State’s big game seasons approaching
By Tom Wiest | (email@example.com)
Here comes the 2012 big game seasons.
Bowhunters are first in the buffet line with deer and bear opening on Sept. 22. For archery deer the first segment closes on Oct. 26; the second segment is Oct. 29 – Nov. 2. All the big game units, A and L and B, have the same dates.
The archery season bag limits do vary. For our Unit B it is three bucks and two does; for Unit A the limit is three bucks and four does; for Unit L it is three bucks (per year) and three does per day.
The archery bear season is Sept. 22 – Oct. 19, without dogs, for the following 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 annual bag limit is one bear either-sex, sows without cubs.
Bear hunting with dogs opens Sept. 24 – 30 for all weapons in Blount, Cocke (south of I-40), Jefferson (east of Hwy. 411), and Sevier counties.
• Autumn is approaching. Daylight is waning rapidly every day. The animals know it instinctively. It triggers mating in deer, migration in waterfowl and other birds, and hibernation in bears and groundhogs. The autumnal equinox occurs at 10:49 a.m. EDT (14:49 Universal Time) on Sept. 22. For East Tennessee sunrise will be at 7:24 a.m. and sunset will be at 7:33 p.m.
• Young hunters who have never taken a deer will have a special opportunity to do so this year. A hunt on private property in deer-rich Unit L has been arranged by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for Oct. 29, the opening day for the statewide youth deer hunt. Hunters age 10-15 with a hunter education certificate and accompanied by a non-hunting adult are eligible.
A total of 42 licenses will be issued, 30 in Humphreys County and 12 in Trousdale County. Both locations will have a Friday night cookout and campout (participants must provide their own camping gear). Breakfast and lunch will also be provided on Saturday. The Unit L bag limit is two bucks and three does.
Registration for the computer drawing is open now and applications must be received by Oct. 12. More information and applications are available by contacting (Don.Hosse@tn.gov) or by phone at 615-781-6541. Applications are also available on the TWRA website at http://www.tnwildlife.org .
• The TWRA is conducting computerized drawings for duck pools and blind sites located in Bogota and Thorny Cypress WMAs (Dyer County near the Mississippi River) and in four Chickamauga WMA units, specifically Candies Creek, Johnson Bottoms, Rogers Creek and Yellow Creek. The application period will run through Oct. 10.
Paper applications are available at license agencies. The form resembles those for WMA quota deer hunts, except for group filings; however, each successful hunter may bring up to four guests to the duck blind each day.
The Priority Drawing System is used so those not selected last year will get first crack at this year’s sites. For more information go to http://www.tnwildlife.org or telephone TWRA’s Region III office at 800-262-6704.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)