Wow! The 2018 black bear harvest for Tennessee smashed the previous record by 164. The 2018 bear season ended on Dec. 31 with a stunning total of 753 bruins (late filings may increase it). It is the 14th consecutive season to top 300 bears. There were 453 boars taken and 300 sows. The gun seasons accounted for 607 kills and archery took 145, 54 by bow and 91 by crossbow.
This year Monroe County had the highest harvest with 132 bruins, followed by Cocke with 123, Blount with 93, Sevier with 67, and Fentress with 50. There are 16 counties in five zones eligible for bear hunting.
The previous record bear harvest was 589 in 2011. The following year the TWRA lengthened the season by 14 days. The next highest kills were 573 in 2009, 533 in 2015, 511 in 2017, 507 in 2013, and 412 in 2016.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will host a public meeting to discuss Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at the Bolivar Middle School gymnasium, located at 915 Pruitt Street, Bolivar, Tenn. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
A short presentation will be made with any updates and planned monitoring activities in the areas. Following the presentation, TWRA staff, along with representatives from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, will answer any questions from the public in regard to CWD.
CWD was recently confirmed in 13 deer in Fayette and Hardeman counties. On Dec. 20 in a special called meeting, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to establish a CWD management zone, which also includes McNairy County as a CWD-positive deer was confirmed within 10 miles of that county’s border.
TWRA Press Release, Dec. 29, 2018:
Hunters, we need your help. In response to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) being confirmed in Tennessee, we have created a CWD Management Zone for Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties. Currently we have 13 deer that have tested positive out of about 2,700 deer that have been tested statewide this year so far.
In order to better understand where this disease is and what we need to do moving forward, we need to sample and test more deer. The only way to get a sample is from a dead deer, that's where you come in. There is a new deer season in these 3 counties that now extends to January 31st, 2019 with an antlered deer bag limit of one (in addition to the two allowed during the regular season) and antlerless deer. We need to test all the deer harvested for CWD at a CWD sampling station open from 7a.m. to 7p.m. on the weekends (legally required) or at a freezer drop-off location or processor during the week. More information is at www.CWDinTennessee.com.
Suggested steps for hunting and handling your venison in the CWD Zone:
1. Go hunting and enjoy a few more weeks of chasing whitetails.
2. Once you harvest a deer, bring it to one of the check stations located throughout the 3 counties if it is Saturday or Sunday (7:00a.m.-7:00p.m.). Outside those check station hours, we ask that you take the head of the deer to one of our freezer locations or take it to a processor for testing.
3. Process your deer as you normally would and store it in your freezer until your test results are available in a couple of weeks. If you butcher your own deer, dispose of the carcass by double bagging it and sending it to the landfill in your county or bury it on-site.
4. Check your results using your check-in confirmation number at www.CWDinTennessee.com. If your deer is negative for CWD, enjoy the extra venison. If your deer is positive, we will reach out to you immediately and directly using the contact information you provided. The CDC recommends that positive meat not be consumed and we will work with you to properly dispose of your meat at that point depending on where you are located.
For decades hunters and outdoor enthusiasts have supported TWRA, now more than ever we need you to help us combat CWD. Please take advantage of this extra opportunity to hunt deer and help TWRA. Get more information at the above website.
The regular rifle deer season ends on Jan. 6 in all big game units. In Unit L doe hunting on private lands is extended from Monday, Jan. 7 through Friday, Jan. 11; the doe limit in Unit L continues to be three per day. For the special Chronic Wasting Disease deer hunt from Jan. 7-31, see the CWD section at www.tnwildlife.org.
The second Young Sportsman Deer Hunt is Jan. 12-13. Hunters ages 6-12 are eligible and must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult (21 years or older). One adult may supervise more than one hunter. The bag limit for bucks is two for all units (one buck per day), but not to exceed the state maximum of two bucks per year. The bag limits for does vary: Units A, B, C, and D are two; and Unit L is three per day.
