Changes Proposed For 2014-15 State's Bear Hunting Seasons

Friday, May 02, 2014

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has recommended changes to the 2014-15 black bear hunting seasons in an effort to better manage the state’s resources. The recommendations came at the April meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission.

TWRA is proposing the creation of new management units for black bears. The three primary bear units will have different management objectives: population stabilization, population growth, and non-existent populations.

“We felt it was a good time to begin creating larger management areas where we have different management objectives,” said Daryl Ratajczak, TWRA Chief of Wildlife and Forestry. “For example in our traditional bear counties, we have a very high number of bears and we are looking to stabilize their population. In those areas, we can offer very liberal hunting opportunities.

“In the portions of the state where bears are just gaining a foot-hold, we can provide restrictive seasons while still allowing for continued growth of the bear population. Therefore, we have recommended limited archery opportunities in those areas”

The state is further divided into five new Bear Hunting Zones (BHZs) defined below. Although hunting dates have not changed considerably in the traditional bear counties, 15 new counties will be opened to a limited hunting season. The new bear season structure is recommended as follows:

BHZ1: Carter, Cocke (North of I-40), Greene, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, & Washington.

BHZ2: Blount, Cocke (South of I-40), Jefferson (East of Hwy 411), Sevier.

BHZ3: McMinn (East of Hwy 411), Monroe, Polk (East of Hwy 411 & North of Hwy 64).

BHZ4: Cumberland (North of I-40), Fentress, Morgan, Pickett (East of Hwy 111), & Scott (West of Hwy 27).

Transitional: Bradley, Hamblen, Hamilton (East of TN River), Hancock, Hawkins, Grainger, Jefferson (west of Hwy 411), Knox, Loudon, McMinn (West of Hwy 411), & Polk (West of Hwy 411).

Bear Hunt Zone (BHZ)

                                     BHZ 1         BHZ 2        BHZ3         BHZ4**   Transitional    

Gun/Muzzleloader/Archery    Oct. 6-10      Sept. 29-    Oct. 4-        Closed         Closed

(Dogs Allowed)                      Nov. 3-7      Oct. 5         12

                                                 Dec. 1-20   Nov. 3-7     Nov. 3-7

                                                                     Dec. 1-25  Dec. 1-14

                                                                                       Dec. 30-Jan. 2

Archery Only

   (No Dogs)                            Sept. 27-      Sept. 27-     Sept. 27-      Sept. 27-     Sept. 27-

                                                 Oct. 24        Oct. 24        Oct. 24        Oct. 24        Oct. 24


Gun/Muzzleloader/Archery    Nov. 22-25 Nov. 22-25 Nov. 22-25    Closed        Closed

 (No Dogs)


Young Sportsman*                 Oct. 25-26    Oct. 25-26   Oct. 25-26    Closed       Closed

G/M/A (No Dogs)

*Youth 6-16 years of age may participate. Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting, adult, 21 years of age or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device and who must also comply with fluorescent orange regulations, as specified for legal hunters. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult.

** The following areas within BHZ4 are closed to bear hunting: Big South Fork River and Recreation Area, Scott State Forest, and Obed National Scenic River Corridor.

The TFWC will set the 2014-15 hunting seasons at its next meeting, May 22-23, in Nashville at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Committee meetings will be held on May 22 beginning at 1 p.m. The formal meeting starts at 9 a.m. on May 23.

Tellico Wild: A Weekend Of Wilderness In The Cherokee National Forest

Tennessee Wild is hosting a weekend of free outdoor activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act of 1964, and to support protecting special forest places while promoting the Tellico Region and Cherokee National Forest as the ideal destination for outdoor recreation in the southeast.   Come learn more about a key effort to protect special places in ... (click for more)

Lee Hosts National Fishing Tournament Aug. 5-9

Lee University’s Campus Recreation and the Lee University Anglers Fishing Club, in partnership with Southern Brothers Anglers, Bendabout Farms and Pryor Lake, will host the 106th American Casting Association North America National Championship Tournament Aug. 5-9 in Cleveland. “We are honored to host this prestigious and historical event for the first time in the Southeast,” ... (click for more)

House Approves Expansion Of Chattanooga Veterans Affairs Clinic

The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to authorize funding for a new lease and expanded Veterans Affairs clinic in Chattanooga. This veterans’ package has been approved by the House and Senate Conference Committee.  Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said, “I am proud to announce the legislation passed this afternoon will fund a new lease for a multi-specialty ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Council To Hold Special Meeting On Naming New City Judge

The Cleveland City Council will hold a special called meeting next Monday to consider an interim appointment of a city judge. It will be at 11:45 a.m. at the City Council’s regular meeting place in the Cleveland Municipal Building, 190 Church Street, NE. The council will also establish the process for application for city judge. Longtime City Judge Bill Moss died July ... (click for more)

Curtis Adams: Beck, Mackey Should Be Considered For County Commission Leadership

Just think about this;  a person highly qualified applying for a job.  As he is just about finished filling out his papers for his interview, he sees at the bottom there is a place for him to check Democrat or Republican.  He would think, “if I mark the wrong one I may not get the job.” Being a real leader requires honesty, integrity, and, most importantly, fairness. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mark’s 50th Anniversary Toast

In the new book that celebrates the first 50 years of baseball’s Southern League, its splendid author Mark McCarter recalls that very early in his career as a sports writer, he was riding with his boss somewhere and mentioned that if the legendary Allan Morris ever needed help covering the Chattanooga Lookouts that he’d love to help. Today, as he looks back, he ruefully adds, “I ... (click for more)