TFWC January Meeting summary: The recommendations for waterfowl and migratory bird hunting for 2017-2018 have been delivered to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sets the framework for the states’ waterfowl hunting seasons based on the previous springtime surveys of breeding ducks and their habitat. The TWRA uses that federal framework to set Tennessee’s seasons.
Two significant changes were proposed, both with USFWS approval. First, the TWRA is recommending an operational statewide sandhill crane hunting season. For the past four years the experimental sandhill crane hunting season has been held in a limited area in southeast Tennessee.
Second, the agency is proposing a two-week shift in the American Woodcock season; this would better match the woodcock migration through Tennessee. Currently this season starts on the last Saturday in October and the shift would have it beginning on the second Saturday of November. The other migratory bird seasons, dove, ducks and geese, would be unchanged except for calendar shifts.
The TFWC wants the TWRA to review its big game check-in system, specifically to estimate the cost of two new programs: Implementing a tagging system for big game, and surveying hunters to estimate the big game harvest. The TFWC will set the above hunting regulations at its next meeting on Feb. 17 in Nashville.