Many bald eagles winter in Tennessee. The nationwide 2019 Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey is Jan. 1-15; the important focus dates are Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4-5. The purpose of the count is to monitor the status of bald eagle wintering populations in the contiguous United States (lower 48).
The best way for Tennesseans to help is to find and report eagle nests. The Tennessee state ornithologist, and coordinator for the entire survey, is David Hanna. He keeps a data base of nests in Tennessee and tracks the population of breeding pairs. Bald eagle nests have increased from a single occupied nest in 1983 to more than 200 nests in 2016.
Public input is quite helpful in keeping an accurate inventory of identified nests. Sighting information can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 615-781-6653. The information requested includes: Name and address or telephone number of observer, date, time and place of observation (with coordinates), and species observed if any.
In 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of threatened and endangered species. Since 1980 more than 350 young bald eagles have been released in Tennessee.
Waterfowlers, know before you go. Which areas in Tennessee have the most ducks – right now? The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is physically counting the ducks bi-weekly on the state’s wildlife management areas. You can see the latest counts in the waterfowl section at www.tnwildlife.org along with other good information. The direct link to the data is here.
For a broader view or a look later into the future, the Ducks Unlimited Mobile App is a big help. You can track the fall migration of waterfowl from DU’s northern observers so you know ahead of time where to go and when to go. The app has a useful waterfowl identification gallery, plus breaking news, hunting reports, season and bag limit details, special DU events, videos, and hunting tips. Of course the website www.ducks.org has all that and more.
Reminder: During all statewide deer hunts and the entire small game season, wild hogs can be hunted in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and at the Obed Wild and Scenic River. All weapons legal for deer are allowed and there is no bag limit on hogs. A five dollar permit is required and it is available online by clicking here. The visitors centers at Bandy Creek and Obed River also have permits. Small game hunting, and thus hog hunting on the BSFNRRA, ends on Feb. 28.
TWRA CWD press release, Dec. 23, 2018
Hunters Best Practices:
There is no scientific evidence that chronic wasting disease can be naturally transmitted to humans. However, as a general precaution, TWRA and health officials advise that hunters take the following common sense precautions when handling and processing deer or elk in areas known to have CWD:
• Avoid sick animals. Do not shoot, handle, or consume any animal that appears sick; contact your local wildlife agency personnel.
• Have your animal processed in the area in which it was harvested so high-risk parts can be disposed of properly.
• Wear rubber/latex gloves when field dressing carcasses.
• Minimize handling the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of any deer or elk. Normal field dressing coupled with boning out a carcass will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will remove remaining lymph nodes.
• Thoroughly wash hands, knives and other tools used to field dress the animal. Disinfect tools by soaking them in a solution of 50 percent unscented household bleach and 50 percent water for an hour. Allow them to air dry.
• While transporting, store all portions of the animal in a container such as a cooler, bin, or bag that will not leak fluids into the environment.
• In the CWD Zone, have your animal tested and do not consume animals that test positive for CWD.
TWRA press re lease, Dec. 22, 2018:
In response to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) being confirmed in Tennessee, TWRA has created a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone (CMZ) for Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties. Here are the new seasons, laws, rules, and regulations for the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone:
1. Any deer killed in Fayette, Hardman and McNairy counties must remain in the counties, except meat with all the bones removed, antlers with no tissue attached, tanned hides, cleaned teeth, and finished taxidermy products. (You can move a harvested deer within these three counties. You cannot remove a deer from these counties and move it to any other county unless it meets exportation requirements.
2. Supplemental feeding is now banned in Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy Counties. The placement of grain, salt products, minerals, and other consumable natural and manufactured products is prohibited. The ban does not apply to feed placed within 100 feet of any residence, feed placed in a manner not accessible to deer, or feed and minerals as the result of normal agricultural practices. Food plots are still legal in the CWD Zone.
3. Starting December 29, 2018, all hunters killing deer in the CWD Zone on weekends are required to physically check in deer for testing at sampling and check stations within these counties. For CWD sampling stations, click here. [Note: if you harvested a deer outside of the High Risk Area and desire your deer to be tested, you are welcome to bring your deer to any of these locations on weekends.]
