2012-13 Hunting Seasons Preview Presented At April TWRC Meeting

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency made its 2012-13 hunting seasons recommendations at the April meeting of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission with a few changes to the current regulations.

TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division Chief Daryl Ratajczak and members of his staff made presentations to TWRC members.

In regard to white-tailed deer hunting, the TWRA is proposing to increase the antlerless archery season bag limit in Unit B to four deer per season. Also, allow Unit B counties the entire 14-day muzzleloader season to harvest a bag limit of one antlerless deer. Non-quota antlerless gun hunts were added in Campbell, Jackson, Morgan, and Scott counties.

A limited season for red deer was initiated in Claiborne County last year and the TWRA is recommending the season run concurrent with the white-tailed deer season in 2012-13. The area is south of the Powell River in Claiborne County.

The state is coming off a record harvest for black bears. Surveys indicate the population is thriving, allowing the agency to increase the number of bear hunting opportunities. Bear hunting days, with dogs permitted, will increase on three separate hunts with the increase varying 10 to 12 days, depending on the particular county. Also, there will be an increase of the bear dog training season by 4 to 14 days, also depending on the county.

During fall turkey season, archers will be given an opportunity to harvest the full county bag limit in the counties that are open. The fall turkey counties will be expanded to include Cumberland, Grundy, Hamilton, Madison, Putnam, Sequatchie, and Van Buren counties as well as increase bag limits in many East Tennessee counties. Fall turkey bag limits would be reduced in three southern Middle Tennessee counties which are Giles, Lawrence and Wayne.

The TWRA is proposing season date adjustments on numerous Wild Management Areas (WMAs). The complete list of changes is available on the TWRA website (www.tnwildlife.org).

A wild hog control season (with dogs) would be added on Catoosa and Skinner Mountain. Upon request by the United States Forest Service (USFS), Tellico and Ocoee bear reserves would be closed to raccoon hunting season.

The agency is clarifying regulations regarding weapon restrictions specifically as it pertains to small game and coyote hunting (Complete details will be available on the TWRA website).

For falconry, an additional month would be allowed for falconers to acquire birds.

In addition, the TWRC requested that the agency consider extending the end of deer gun season to the first full weekend of January. Commission members also requested the agency consider extending the quail season until the last day of February.

In other business at the meeting, the Boating Officer, and the Part-time Boating Officer of the Year awards were presented. Pam McDonald of TWRA District 22 in southern Middle Tennessee is the Boating Officer of the Year and Allen Herald of District 21 wins the Part-Time Officer of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Don Crawford, Information and Education Division assistant chief, gave a presentation on the recently-held National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament. The event drew a record number of participants and eight teams and more than 50 individuals earned the right to advance to next month’s national tournament in Louisville, Ky.

The TWRC will hold its next meeting May 17-18 in Nashville at the TWRA Region II Ray Bell Building in Nashville.



Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Brown's Ferry Kayak Tour Aug. 2 The National Park Service will join Outdoor Chattanooga for a special historical tour of Brown's Ferry by kayak on Sat., Aug. 2, beginning at 9 a.m.  Paddle the TN River around Williams Island and the entrance to the TN River Gorge while an interpretive ranger from  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park ... (click for more)

Three Popular Waterfowl Hunting Areas Have New Regulations

Hunting regulations have been changed on Gooch Unit E, Meeman-Shelby State Park, and White Oak (Lebanon Pond area) Wildlife Management Areas.  The duck hunting on these areas, prior to the change, was on a first come first serve basis. There were not any established hunting sites and hunters could set up anywhere they wanted. This has created an overcrowded issue which ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)