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 has resulted in numerous safety issues and has ultimately diminished the quality of the hunt.
These areas have been added to the computerized drawing system used by other wildlife management areas with temporary hunting sites. Hunters may apply as individuals or in parties of up to five hunters. Successful Individual applicants may bring up to 4 other hunters with them when they hunt. Hunters will apply at places that sell hunting licenses or on the TWRA website, from Sept. 3-24.
The applicants pick the Wildlife Management Area and the dates and sites that they wish to hunt. They may apply for up to 24 hunt dates, but can only be drawn for a maximum of five of their choices.
The computerized draw will randomly choose an individual or party. The chosen individual/party will be assigned a specific hunt period at a specific site from the choices made on the application. Individuals/parties may be chosen for multiple hunt periods depending on the number of sites, the number of hunting periods and the number of applicants on each Wildlife Management Area.
Individuals/parties will be notified of the site and dates within two weeks of the computerized draw. The hunters must then determine if they intend to hunt at that site on those days and return an intent to hunt card to TWRA.
If the intent to hunt card is not received by TWRA by the specified deadline, then this hunt site and hunt period will be considered vacant. Vacant sites and sites not allocated by the computerized draw will be issued to individuals at a hand held drawing, at a place and time to be determined, for each Wildlife Management Area.
Hunters selected for a hunting site, either by the computerized drawing or by the hand held vacancy drawing, must possess a confirmation number while hunting at the site. Sites may not be hunted unless at least one hunter selected for that site and hunt period is present. No more than five hunters may hunt from any hunting site. Hunters must remain at the specified hunting site while afield.
Maps marked with waterfowl hunting sites and GPS coordinates, for each area, will soon be available at TWRA offices and at tnwildlife.org.
For specific regulations regarding the individual WMAs contact Larry Armstrong for Gooch E at 731 749-5587; Pete Creech for White Oak at 731 687-3444; and Chris Park for Meeman Shelby at 901 876-5169. If no one answers, leave a message for the manager to return your call.