2013 prep begins as winter sets in
Winter is officially here. The winter solstice occurred at 6:12 a.m. EST on Dec. 21. It is the shortest day — or more correctly, daylight — of the year. The sun “stands still” (solstice) in its apparent movement south, reversing direction. At this time at our latitude it rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest.
• The season’s last quota deer hunt for the Oak Ridge Reservation was Dec. 8-9. A total of 61 deer was harvested, 30 bucks and 31 does. The largest rack was 13 points; the largest buck weighed 150 pounds dressed; the largest doe weighed 116 pounds. None was retained for internal radiological contamination. No turkey was taken.
This year’s total figures for the ORR are for only two hunts since the October hunt was cancelled for security reasons. The 2012 total harvest was 256 deer, 160 bucks and 96 does. The largest rack was 13 points; the largest buck weighed 171 pounds; the largest doe weighed 116 pounds. Three turkeys were taken. One deer was retained for radiological contamination.
•The application period for the 2013 spring turkey quota hunts has begun; the filing deadline is Feb. 6. Sign-ups must be done online or at any license agency; they cannot be mailed. The turkey quota hunt instruction sheet is also available at license agencies or online at http://www.tnwildlife.org , then choose “Buy a License Online.”
Follow the application directions carefully. All applicants (except Sportsman License holders and seniors with a Type 167 permit) pay a non-refunded $10 permit fee, 50-cent drawing fee, and a $2 access fee for applying online. Up to 12 hunts can be on your wish list, but only one will be awarded. Parties of up to five people may be formed.
The results of the drawings will be available online a few days after Feb. 6. The 2013 regular season will run March 30-May 12. The Statewide Youth-only Hunt (ages 6-16) will be March 23-24. The bag limit for the regular hunts is one bearded bird per day, not to exceed four per season. Turkeys taken on wildlife management area hunts are bonus birds.
Wildlife management areas with spring turkey quota hunts are: Chuck Swan (seven hunts), Meeman Shelby (three hunts), Oak Ridge (two hunts), Wolf River (two hunts), and Yuchi Refuge (five hunts).
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)