Cold Weather Makes Valley Waterfowl Hunting Red Hot

Monday, December 3, 2018 - by Scott Fiedler
Normally, as Artic temperatures settle into the Tennessee Valley we relax in our cozy homes. But for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Natural Resources team, the cold weather signals a great opportunity for waterfowl sportsmen along the Tennessee River and on the utility’s 290,000 acres of public lands.  

“The Tennessee Valley is an important stop for birds migrating down the western side of the Appalachians,” said TVA Natural Resources manager David Brewster, based in Guntersville, Al.
“We work year-round improving habitat on our public lands and the cold doesn’t stop us from promoting recreation.”

Each fall, waterfowl leave their northern breeding grounds as they navigate south toward warmer climates down the 2,300-mile Mississippi Flyway to the Gulf of Mexico. The Tennessee River is positioned inside the eastern half of the flyway and provides waterfowl 11,000 miles of shoreline and 650,000-acres of water upon which to rest and feed during their seasonal migration.

“Waterfowl follow river systems,” said Mr. Brewster. “TVA reservoirs offer birds plenty of shallow water coves, shorelines, and islands and great hunting for sportsmen.”

TVA Recreation Economy
Decoys, duck calls, and steel-shot ammunition are commonly purchased products, making duck hunting just one of the sports that support 130,000 recreation jobs throughout the Valley, according to a 2017 TVA and University of Tennessee recreation study. In total, TVA’s reservoirs attract almost $12 billion to the region each year.

“I’ve got friends that drive 60 miles from Nashville to hunt with me,” said Tim Goss of New Johnsonville, Tn. “They’ll get a hotel and stay three nights just to hunt. This river is big money and helps our local economy year-round.”

But for Mr. Goss, the sport is more about family and friends than economics. He believes duck hunting is an opportunity to reunite with old friends and a needed alternative to video games for kids.

“It’s just a good all-around family-friendly sport,” he said.

Get in on the Action
Mr. Brewster agrees. There’s still plenty of time for Valley hunters to get in on the action, he says, before the season closes at the end of January. Early in the season the birds are scattered due to low-water conditions. Once the water rises into food plots that flank the river, the added food sources will cause more birds to congregate in those areas.

“Right now, birds are coming in for a few days to rest and then moving on to find better food sources,” Mr. Brewster said. “It’s kind of like going to a fast food restaurant. If there’s too long of a line, we’ll go down the street to find another.” 

Be Successful
For those who want to duck hunt the Tennessee River, TVA doesn’t require any special license. However, there are federal, state and local laws and regulations that must be followed. Mr. Brewster recommends that hunters download the TVA Undeveloped Recreation Lands app. This will help all hunting enthusiasts, identify the TVA’s undeveloped land that is open to the public for recreational use.

“TVA cares about the environment and I hope everyone gets out and has a safe, enjoyable season,” Mr. Brewster concludes.

Errors In Printed Hunting Guide; Corrected Version Is Online

5,400 Acres Of Cumberland Plateau Habitat To Be Restored

Hamilton County Parks And Recreation Master Plan Findings Presentation Is Thursday


The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that some errors have been found in the printed version of the 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. The following errors have ... (click for more)

Through an awarded grant, more than 5,400 acres of shortleaf pine forests on the Cumberland Plateau will be restored and enhanced. A collaboration among several organizations will use prescribed ... (click for more)

GreenPlay, LLC will present a summary of initial findings from the public involvement, standards, inventory, and needs assessment for the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Master Plan. ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Errors In Printed Hunting Guide; Corrected Version Is Online

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that some errors have been found in the printed version of the 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide. The following errors have been corrected online: Page 40 - Correct end date for bear archery season (no dogs) is Oct. 25. Page 15 - Traps allowed should read the following: “Cushion-hold traps, laminated jaw ... (click for more)

5,400 Acres Of Cumberland Plateau Habitat To Be Restored

Through an awarded grant, more than 5,400 acres of shortleaf pine forests on the Cumberland Plateau will be restored and enhanced. A collaboration among several organizations will use prescribed fire and strategic plantings to revitalize this vanishing habitat that is critical to several species, said officials. The project will be implemented by The Forest Stewards Guild and ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Man, 44, Stabbed To Death On East Main Street

Chattanooga Police said a 44-year-old man died after being stabbed in the 1200 block of East Main Street around midnight Thursday. Upon arrival, officers located a man suffering from a stab wound. Hamilton County EMS responded and transported the victim to a local hospital. Officers secured the scene and called for the Violent Crimes Bureau to respond. Investigators ... (click for more)

Gary Cross, 23, Is 4th Suspect Arrested In Shooting Death Of Tracy Calloway On July 21

On Friday a fourth suspect, Gary Cross, 23, was arrested on outstanding warrants in relation to the July 21, 2019 shooting which occurred in the 4600 block of Trailwood Drive. The victim from that shooting, Tracy Calloway succumbed to injuries sustained from that shooting on July 22. The arrest of Cross is a result of an extensive investigation by the CPD Homicide Unit. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Good Sports Bar News

Just had dinner Tuesday night at Jonathan's Grille location in Hendersonville, Tn. When in Murfreesboro or Nashville, it's one of my favs. Just a great sports bar concept and menu. So happy to hear the Revelette brothers are bringing their brand (and their pizza night) to the old 212 Market location in downtown Chattanooga. Bring it on! Garry Mac (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

As I stood in the checkout line of the Walmart in Tiftonia this week, my newest friend named Harold asked me, “What’s the difference between an outlaw and an in-law. As I searched my mind, Harold responded, “Outlaws are wanted!” I immediately accepted his joke as a good omen. It helps me to remind readers of The Saturday Funnies, I just collect them during the week and pass them ... (click for more)