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Hunters, prepare to load your weapons. The fourth Saturday of August is the traditional opening of hunting season, with squirrel beginning on Aug. 24 and ending next year on Feb. 29 – the longest season on the calendar. There are three hunted species of squirrels: gray (most plentiful), fox …

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Landowners and farmers with grain crops, do not miss out on the extra money available just in the manner your crops are harvested. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking dove fields to lease for public hunting for the upcoming dove season.

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A series of public listening sessions will be held by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for hunters and stakeholders (landowners, game processors, taxidermists, guides and outfitters, etc.) at various locations across the state in August. The goal of the meetings is for the agency to s…

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Sandhill cranes are becoming more and more plentiful. This year Alabama will introduce a crane season, joining Tennessee and Kentucky as the first three states east of the Mississippi River to reopen their harvest. The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division began conducting crane…

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Skinner Mountain Wildlife Management Area, located in Fentress County on the northern part of the Cumberland Plateau, has nearly doubled in size. The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, announced on July 10 the protection of 3,041 acres that have b…

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Reminder for deer and elk hunters: As of July 1, 2019, lures containing natural urine are now prohibited in Tennessee, due to the possibility of spreading chronic wasting disease (CWD); only synthetic deer and elk lures are legal. So, stop using what you have and be careful how you dispose o…

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At the June meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, the TWRA presented changes to the August handheld duck blind drawings. The TFWC wanted to make the drawings more consistent and wanted to reduce the likelihood of buying/selling of blind sites.

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E15 (15 percent ethanol) fuel has been approved for sale nationwide this summer. This fuel is big trouble for marine engines, older automobiles and many other small engines. What’s more, the E15 warning label is easy to overlook at the gas pumps.

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The summer or June solstice, the first day of summer, will arrive at 11:54 a.m. EDT (15:54 GMT or UTC) on Friday, June 21. The sun will “stand still” (solstice) in its apparent progress north in the sky and then begin moving southward.

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Free Fishing Day, June 8, is not just for kids. On that Saturday everyone fishes for free on any public waters, and youths through age 15 can fish for free the following week, ending Friday, June 14. Find a complete list of events at www.tnwildlife.org; select Fishing and For the Kids. Bring…

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At certain times of the year drivers need to be extra vigilant for wild animal movements. In February it is skunks; early autumn is white-tailed deer. In May and June it is turtles. This is their season for breeding and nesting. In Tennessee box turtles and snapping turtles are most common.

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National Safe Boating Week is May 18-24. In 2017 the U.S. Coast Guard counted 658 deaths in the U.S. from boating incidents, with 75 percent of those deaths caused by drowning. Of those deaths, 85 percent are reported as not wearing their life jackets. For more see the National Safe Boating …

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency plans to expand the Florida largemouth bass stocking program into more waters across the state. After the hugely successful and popular Florida largemouth bass stocking into Chickamauga Reservoir, plans are now to ramp up the program to include, Watts …

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Spring squirrel season is almost here. But take care! It happens again this year: Turkey hunters and squirrel hunters will be in the woods at the same time. Spring turkey season goes through Sunday, May 12 and spring squirrel begins Saturday, May 11; squirrel continues through June 10. Neith…

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On April 10 near Chattanooga, scientists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute carefully released 89 dinosaurs into the Tennessee River. At just 15-inches long, these nine-month-old Lake Sturgeon have many years of growing before potentially becoming eight-foot river giants. The…

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Right now nature’s renewal process is giving birth to all kinds of wildlife and there is something important you can do to help: Nothing. Wild animals rarely abandon their young. Leaving young unattended is normal for many species. To minimize discovery by predators, adults return only a few…

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Are there some fishing regulations you would like to see changed? Perhaps a creel limit or size limit? The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is accepting public comments until April 23 on the 2020 and 2021 fishing regulations. The fisheries managers will consider your ideas, which should b…

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In TVA’s March online newsletter “River Neighbors,” there is a recount of the record rainfall Tennessee received in February. Some areas saw nearly 14 inches in two weeks, falling on ground already saturated from a record 67+ inches of rain in 2018.

