Service area, therefore, cultural resources are protected from looting and digging. These types of offenses constitute a criminal offense and will be prosecuted.

Tree stands:
Permanent tree stands and "screw-in" tree stand steps are prohibited.

Last updated: May 14, 2021

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