4. A new hunting season has been created for Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy Counties starting January 7 through January 31, 2019. The antlered bag limit is one. There is not a limit on antlerless deer. A Type 94 permit is required to hunt antlerless deer during this season except for landowners hunting under the landowner exemption, Sportsman license holders (including Lifetime Sportsman), and hunters who possess a Type 167 permit. Even if you have already limited out with two antlered deer during the regular season, you are allowed to kill another antlered deer during the January 7- January 31 season.
Parker Bows has gone out of business. Following is their announcement on Dec. 20, 2018:
Parker Bows has made the difficult decision to cease operations. We have explored what we believe to be all possible options to continue operations in one form or another but to no avail. It has truly been an honor to have been a part of your hunting seasons for over two decades. And it is hard to put into words what your loyalty and support has meant to us.
Effective December 17, 2018, all Parker and Red Hot branded products sold will be without a warranty regardless of statements on the packaging or in owner’s manuals. We will make every effort to honor existing warranty claims for items received at our Staunton, Virginia headquarters on or before December 31, 2018. Before returning any item for warranty service, please call 540-337-5426 to speak with a customer service representative and obtain a Return Authorization Number. Items received after December 31, 2018 will be refused.
As we wind down our operations, please check our website, social media pages and your local dealer for special offers and announcements. Go to www.parkerbows.com.
At its special meeting on Thursday, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) has made regulatory changes in response to the confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer in Fayette and Hardeman counties. The commission voted to establish a CWD management zone which currently includes Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties.
The commission took action to create deer carcass exportation restrictions and a restriction on feeding wildlife within the high risk area of the CWD management zone, exceptions apply. The high risk area of the CWD management zone includes counties within a 10-mile radius of the location of a confirmed CWD positive deer.
Another regulation change for the CWD management zone is the creation of a new deer hunting season (archery/muzzleloader/gun) for Jan. 7-31, 2019. The bag limit for the season is one antlered deer and unlimited for antlerless deer. All wildlife management areas and other public land on which deer hunting activities are permitted within the three counties will be open during this newly-established season.
On or after Dec. 29, 2018, all hunters harvesting deer (statewide, I presume) on weekends (Saturday-Sunday) are required to check the deer in at a physical check station. The TWRA will publish the locations of these stations on its website www.tnwildlife.org.
The TWRA is continuing its efforts of targeted sampling for CWD outside of the CWD management zone. Emphasis will be placed on those counties surrounding the CWD management zone. Tennessee has become the 26th state to have documented CWD, along with three Canadian provinces.
More information about CWD, including cervid import restrictions, and videos that explain how to properly dress an animal before transporting it, can be found on TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org. https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/cwd.html/.
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will have a special called meeting in Nashville at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 specifically to discuss and consider regulatory changes in response to the recent confirmation of deer infected with chronic wasting disease in Hardeman and Fayette counties. The meeting will be in the main conference room of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency headquarters building located in the Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville.
With the likely discovery of chronic wasting disease in West Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is implementing its CWD Response Plan. Part of the Plan is keeping the citizens informed as this critical situation develops. Get updates by signing up for emails from TWRA at this site: Click here.
The TWRA will answer all questions and messages as soon as possible. Here is the entire response plan if you are interested in knowing what the state of Tennessee is going to do: Click here.
TWRA has several processors and a taxidermist that are testing deer heads for CWD from Hardeman, Fayette and Shelby counties. If you would like your deer tested, then please drop off the head only. A confirmation number must be securely attached to the deer head. TWRA recommends having a piece of paper attached to the ear with a zip tie.
