The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced its 2017-18 winter trout stocking schedule. TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March. These are streams that will not support trout in the heat of the summer, but can provide numerous nearby trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also offer a great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to fishing.
The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit. Anglers are reminded that a trout license is needed in addition to the fishing license.
Please note that the dates and locations are subject to change. The schedule and updates can be found at www.state.tn.us/assets/entities/twra/fish/attachments/wintertrout.pdf.
Do not forget: July 26 is the deadline for quota hunt applications for wildlife management areas and for the elk license drawing. The applications are available at license agencies and online at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website, www.tnwildlife.org.
There are two ways to file your quota application. Do it online at https://quotahunt.gooutdoorstennessee.com/Hunts/CustomerLookup.aspx, or fill out the paper form and take it to a license agency, but do not mail it in.
The federal Duck Stamp in now available for the 2017-2018 hunting seasons. More than a million waterfowlers and conservationists traditionally purchase one or more of the colorful stamps to invest in waterfowl conservation and wetlands that support many other species of wildlife. One third of America’s threatened species make their homes in wetlands. Every year the program raises more than $25 million used to purchase wetlands in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Since its inception in 1934, the Duck Stamp, officially the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, has raised more than $950 million to help acquire and protect more than 5.7 million acres of habitat in the NWR. The artwork for the stamp is chosen by annual competition. This year’s winner, three Canada geese in formation, was painted by Minnesotan James Hautman, his fifth federal duck stamp win.
More than 3,000 junior duck stamps are sold annually for five dollars each to help promote conservation education through art. This year’s junior duck stamp features a pair of trumpeter swans, painted by 12-year-old Isaac Schreiber of Duffield, Virginia.
Hunters age 16 and older of ducks, geese and cranes are required to purchase the federal stamp in addition to their hunting licenses. Still, 10 percent of stamp sales come from stamp collectors and non-hunting conservationists. It can be purchased at many license agencies, most U.S. Post Offices, by phone at 800-STAMP-24, and online. Find all buying options at www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/buy-duck-stamp.php.
Here is a brief timeline for the whitetail fawn. Tennessee’s deer are usually born in April and, within a few hours the youngsters will stand and try walking. Within ten hours the mother will lead its fawns – often two – to a good hiding place and leave them alone for their protection, returning often to nurse them.
After a few days the fawns will begin to follow the mother around a little and will choose their own beds. For the next seven days they will stay bedded for practically every minute. Predators like coyotes are their biggest threat, but they are born odorless and their light brown hair is camouflaged with more than 300 white spots.
At this age fawns are likely to be seen by humans. Of course, do not bother them; they have enough stress in their lives. But if they are in danger from farm machinery or human activity, go ahead and move them to safety; the mother will not reject them because of human scent.
When they are a few weeks old fawns will begin to eat vegetation, and will continue to nurse. As they grow stronger the youngsters will learn to socialize with the herd, frequently romping and playing with their mother and other fawns. But the young whitetails have to grow up quickly; at six months old they have to be strong enough to survive the winter.