Security breach kills October deer hunt
The first quota deer hunt scheduled for the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area on Oct. 20-21 has been cancelled by the U.S. Department of Energy. The cancellation comes as a result of a security breach that occurred in July at the Y-12 facility and the ongoing safety and security evaluation on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Only the Oct. 20-21 hunt is affected. The November and December 2012 Oak Ridge deer hunts will continue as scheduled.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will refund the money to all impacted hunters who paid an application fee for the quota hunt and will award them a priority point for this year. Official notification will be mailed soon. For any additional questions concerning the cancellation, contact the Oak Ridge Reservation Wildlife Management Coordinator at 865-241-9421 or the TWRA Region III Office at 931-484-9571.
• Grouse season opens Oct. 13 – Feb. 28 for areas east of I-65. The bag limit is three per day. Dove reopens on Oct. 13-28 with a daily limit of 15. Grouse numbers have been climbing in recent years since wildlife biologists have realized that commercial grasses like alfalfa and fescue do not benefit ground-dwelling birds — no food and no place to hide. For several years the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been replanting native grasses in many of its wildlife management areas.
• The newest wildlife management area for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was dedicated last week in Roane County. McGlothin-Largen WMA is 112 acres located on Bowman’s Bend Road. It has more than a mile of lake frontage. The TWRA plans to build a fishing pier at the location and will open the area to limited hunting and wildlife viewing.
This 125th wildlife management area in the TWRA system was a gracious gift from Gerald Largen to the people of Tennessee to honor the memory of his mother, Martha McGlothin Largen and his father, John Roy Largen.
• Rabies in raccoons is still a serious problem in the states east of Tennessee. For several years the United States Department of Agriculture has had a program of distributing oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons in selected areas in the southeast. The distribution will be done from Oct. 2 through Oct. 17, weather permitting.
Again this year that area includes 15 counties in East Tennessee: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington.
The oral rabies vaccine is placed inside a fishmeal block or coated with fishmeal and oil that is known to attract raccoons. The bait morsels are about the size of a Fig Newton cookie and they really stink. Several hundred thousand units of the vaccine will be scattered by ground crews and dropped from small airplanes. Raccoons that eat the vaccine-laced bait will become immune to rabies.
The baits are basically harmless to humans and pets, unless several baits are eaten by the pet, which could make it feel sick. Avoid handling them with bare hands.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)