Hunters may drop off heads at the following locations in Hardeman, Fayette and Shelby counties:
•Kimery Processing - 301 Highway 57, Grand Junction
•Custom Deer Processing -10237 Highway 18, Medon
•Jack's Deer Processing- 170 Morrison lane, Whiteville
•Nature's Legacy Taxidermy - 1205 Walnut Grove Rd, Bolivar
•Chambers Deer Processing- 19600 Hwy 57, Moscow
•Stengal Brothers Outdoors- 22675 US-64, Somerville
•Dave's Deer Processing- 1365 Burrow Cemetery Rd, Arlington
•Dino's Italian Sausage Co - 1428 N Willet, Memphis
The application period for the 2019 spring turkey quota hunts has begun and the filing deadline is Jan. 16. There are 13 adult hunts and five youth hunts available. Sign-ups must be done online or at any license agency; they cannot be mailed. The turkey quota hunt instruction sheet is also available at license agencies or online at www.tnwildlife.org, then choose “Buy a License Online”, or click here.
The 2019 spring turkey season will run March 30 – May 12. The Statewide Youth-only Hunt (ages 6-16) will be March 23-24. The bag limit for the regular hunts is one bearded bird per day, not to exceed four per season. Turkeys taken on wildlife management area hunts are bonus birds. Most WMAs are open for turkey hunting, but some have special restrictions; see page 39 of the 2018-2019 hunting guide and the various WMA listings.
TWRA press release, Dec. 15, 2018: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is enacting the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Response plan, following a preliminary positive detection of CWD in white-tailed deer in Hardeman and Fayette counties. The response plan involves a coordinated effort between TWRA, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and other partners.
Seven deer in Fayette County and three in Hardeman County have preliminarily tested positive for CWD. Additional samples are being tested and the TWRA is actively trying to contact the hunters who harvested these deer.
“Once arrangements are made, TWRA will be encouraging hunters harvesting deer in these areas to submit their deer for testing,” said Chuck Yoest, TWRA CWD Coordinator.
“Hunters are our biggest ally in managing chronic wasting disease in Tennessee if it is confirmed here,” said Dr. Dan Grove, Wildlife Veterinarian, University of Tennessee Extension. “Besides submitting deer from the to-be-defined CWD Zone, the most important thing everyone needs to do is follow the regulations for moving harvested deer. (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/cwd.html/#law).
Although CWD has no known risk to the health of humans or livestock, it is a contagious and deadly neurological disorder that affects members of the deer family. It is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and with contaminated feed or water sources. It is the most significant threat to the deer population nationwide, as it is 100 percent fatal to deer and elk. Wildlife agencies across the country are working to inform the public about CWD, its deadly results and possible impacts to economies.
Currently, 25 states (not including Tennessee) and three Canadian provinces have documented CWD. Last week Mississippi announced a preliminary CWD positive hunter-harvested deer in Marshall County which became the closest to Tennessee and the fourth overall this year in Mississippi. Other confirmed cases have previously been made in the border states of Arkansas, Missouri, and Virginia.
More information about CWD, including cervid import restrictions, and videos that explain how to properly dress an animal before transporting it, can be found on TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org. (https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/cwd.html/)
The Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area had its third and final deer hunt of 2018 on Dec. 8-9. A total of 17 deer was taken, nine bucks and eight does. The largest buck field-dressed at 104 pounds; the biggest rack was only eight points; the largest doe weighed 100 pounds. None of the 17 deer was retained due to internal radiological contamination. There was no turkey harvested in this hunt.
Superlatives for the three ORWMA hunts of 2018: Total harvest was 194 deer, 116 bucks and 78 does; largest buck was 175 lbs. (2nd hunt); biggest rack was 12 points (1st hunt); largest doe was 126 lbs. (1st hunt). None of the deer this year was retained.
Two turkeys were harvested, both in the second hunt. The largest weighed 22.0 lbs.; longest beard was 9.8 inches; longest spur was 1.2 inches. None was retained. Historically, the 2018 deer harvest was about half of its normal amount.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking public comments regarding its five-year plan for deer management in Tennessee. The comment deadline is Jan. 6, 2019.
The TWRA has undergone a comprehensive and inclusive process to develop a strategic plan for Tennessee’s Deer Management Program. The planning process, which began more than a year ago, has included key stakeholders: Commissioners, agency partners, hunters, farmers, and the general public.
