The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is advising hunters to be aware of dry weather conditions ahead of waterfowl hunting season. The 2022-23 season for public lands duck hunting is Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 5 through Jan. 31.
“Duck season is my personal favorite time of year, and we want all Tennessee duck hunters to have the best possible opening weekend,” said TWRA Executive Director Jason Maxedon. “Because ducks fly to water to feed, water levels and weather events have a critical impact on hunting quality. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate with us. Our field staff is hard at work pumping additional water where possible and updating hunters in areas where we expect to see low water levels.”
Without a significant rain, the following sites are expected to have low water levels for opening weekend:
- Big Sandy WMA: Tier 1 sites 5 and 8 may not have huntable water for the opener. Site 11 will have very shallow levels due to low levels in Big Sandy River. Site 13 is not expected to be huntable for the opener.
- West Sandy WMA: Tier 2 site 4 will have low water on opening day, however this is considered normal for this site.
- Camden WMA: Tier 1 site 76 and Tier 2 site 133 expected to be 6-12” low.
- Lebanon Pond WMA: All sites will have very limited to no hunting opportunity.
- Gooch WMA: Water levels at sites E1 and E2 are currently 2-3” in depth. Many other sites will only be accessible with a mud motor.
- Shelby Forest WMA: All sites are very shallow. Hunters will need to wade or use paddle craft.
- Reelfoot WMA: Water levels at Tier 2 sites RD15 and RD36 are low but can be accessed with a mud motor. Other Tier 1 blind holders are reporting trouble placing blinds due to low water.
- Bean Switch WMA: All sites will have no water without rainfall.
- Jarrell Switch WMA: All sites will have no water without rainfall.
- All Middle Tennessee sites are on schedule for normal pool level for opening weekend.
- Chickamauga WMA: Upper Rogers Creek Unit blind sites 5, 7, and 8 are not expected to be full due to unusually low stream levels that support these sites. TWRA recommends making a scouting trip prior to your hunt date to check conditions.
The remaining public lands waterfowl sites are expected to have sufficient water levels for hunting. TWRA has a total of 453 Tier 1 duck blind sites on public lands for season long duck hunting. An additional 42 Tier 2 sites are equipped with agency-built blinds and offered through a quota hunt system for segmented hunts throughout the season.
Early and Mid-season quota applications have already closed, but hunters can still apply for Late segment hunts. Applications are open Nov. 16 through Dec. 6. Hunters who are awarded permits are required to complete their Notice of Intent (NOI) by Dec. 19.
A valid Tennessee duck hunting permit is required to hunt, as well as all required licenses. For more information on public land duck hunting sites, conditions, and license requirements visit www.tnwildlife.org.