Readers encouraged to submit comments
By Tom Wiest | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Waterfowl hunters: Your input is requested on these two issues before the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Your responses can be done online or by U.S. mail; the deadline for comments on both is Aug. 10.
The first issue involves the opening day of the 2013-14 waterfowl hunting seasons. Due to the federal framework and Tennessee’s 60-day waterfowl season, the season would open on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. The TWRA has the option to split the season and have an opening weekend on Saturday, Nov. 23 (also the opening of the deer gun season) or on Saturday, Nov. 16 (with the potential lack of water and/or ducks).
To complete the survey online, go to the TWRA website http://www.tnwildlife.org . Those casting a vote on the opening day of waterfowl seasons must supply a valid TWRA ID number.
The second issue open for comments is a possible sandhill crane hunting season for Tennessee. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended a potential 60-day sandhill crane season, with 775 permits available (three birds per permit). The sandhill crane zone would be restricted to the southeastern portion of the state (south of I-40 and east of Hwy 56) where the majority of the birds congregate.
To comment on the sandhill crane season, send emails to (TWRA.Comment@tn.gov) with “Sandhill Crane” in the subject line. The USFWS will also have a 10-day public comment period once the recommendation is published in the Federal Register in late July.
For those who prefer to use the U.S. mail, comments on both issues can be sent to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Att: Waterfowl Regulations, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN, 37204.
At the June meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, they discussed the above two waterfowl issues and several other topics. Concerning the sandhill crane management in Tennessee, it was noted that sandhill crane populations have more than doubled since 1996 and are now at an all-time high with as many as 87,000 cranes in the eastern flyway.
Tennessee is allowed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to have an early teal season in September. This fall, because of excellent breeding success for teal in the Prairie Pothole Region, early teal hunters may get to bag more teal; and the possession limit may increase. The USFWS has proposed a six-teal bag limit for early teal season and a possession limit for all seasons equivalent to three daily bag limits. Current limits are a four-teal daily bag during the special early season and a possession limit of two daily bag limits. The TFWC will set the Tennessee 2013-14 waterfowl seasons at its August meeting after the public’s comments have been considered.
The Holston Army Ammunition Plant (HSAAP) will not hold any deer hunts on its federal reservation during the upcoming 2013 hunting season. This is due to policies implemented as a result of the sequestration and the planned furlough of federal employees, which includes the HSAAP natural resources manager. For more information go to http://www.holstonwildlife.webs.com .
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (email@example.com)