‘Big’ changes coming for hunters
By Tom Wiest | (email@example.com)
In its January meeting, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved changes in big-game hunting and some other issues. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is changing its big-game tagging system from utilizing temporary and permanent harvest tags to a harvest log.
The change calls for all big-game animals to be checked in by the end of calendar day of harvest at an approved TWRA checking station, on the TWRA website, or by the new TWRA mobile application. The mobile application procedure will be introduced in the 2013 spring turkey season.
Evidence of the big-game animal’s species and sex must be available for inspection by TWRA personnel until the animal is checked in. All big-game animals taken to taxidermists or to meat processors must be accompanied by documentation on approved forms or the mobile application.
In other business, the TFWC heard a report on the recently completed 10-day hog control season held at Catoosa Wildlife Management Area. Dogs were allowed during this season and a total of 36 hogs were taken. There were 1,565 participants in the hunt.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing the closure of dam tailwaters on the Cumberland River and its tributaries to boating traffic. The TWRA has repeatedly voiced opposition to the closures. A public meeting has been scheduled for Feb. 5 at Nashville’s McGavock High School. For all the details go to http://www.tnwildlife.org .
• Do not forget that your application for spring turkey quota hunts is due by 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.” The results of the drawings will be available online a few days after Feb. 6.
The 2013 regular spring turkey 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).
• New for 2013: The only way to sign up for a hunter education class will be online. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has changed how it lists the upcoming classes on its website, which you can see by going to http://www.tnwildlife.org and selecting Hunting, then Hunter Education.
Those wanting to take a class will click the “register for a hunter education class” link. Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class.
Those without computer access can visit a local library or call a TWRA regional office for further assistance.
Region IV’s phone number is 800-332-0900.
TWRA claims that advance registration allows more time for instructors to devote to students and provides a quicker method for the registration process.
• Prepare now for this evening of fun and camaraderie. The 25th annual dinner and benefit auction for the East Tennessee Chapter of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will be March 16. This year the fundraising banquet will be at the Knoxville Convention Center, located at 701 Henley Street.
The doors open at 5 p.m. for a social hour including games, silent auction and the display of the big variety of outdoors equipment, guns and art for the live auction. Raffle tickets are half-price when purchased in advance with your banquet tickets. The banquet costs $35 for each dinner and $35 for an annual membership. For tickets contact Dwight Flynn at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 865-250-9853.