March 1: Welcome to New Year’s Day for the Tennessee sportsmen. All of the 2016-2017 hunting seasons have closed, and fishing now requires the 2017-2018 license. Purchase them on the Internet at www.tnwildlife.org; with the Mobile app www.gotwra.org; and in person at all license agencies, which include sporting goods stores, county court clerks and regional TWRA offices.
For hunters that want something to do, there is always year round varmint hunting. Groundhogs are coming out of hibernation and provide a suitable challenge to sharpshooters. Wild hogs are in need of eradication all over the Southeast and they are legal to take year round on private property, day or night, under certain conditions. See page 31 of the 2016-2017 hunting regulations booklet for more, or go to the above Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website.
And then there is the wily coyote. For the average hunter the burgeoning menace of this voracious predator should be personal. Anyone who likes to hunt the following species should also try to control coyotes: Deer, turkey, grouse, quail, woodcock, ducks, and pheasant. Add to the list cattle and sheep stockmen, farmers and suburban pet owners. The overpopulation of coyotes is a serious threat to all of these. And March is a good month to put the pressure on, just before the time for calving, fawning and hatching. Good shooting.