Editor's Note: All Tennessee hunting regulations are established by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission... the governing body over the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. However, Hamilton County Judge Bob Moon, and avid hunter, says he has heard many questions and concerns surrounding new seasons and procedures established for Tennessee's Fall Turkey Hunts.
There has been much confusion about the 2010 Fall Turkey Hunt regulations since this year the TWRA has eliminated quota or “draw” hunts in most Tennessee counties. TWRA Statewide Turkey Biologist Gray Anderson admits, "It is confusing."
Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon says he has been asked by several turkey hunting enthusiasts and clubs to clarify the laws as to the dates, means and numbers of turkeys that can be harvested this season.
A table of counties, including the dates and number of turkeys that can be lawfully harvested is contained in the 2010 Tennessee Hunting and Fishing Regulations published by the TWRA and provided free to the public. There is no longer the requirement for a hunter to apply and be drawn for these specific fall turkey hunts.
Judge Moon said, “Marion County is my specific area for fall turkey hunting. Under the new rules, one turkey, either sex can be harvested during the “Archery-only" season in Marion County (Sept. 25 - Oct. 29). This is a bonus bird that must be checked out like any other big game species.
"During the Fall Turkey Season in Marion County, hunters can use shotguns or archery equipment. One turkey of either sex may also be harvested from December 6-10 and another from December 11-17, but only one turkey can be harvested in each of the two time slots."
Anderson said, "You can go hunting Oct. 4 in Marion County and kill a turkey with your bow."
You are done shooting turkeys (legally) for that season. That is a statewide limit so you cannot go to another county and harvest another turkey during the archery-only deer season.
He says you can however, go back on Dec. 8, with a bow, specifically turkey hunting and kill another turkey. And then he says you can go again Dec. 12 and take yet another turkey (with a bow).
However you can also use a shotgun during those two Dec. hunting periods.
Shotgun (shot size shot no larger than No. 2) or archery equipment are allowed with permitted during these dates only. Therefore, a total of three turkeys can be harvested in Marion County including the bonus bird which can be harvested with archery equipment only during the archery season only.
However, in other more populated counties as many as six turkeys can be harvested. Each specific county where a hunter intends to hunt turkeys should first be determined and the regulations consulted as some counties have different dates and quota numbers.
Judge Moon serves on the Advisory Staff for Precision Shooting Equipment company located in Tucson, Arizona. He harvested two gobblers last year with bow and arrow. He shoots a PSE X Force compound bow and a Parker Tornado crossbow.
Judge Moon said, “The two blade 100 grain Rage broadhead is excellent for both species with bows capable of producing sufficient kinetic energy to implement them. As a general rule, expandable broadheads require more energy for penetration than fixed blades. I have also found that New Archery Product’s three blade spitfire expandable broadheads fly very consistently with field points and avoid the rubber o rings. The spitfire does not open prematurely and is extremely accurate. It has a 1 ½” cutting area with a chisel point and a blade thickness of .035. Obviously, shot placement and accuracy are two of the most important issues in bowhunting.”
Judge Moon added, “If young people spent more time in the woods and on the water and away from malls, video games and televisions, our juvenile delinquency and crime numbers would drop. Very few drug addicts and dangerous criminals are outdoorsmen.”