Ask the Game Warden

Losing Your Shirt (or your gun)

During the spring many turkey hunters are hitting the woods. As you can tell by the boat ramps lately, local anglers are taking their turns at wetting a line in search of that heavy stringer of fish. No matter what outdoor activities are taking place, this time of year is a reminder to wildlife officers statewide of the violations they have encountered in the past year. It is this time of year when TWRA holds its annual contraband equipment sales at the courthouse in the county in which they were declared contraband by the local presiding judges.

Although these sales are popular with the public, it is a grim reminder to wildlife violators of the consequences of breaking wildlife laws. All of the items offered at these sales were used in violation of hunting, fishing, or trapping laws and can be a really good place to get a great deal on all manner of sporting equipment. Items offered for sale vary by county and these contraband items are offered for purchase through an auction type format. The individual sales are posted by region on TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.

The ability of TWRA officers to seize any equipment used in wildlife, trapping, or fishing violations is a deterrent to most sportsmen. I believe only a small portion of individuals intend to violate the law, however some still do intentionally violate. If you think that breaking a hunting law is fun or won’t really hurt anyone, please remember that most of these laws have safety or wildlife management in mind. These violations, if convicted, can carry heavy fines, loss of hunting/fishing privileges, jail time, a criminal record, and loss of hunting/fishing equipment. This should be all the deterrent you need to know and follow wildlife laws as well as reporting known violations to TWRA officers.

Here are a few of the questions I get while afield about losing your hunting equipment and our contraband equipment sales. Hunt and boat safe in Tennessee!

Q. Tell me about your local gun sale here in Hamilton County?

Matt Majors, Hamilton County Wildlife Officer - Well, to be honest, it is much more than a gun sale! We have quite a bit of things for sale…and it varies from year to year. This year our sale will be held at the Hamilton County courthouse on April 21st, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. A complete listing of items for sale can be found on our website. We will have a few guns, bows, scopes, fishing rods, and tree stands for sale.

Q. If I have had something declared contraband by a judge, can I buy it back?

Matt Majors, Hamilton County Wildlife Officer - Absolutely, you will have to be the highest bidder though. No priority will be given to the previous owner. The person willing to pay the most for the item will take it home!

Q. How often do you have these sales?

Matt Majors, Hamilton County Wildlife Officer - Usually once a year…in the spring but the dates are not “set in stone.”

Q. What do you start the bidding at on these items?

Matt Majors, Hamilton County Wildlife Officer - Bidding starts at half the fair market value. Guns and bows are appraised by a gun or bow dealer for value and the bidding will start at half that price. If nobody bids, it will be held until the next year’s sale.

*Remember - Hamilton County courthouse on April 21st, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
**For more information visit our website at http://www.state.tn.us/twra/reg3sale.html


Gear Closet Extends Hours; Supports Clean Water Initiatives, Locally And Globally

The Gear Closet, in North Chattanooga, is extending its hours. It will be open six days a week, from Tuesday through Sunday from 12-6 p.m. each day. Earth Day gear drive can encourage the public to do some spring cleaning and donate or consign your old gear and clothing. There will also be a drop off available at Recycle Signal on Signal Mountain as part of the Recycle Challenge ... (click for more)

Kentucky Lake Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament Scheduled For May 17

Registration is underway for the Fifth Annual Wounded Soldier Open Bass Tournament to be held at Paris Landing on Kentucky Lake, Saturday, May 17. The tournament format will be a three-fish limit with a guaranteed first prize of $2,000. The cost of the tournament is $110 per boat (two anglers maximum). Entrants who register by the end of the day on May 1 will receive a free ... (click for more)

Man Shot On Cannon Avenue Early Saturday Morning

A man was shot early Saturday morning on Cannon Avenue. At approximately 5:30 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Cannon Ave. for shots fired.  Shortly after receiving the call, officers learned that a victim arrived at a local hospital.  The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right leg and is undergoing treatment. The injury is not considered to be life-threatening.  ... (click for more)

Child Playing With Cigarette Lighter Starts $25,000 Mobile Home Fire

A child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home fire on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 6561 Cassie Lane. It took four fire companies about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The fire was contained to one bedroom. No injuries were reported. Damage to the home is around $25,000. (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW-UAW Fiasco Begins

One pundit who is awaiting the opening volleys of “The Volkswagen Hearings” is calling today’s start of the labor union fiasco at the Hamilton County Courthouse as fascism at its finest. That’s what you call it, he wrote in a fiery way, when the union, the employer and the president of the United States all line up on the same side. “And this push to eviscerate the legal rights ... (click for more)