The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission will establish the state’s 2013-14 hunting seasons at its May 30-31 (Thursday-Friday) meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Ray Bell Region II Building.
TWRA officials previewed their recommendations for the 2013-14 hunting and trapping seasons at the commission’s April meeting that was held in Paris. Review of the recommendations and information on public comment received since the preview was made will be provided during Thursday’s committee meeting.
Among the recommendations by agency staff at the April meeting involved white-tailed deer hunting. Crockett County in West Tennessee is proposed to be moved to Unit L. Numerous counties in units A and B were recommended for increases in antlerless opportunities.
Surveys continue to indicate the black bear population is stable and the state is coming off a year of another successful harvest. 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 is proposed to open on Friday, Nov. 29 rather than Thursday.
During fall turkey season, several counties in southern Middle Tennessee would 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) would include cave closures (to assist in the control of white nose syndrome) on all areas unless authorized by TWRA. All WMAs open to statewide seasons would 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.
Among other business at the May meeting, the TWRA Boating and Law Enforcement Division will recognize its 2012 Boating Officer of the Year and Part-Time Boating Officer of the Year.
Committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The formal meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Friday. The public is invited to attend.