The plan focuses on building a critical foundation for deer management efforts in Tennessee over the next five years (2019-2013). The plan has five major goals including:
Gathering more information about Tennessee’s deer herd, the harvest, and the desires of Tennessee hunters; developing support programs for landowners and communities for deer-related problems; minimizing the threat of chronic wasting disease; improving communication between the TWRA and the public; and identifying the funding necessary to improve the hunting, management, and overall health of Tennessee’s deer herd.
Following the 30-day public comment period, TWRA will consider all public input and modify the draft plan as appropriate. A final version of the plan will be made public in late February. To read the draft plan and to comment, go to this link: https://www.tn.gov/TWRA/deerplan,
Deer hunters tend to have a special relationship with their knives, and according to a recent survey by National Deer Alliance, nearly everyone has a particular knife that is important to them. About 42% reported having a knife that has many years of use, while 33% have had a knife given to them as a gift, and 19% have had one handed down.
In terms of the most popular types of knives, fixed blade (47%) and folding blade (36%) dominated the competition. Surprisingly, less than 12% of respondents are using the more modern replaceable blade models.
When it comes to losing knives while deer hunting, more than one in three hunters have lost at least one (26%), two – 14%, three or more – 11%. An unbelievable 49% reported having never lost a knife. Now that's impressive! For the complete results, visit the member polls section of the NDA website. https://nationaldeeralliance.com. To participate in future surveys and perhaps win some prizes, click here.
The 2018 winter – or December – solstice occurs on Dec. 21 at 5:23 p.m. EST (22:23 UTC) and winter begins. It is the shortest day – or more correctly, shortest daylight – of the year. At our latitude the Sun rises (7:43 a.m.) in the southeast and sets (5:26 p.m.) in the southwest (Knoxville times).
The Sun “stands still” (solstice) in its apparent movement south, reversing direction. Historically this date was called midwinter; and our beginning of summer, June 21 or so, was called midsummer (as in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”).
Interestingly, the first day of winter is not the date of earliest sunset or latest sunrise. Those dates are approximately Dec. 6 (5:21 p.m.) and Jan. 7 (7:47 a.m.) respectively. That phenomenon is caused by progression, according to astronomers (Look it up – too much to explain here).
The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) needs to be reauthorized, and now is the time to do it. Background: Created by Congress in 1964, the LWCF was a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and our cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. National parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, rivers and lakes, community parks, trails, and ball fields in all 50 states were set aside for Americans to enjoy, thanks to federal funds from the LWCF.
It was a simple idea: use revenues from the depletion of one natural resource - offshore oil and gas - to support the conservation of another precious resource - our land and water. Every year $900 million in royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf are put into this fund.
The money is intended to protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife refuges from development, and to provide matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects. Over the years, LWCF has also grown and evolved to include grants to protect working forests, wildlife habitat, critical drinking water supplies and disappearing battlefields, as well as increased use of easements.
Tennessee’s Senator Lamar Alexander has long been a champion of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and conservation in general. Ask him to take that one step further in the lame duck Senate and prioritize LWCF. It is important that LWCF be permanently reauthorized and fully funded. Contact him at www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email.
Caution: Gift-giving to hunters and anglers is not easy. They tend to have specific preferences for equipment, and they tend to already have all of their basic equipment. It is best to forgo the surprise gift and get a detailed shopping list from either the recipient or a close fishing/hunting buddy.
Practical gifts for hunters and anglers are available from the TWRA. Starting small, there’s a subscription to the TWRA magazine “Tennessee Wildlife” for just $10 per year ($17/two years and $25/three years). Next, there’s a specialty license plate for $35 above the price of state registration; choose from the bluebird, black bear, wild turkey, and smallmouth bass.
Finally, a gift to be cherished for a lifetime: a Resident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing License. These are real bargains. The prices per age group: Under age 3 is $200; ages 3-6 is $659; ages 7-12 is $988; ages 13-50 is $1,976; ages 51-64 is $1,153; ages 65 – over is $329.
