The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will set the 2018-19 and 2019-20 hunting and trapping seasons at its May 17-18 meeting. The meeting will be held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Ray Bell Region II Building.
Thursday’s committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. The regular commission meeting starts at 9 a.m.
TWRA staff presented its recommendations for the next two years at the April TFWC meeting in Nashville.
Various changes were recommended on wildlife management areas, public hunting areas, and national wildlife refuges.
One of the notable proposals by TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division staff was a change in the definition of an antlered deer. The agency made a recommendation to return to a previous definition of an antlered deer. If approved by the commission, a deer with antlers less than three inches in length would once again be categorized as antlerless and not count toward a hunter’s buck bag limit.
In 2016, the commission changed the definition of what qualified as an antlered deer to having any antler protruding above the hairline. Among reasons given for returning to the old definition were comments received by TWRA from hunters expressing a desire to return to the three-inch regulations.
The agency is recommending the addition of language to the proclamation to prohibit unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for use in hunting any wildlife, and to prohibit the use of any cervid urine, except synthetic, for hunting. A change in the rules for big game check-in will be proposed to allow for electronic check-in of bears unless otherwise prohibited such as special refuge hunts.
During Thursday’s committee meeting, TWRA Region III manager John Mayer will be honored. He is retiring this summer after 34 years of service.