Numbers up for state hunters
Tennessee sportsmen harvested more than 17,093 deer statewide on the opening weekend of gun season. This is an improvement of 2,630 over the 2011 opening weekend figure of 14,463. Since the beginning of archery season on Sept. 22, 84,825 deer have been taken, an increase of 3,522 over the same period last year.
Just so you know where to have your deer lease, the top 10 counties for harvest on the opening weekend of gun season were: Giles 720, Henry 662, Fayette 622, Weakley 566, Hardeman 560, Maury 538, Lincoln 496, Carroll 467, Madison 420, and Lawrence 373.
• With deer hunting season in full swing, enjoy these fun facts about deer in America.
FACT: The world record white-tailed deer, according to the Boone and Crockett Club, measures 213 5/8 points and was killed near Biggar, Saskatchewan in 1993. That deer has 14 physical points. The recognized world record non-typical white-tailed deer scores 333 7/8 points and was taken in Missouri in 1981. That deer has antlers with 44 physical points one inch or longer.
FACT: North America’s smallest deer is the Florida key deer. In this species, mature does weigh 45 to 65 pounds, and full-grown bucks range from 55 to 75 pounds, similar to a German shepherd. The shoulder height is 24 to 30 inches. At birth, fawns weigh about two to four pounds and are approximately half the size of a “standard” whitetail.
FACT: Deer outnumber deer hunters in several states, according to Field and Stream magazine. The publication reports that for every hunter out in the fields and forests of Alabama pursuing deer, there are 2.05 deer ahead of them. Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia round out the top five states with more deer than hunters.
FACT: In Wisconsin in 2000 the legal deer harvest was 618,274 animals. By 2010 that annual harvest had decreased to 336,871. In its report, Deer and Deer Hunting magazine identifies two major influences impacting Wisconsin’s deer herd during that time: The reintroduction of wolves to the state and the onset of chronic wasting disease into the heaviest deer populations.
• Behold another encroachment of the computer age. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2013 the only way to sign up for a hunter education class will be online. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is presently changing 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; there will be directions to search for classes closest to your area. Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class to ensure a spot in a particular class. For those persons without computer access, they are encouraged to 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.
Contact Tom Wiest at (email@example.com)