Spring turkey hunts closing in
By Tom Wiest | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 2013 spring turkey hunt is just two weeks away, March 30 – May 12. The youth hunt is only one week away. The season bag limit is four toms, with only one allowed per day. Birds taken on quota hunts and designated wildlife management areas are bonus birds. All of the turkey hunting regulations are on page 33 in the 2012 Hunting Guide, and online at http://www.tnwildlife.org .
The youth spring turkey hunt is March 23-24 statewide. Young hunters ages 6-16 can hunt with an adult (at least 21 years old) that stays close enough to control the youth’s weapon. One adult can supervise more than one hunter.
Youths ages 6-9 do not have to have a hunter education certificate; ages 10-16 need the hunter education certificate, or they may purchase the Apprentice Hunter Education Exemption (Type 012), good for one year.
Hunters age 6-12 do not need a license, but a wildlife management area permit is required). A Junior license is required for hunters ages 13-15 and age 16 needs an adult license. The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded turkey.
• The vernal equinox — spring — occurs on March 20 this year, precisely at 11:02 UT (Universal Time or Greenwich Mean Time), which is locally 7:02 a.m. The sun rises due east and sets due west on this date everywhere on earth; so take this opportunity to mark these cardinal compass points on your home horizon.
Our ancient ancestors may not have known that this was the moment of equal amounts of daylight and dark (equinox), but they surely noted that the sun was exactly midway between its lowest path across the sky in winter and its highest path across the sky in summer.
• The TWRA is conducting the fourth annual Tennessee Outdoors Youth Summit (TOYS) on June 9-14 for students in high schools across Tennessee. Students will spend a week in hands-on classes that will teach outdoor skills and the importance of the natural resources and their management. Instructors will be wildlife and fisheries biologists, wildlife officers, college professors, professional shooting coaches, and other experts.
TOYS students will be introduced to many different outdoor activities including: Boating, hunting, trapping, archery, photography, marksmanship, plant identification, forestry, camping, water quality, trap shooting, skeet shooting, wildlife identification, and several classes with wildlife and fishery biology as the topic.
Activities will take place at the TWRA’s Montgomery County Shooting Complex and lodging will be at a hotel in Clarksville. The fee for the weeklong experience is $300, lodging and meals included. Scholarships are available based on financial need; just ask when you apply.
The deadline to apply is May 3 and enrollment is limited to 120 students. TOYS filled up quickly the last two years. Applications can be downloaded from http://www.tnwildlife.org or http://www.twrf.net . For more information contact Jereme Odom at 615-781-6500, extension 2102, or e-mail (Jereme.Odom@tn.gov)
• Now is the beginning of a special Canada goose season. Did you ever have some house guests that drastically overstayed their welcome? Many people that live near our local, non-migrating, resident Canada geese feel that way. Besides the endless sea of feces on lawns and pavement, there are the vicious attacks upon pets and person.
Most goose problems occur from March through June during the nesting season, when geese are especially aggressive. It is not a blessing to have a Canada goose nest on your property. The newly-hatched goslings are incapable of flight for about 70 days, so the whole brood will overgraze the nesting area, causing significant damage to landscape and depositing an even heavier dose of excrement.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has jurisdiction on Canadas and it recommends habitat modification before geese become a nuisance, after that, daily harassment with noisemakers (a futile endeavor). However, it is against federal law for anyone to destroy a Canada goose nest that contains one or more eggs without first securing permission from the USFWS. More information and permit details for egg and nest destruction are available at https://epermits.fws.gov/ercgr/gesi.aspx.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (email@example.com)