The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission set the state’s 2019-20 migratory gamebird hunting seasons at its February meeting, which concluded Friday at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.
The commission approved the regulations for next season which includes the season dates and bag limits for ducks, geese, crows, dove, snipe, woodcock, rails, and sandhill cranes.
Changes in the federal framework require the TWRA to update its proclamation each year. The season changes were made to duck, woodcock, and crows.
The duck season for the Reelfoot Zone will be Nov. 9-10 and reopen Dec. 5 through Jan. 31, 2020. The statewide season will be Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 and the second phase is Dec. 7-Jan. 31, 2020.
Changes to the woodcock season were driven by hunter input to provide opportunities to hunters in East Tennessee who see a large number of woodcock migrating through the area in January. The dates are Nov. 9 and closes Dec. 1 for the first segment. Phase 2 is Jan. 10-31.
The changes to crow include a split season with hunting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from June 1 through Aug. 18. The second phase is Oct. 5-Jan. 1, 2020 with hunting allowed all seven days through the week. One of the primary reasons for the change was to give hunters more of an opportunity during expected cooler weather.
Concerning bag limits, the only change was a reduction for pintail from two birds per day to one per day.
An update on chronic wasting disease (CWD) was given by Chuck Yoest, the project coordinator for the TWRA. A total of 2,999 deer have been sampled in the CWD Management Zone with 185 positives with just a few more results remaining.
The commission elected its officers to serve for 2019-20. Kurt Holbert (Decaturville) will serve as chairman, Brian McLerran (Moss) is the vice chairman, and Angie Box (Jackson) is the secretary.
The five outgoing commissioners were honored for their service during the two-day meeting as their appointments conclude. Completing their service were Chad Baker (Bristol), Dr. Jeff Cook (Franklin), Bill Cox (Collierville), Bill Swan (Dunlap) and Jamie Woodson (Lebanon).