All of these items can be purchased at www.tnwildlife.org or at the mobile app gotwra.org. By phone the contact number is 888-814-8972. A card to acknowledge the gift is available.
Seventy-five percent of all boats stolen match the following description: Less than 26 feet long, rests on a trailer, powered by an outboard motor. There’s more bad news: only 10 percent of stolen boats are ever fully recovered. These statistics come from the BoatUS Marine Insurance claims for the past five years. Whether your boat takes the winter season off or keeps on going year round, here are five tips to help you keep your boat.
Lock it up. Two, three – you cannot have too many locks. Secure the trailer tongue, outboard engine, and/or chain and lock the trailer wheels. You want to make the thief lose interest in your baby.
Do not leave the ignition key on a stored boat. Never assume your key's hiding place is so good that thieves won't find it. Thieves are good at what they do.
Make the trailer difficult to move. Do not park the boat with the trailer tongue facing the street; a removable tongue hitch is good; use removable taillights since thieves usually work the night shift; for long-term storage, remove the trailer tires.
Do not attract attention. Use a full winter cover to hide flashy graphics. Store all removable electronics, paperwork and valuables at home during the off-season. You may want to think twice about hanging a "for sale" sign on the side of your boat.
Check out new anti-theft technologies. There are devices that send alerts to your cell phone, take photos/video, provide tracking, or kill the motor if your boat moves from its virtual boundary. For more useful information go to www.BoatUS.com/Boat-Thefts.
Nature above the horizon. When you venture outside to watch the Geminid meteor shower in December, there are two other events to entertain you: Sighting a small but hyperactive comet and sighting the International Space Station (ISS). The Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14, with a good showing the previous and following nights.
The comet Wirtanen is making a close pass to Earth and should be visible with binoculars. Wirtanen will sweep past the Pleiades star cluster and makes its closest approach to the Sun on Dec. 12; it will be closest to Earth on Dec. 16, only seven million miles away. Learn more at https://stardate.org/radio/program/2018-11-28.
The ISS is visible most nights, if you know where to look and what to look for. It appears as a passing plane with a steady, non-blinking light. NASA has a detailed schedule of passings and a section on how to read the schedule at its ISS “Spot the Station” website. For more information go to https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/message_example.cfm.
The Geminid meteor shower is considered to be the best show of the year, even better than August’s Perseid shower. Expect 60 to 120 shooting stars per hour at the peak, more bright ones, and longer prime viewing times. These meteors are often as good in the evening as in the hours between midnight and dawn.
No special equipment is needed to watch a meteor shower, just an unobstructed view of the sky dome far away from light pollution on the ground. Give your eyes at least 15 minutes to adjust to the dark. Of course warm clothes, a lounge chair and a flask of hot beverage will add to the experience. A moonless sky is a blessing, and this year the slender waxing first-quarter moon will set before midnight.
Geminid meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini. The actual source of the space dust is not a comet, but the debris from the asteroid named 3200 Phaethon, which crosses Earth’s orbit as it flips around the sun every 1.43 years.
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will have its final meeting of 2018 on Dec. 6-7 in Nashville at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building in the Ellington Agricultural Center. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Dec. 6. The regular TFWC meeting will begin Dec. 7 at 9 a.m.
This December meeting agenda will include a summary by Deer Program Coordinator James Kelly on the draft of the strategic plan for deer management in Tennessee. Following the meeting, the draft plan will be available online on the TWRA website for a 30-day public comment period.
Representatives from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the NWTF Tennessee Chapter will be present at the meeting. The TWRA and NWTF have had strong partnership through the years in efforts to restore the wild turkey population. The NWTF is involved annually on various projects with the TWRA.
The TWRA is previewing proposed changes to Rule 1660-1-26 Rules and Regulations for Fish Farming, Catch-out Operations, and Bait Dealers. In an effort to prevent invasive species from being transferred into or propagated in Tennessee, the TWRA will propose a list of species that will be authorized for use in these operations.