2013-14 Hunting Seasons Recommendations Previewed At April TFWC Meeting

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency made its 2013-14 hunting seasons recommendations at the April meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission with few changes to the current regulations.

The April meeting was held at the Paris Convention Center in Henry County. The commission will vote on the 2013-14 seasons at its May 30-31 meeting in Nashville.

TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division Chief Daryl Ratajczak and members of the division’s staff made presentations to TFWC members.

In regard to white-tailed deer hunting, Crockett County in West Tennessee was moved to Unit L. Numerous counties in units A and B were recommended for increases in antlerless opportunities.

The Agency is recommending that hunters be able to take a red deer throughout the year, provided they receive a free permit from the TWRA Region IV office in Morristown.

There were no recommended changes to the Tennessee elk hunting season. Sportsmen are reminded that the application period for the 2013 elk hunt will coincide with the normal quota hunt application period this year.

The state is coming off another successful harvest for black bears. Surveys continue to indicate the black bear population is stable. Last year, the commission approved TWRA’s proposal to increase the number of bear hunting opportunities.

For 2013-14 in regard to the bear hunting seasons, there were minimal changes proposed. To avoid a conflict with the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, the main bear gun season will open on Friday, Nov. 29 rather than Thursday.

During fall turkey season, several counties in southern Middle Tennessee will have their bag limits reduced. The bag limits in Giles, Wayne, and Lawrence will be one while Lincoln County will be three. The fall turkey counties included three expansions to include Meigs, Rhea, and Roane counties to have bag limits of one. Bag limits in Carroll and Weakley counties were increased from one to three.

The statewide changes to Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) include cave closures on all areas unless authorized by TWRA. All WMAs open to statewide seasons will have a Jan. 15 closure for quail hunting.

In regard to manner and means, the boating and law enforcement division proposed that the air rifles regulation wording be changed to air guns, with a maximum caliber of .25.

There were recommended changes to the big game tagging procedures in preparation for the 2013-14 seasons. Details of the new procedures will be provided to the public prior to the seasons. 

To view the TWRA proposed recommendations made at the April TFWC meeting, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.

In other items of business, the commission approved two new WMAs that were previously unproclaimed state lands. Parker Branch WMA in Gibson County and Harp WMA in Bledsoe County have been added to TWRA’s list of WMAs.

The commission voted to lower the yearly membership at the Bartlett indoor shooting range from $420 to $250. The Bartlett range is located in Shelby County.

A no wake zone was approved for the entire TWRA 560-acre Gibson County Lake.

The May 30-31 TFWC meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Friday’s meeting will start at 9 a.m.

The TWRA is soliciting comments for its 2013-14 hunting seasons’ regulations proposals. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about hunting regulations with TWRA staff.

Public comments will be considered by TWRA’s Wildlife Division staff and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes.  Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2013-14 Hunting Season Comments, TWRA, Wildlife Management Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to twra.comment@tn.gov.  Please include “Hunting Season Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions. 

The comment period concerning the 2013-14 proposed hunting seasons regulations will be open until May 27.

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