New hunt not a crane drain
By Tom Wiest | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is big news for Tennessee waterfowlers. The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved (unanimously) the first sandhill crane hunting season for Tennessee. It will be Nov. 28 – Jan. 1. A total of 400 permits will be issued and each permit will allow three birds to be taken.
Cranes that are harvested are not discarded and wasted — real sport hunters don’t do that. On the regular business side, The TFWC has set the 2013-14 waterfowl season to open Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving) and run the full 60 days. The possession limit has been modified this year; later in the season three daily bag limits will be allowed in possession instead of two.
• Anglers, now is your chance to change that fishing rule. Proposed changes in the sport fishing regulations for 2014-15 have been announced by the TWRA. The public comment period has begun and will end on Oct. 10. The complete list of proposals can be seen at http://tnwildlife.org .
The public can email comments to the TWRA at (Comment@tn.gov) with “2014-15 Sport Fishing Proposals” in the subject line; or mail them to TWRA, Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204.
The new proposals of interest to East Tennessee follow.
Statewide: The harvest of crayfish for food would be established, presently allowed just for bait.
For East Tennessee specifically: The special walleye and sauger restrictions for Fort Loudon, Melton Hill, and Chilhowee reservoirs would revert to the general state regulations. Currently in those waters walleye and sauger have a 15-inch minimum length limit with a creel limit of 10 in combination. The new regulations would be: Walleye, five per day, 16-inch length limit; sauger, 10 per day and a 15-inch minimum length limit.
The TFWC will hold its next meeting Sept. 19-20 in Nashville at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building. As usual committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Sept. 19 and the formal session starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 20.
• The elk lottery drawing has transpired and the TWRA computer has spoken. Four adults and one young hunter have been selected for this year’s season in October. A total of 10,343 persons applied this year.
The four adult winners were all Tennessee residents: Timothy R. Collins of Cookeville, James A. McDonald III of Knoxville, Ronnie E. Gibson of Soddy Daisy, and Michael W. Graves of Lebanon.
The youth license, for the second time in as many drawings, again was won by a sportswoman, Laurel A. Allen of Jacksboro. She will not have far to go since she lives adjacent to the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
For a perspective on the market value of that elk license, Tommy Daile of Knoxville paid $8,700 this year for the one auctioned on eBay. That money was a donation to the Tennessee elk restoration program.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (email@example.com)