As the elk go down the boats go up
The fourth annual Tennessee elk hunt was Oct. 15-19 and for the second time all five of the bull elk tags were filled. What’s more, the first ever youth elk hunter got her chance on the following weekend and she got her bull.
Two elk were taken on opening day and the other three were taken on the second day. Fourteen-year-old Jessica Parkins of Greeneville took her bull on the first day of the youth hunt. In the first elk hunt in 2009 all five tags were filled, but in 2010 and 2011 only three tags were filled each year. For more information see the news section of http://www.tnwildlife.org .
• Permits to hunt deer at the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) Wildlife Management Area went on sale on a first-come basis on Oct. 24. The permit fee is $10 plus agent fee for regular license holders, and no charge for Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman and the senior licenses.
Unit 1 will have one hunt with a quota of 100 hunters scheduled for Nov. 23-25. Unit 2, the Camp Forrest area, will have four hunts with a quota of 200 hunters each, scheduled for Nov. 17-18, Nov. 23-25, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, and Dec. 8-9.
• Storing your boat for the winter: Fuel tank nearly full or fuel tank nearly empty?
Since marine fuel systems must be vented, moist air will flow in and out of your gas tank for months. If your tank is filled with pure gasoline there is little concern about condensation causing water to contaminant the gasoline. But real problems can occur if your fuel is the now-common gasoline with 10 percent ethanol – called E-10 – added to boost octane.
The “nearly empty” philosophy allows the boater to fill the tank in the spring with fresh fuel, thus diminishing the effect of loss of octane in the aged fuel. With E-10 in the nearly empty tank, phase separation can occur which can damage your engine.
The path to phase separation: Ethanol can attract and absorb water, about 10 times more than regular gasoline, and it can still burn harmlessly through the engine. However, there comes a tipping point when the ethanol can no longer absorb the water, and the alcohol will separate out or “phase separate” from the gasoline. When this happens, the solution of water-soaked ethanol will settle to the bottom of the tank, which is where the engine’s fuel system pick-up is located.
The best advice: when storing E-10 in your boat’s fuel tank over winter, keep the tank nearly full. This greatly reduces the volume of moist air that can enter the tank via the vent when temperatures fluctuate. With any fuel, an antioxidant will help keep it fresh during storage. Finally, never plug up a fuel tank vent; it creates pressure that could cause dangerous leaks in the fuel system.
Tom Wiest welcomes news and questions from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)