Sportsmen have much to look forward to in upcoming hunting season
By Tom Wiest | (email@example.com)
With the end of August fast approaching, sportsmen have a smorgasbord of long-awaited activities arrayed before them. Not the least of them is the Labor Day weekend, the second busiest day of the year for boating on our lakes and streams. For the more serious angler, avoid the daytime revelers — and heat — and consider some night fishing. For hunters here is a lineup of opening dates to remember.
Sept. 1: Dove hunting has a Sunday opener; plus there is resident Canada goose. Sept. 14: Wood duck and teal begin their brief season. Finally, bowhunters have only one month to prepare for their whitetail opener, Sept. 28.
• The bear dog training season is open Aug. 24 – Sept. 29 for these counties: Blount, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Jefferson (east of US 411), Johnson, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington.The training dates for Monroe and Polk (east of US 411 and north of hwy 64) counties are Sept. 4-13.
• The first bear hunting season is Sept. 28 – Oct. 25, archery-only and no dogs, for all of the listed counties: Blount, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Jefferson (east of Hwy. 411), Johnson, Monroe, Polk (east of Hwy. 11, north of Hwy. 64), Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington.
The same area above is open Nov. 23 - 26 for all weapons and no dogs, and Dec. 2 – 15 for all weapons and with dogs. The following four counties will be open for bear on Sept. 30 – Oct. 7 for all weapons and with dogs: Blount, Cocke (south of I-40), Jefferson (east of Hwy 411), and Sevier. Again this year: All counties except Monroe and Polk will be open Nov. 29 – Dec. 23 .
The youth bear hunt will be Oct. 26-27 for all weapons but no dogs in all the listed counties. “All weapons” mean guns, muzzleloaders and archery. The bag limit is one bear either-sex (not accompanied by cubs) per person per year. Harvested bears must be checked in at an official checking station and not online. Find the list at http://www.tnwildlife.org ; select For Hunting, Big Game Hunting, then find Related Links.
New this year: Wild hogs may be taken with no limit by legal bear hunters on those bear hunts allowing dogs.
• The winning bid this year for one 2013 Tennessee elk license auctioned on eBay was $8,700. Tommy Dail of Knoxville waited until the last minutes of the ten-day auction to make his first bid, finally topping the other 13 active bidders. The final day was July 28.
This year’s winning bid was $1,900 more than the 2012 winner of $6,800. The first year for the eBay auction of Tennessee elk licenses was 2009 and it garnered a whopping $17,700. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has permitted five bull elk licenses each year since hunting began in 2009.
Four are issued to applicants in a computerized lottery and one is granted to a nongovernmental organization to be sold as a fundraiser for the Tennessee elk restoration program.
The TWRA established a sixth elk permit for a young hunter in 2012. This and the four winning adult applicants will be chosen by computer. The adult hunt will be Oct. 21-25 in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, and the youth hunt follows on the weekend.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)