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If you want to plant something for wildlife, where do you start? Many landowners want to make their property more attractive to wildlife, and many of those landowners are also deer hunters. Whitetails Unlimited recently revised their Deer Management booklet, which will be distributed at 475 …

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The 2018 statewide turkey season is March 30 to May 12. The season bag limit is four bearded birds, with only one allowed per day. Birds taken on quota hunts and designated wildlife management areas are bonus birds. Legal hunting times are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. All of the turk…

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The vernal equinox — first day of spring — occurs on Wednesday, March 20, this year, precisely at 21:58 UTC (Universal Time Coordinated, or Greenwich Mean Time), which is 5:58 p.m. EDT. The sun rises due east and sets due west on this date everywhere on earth; so take this opportunity to mar…

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At the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s February meeting, 2019-2020 migratory bird seasons were set, with changes for ducks, woodcock and crow. The duck season for the Reelfoot Zone will be Nov. 9-10 and reopen Dec. 5-Jan. 31, 2020. The statewide season will be Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and Dec…

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Preseason for spring turkey hunting is now. The 2019 statewide spring turkey season is March 30 to May 12. The Young Sportsman Hunt is March 23-24 for ages 6-16. The bag limit is one bearded turkey per day, not to exceed four per spring season. Get more details on page 39 of the 2018-2019 hu…

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Young hunters should not miss this opportunity to hunt live quail with a good retriever. The Smoky Mountain Quail Forever Chapter is holding another special youth quail hunt on Saturday, March 2. The event will be held at the McGhee Carson Wildlife Management Area south of Vonore (off Hwy 36…

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The ETSU Eagle Cams are back for a third year, offering one of the best reality shows on the Internet. See two pairs of bald eagles on their nests, laying their eggs, nurturing, feeding, and fledging their young eaglets over the next five months. The East Tennessee State University has three…

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Join the 22nd Great Backyard Bird Count occurring on Feb. 15-18. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) started in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. Worldwide thousands of volunteers join the four-day count each February to generate a real-time snapshot of th…

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At the recent January meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency gave a preview on the 2019-20 migratory game bird season. Changes in the federal framework require the TWRA to update its proclamation each year. The changes presented at the …

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Tennessee’s 2018-19 duck hunting season ends on Sunday, Jan. 27. The Youth Waterfowl hunting season will follow on two Saturdays, Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, for the Statewide and the Reelfoot Duck Zones. Hunters ages 6-12 are eligible and must be accompanied by an adult (21 years or older), who cann…

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The Tennessee Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan described here will be of interest to all Tennessee deer hunters since the CWD Management Zone (CMZ) is bound to expand. In response to CWD being confirmed in Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has created a CMZ for Fayett…

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With the now-confirmed discovery of chronic wasting disease in West Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is implementing its CWD Response Plan. Part of the Plan is keeping the citizens informed as this critical situation develops. Get updates by signing up for emails on: https:…

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The application period for the 2019 spring turkey quota hunts has begun and the filing deadline is Jan. 16. There are 13 adult hunts and five youth hunts available. Sign-ups must be done online or at any license agency; they cannot be mailed. The turkey quota hunt instruction sheet is also a…

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The 2018 winter — or December — solstice occurs at 5:23 p.m. EST (22:23 UTC) on Friday, Dec. 21, and winter begins. It is the shortest day — or more correctly, shortest daylight — of the year. At our latitude the Sun rises (7:43 a.m.) in the southeast and sets (5:26 p.m.) in the southwest (K…

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Nature above the horizon. When you venture outside to watch the Geminid meteor shower in December, there are two other events to entertain you: sighting a small but hyperactive comet and the International Space Station (ISS). The Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Tuesday, Dec. …

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It looks like there will be a new record black bear harvest for Tennessee this year. With one-third of the season left to go, the count stands at 565 bruins. The record of 589 was set in 2011 when there was a major mast crop failure of acorns in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, forci…

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High school sophomores and juniors should look into this exciting — and free — trip to Washington, D.C. The National Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) is an opportunity for leadership training and a share of $55,000 in college scholarships, sponsored and paid for by the National Rifle Associat…

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White-tailed deer are the most popular quarry in Tennessee. Traditionally the weekend before Thanksgiving is the opener for the gun deer season statewide. The dates this year are Nov. 17 to Jan. 6 in all of the big game units. Private lands in Unit L also have an antlerless season Jan. 7-11.

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The youth deer hunt and bear hunt was on Oct. 27-28. Young deer hunters took a total of 5,277 animals statewide, comprised of 2,650 antlered, 245 antlerless males and 2,382 females. This 2018 harvest is well below the 2017 figure of 6,418 and the 2016 total of 5,854.

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Tennessee’s Reelfoot Duck Zone ushers in the 2018-19 fall duck hunting season on Nov. 10-11 and continues from Dec. 1 to Jan. 27. The Statewide Duck Zone will again have its familiar 60-day split season, opening on Nov. 24-25 (Thanksgiving Day weekend) and continuing Dec. 1 to Jan. 27. The y…

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The late entry small game seasons are about to commence. Rabbit and quail seasons open Nov. 3 and Wilson snipe opens Nov. 14. All three of these seasons close on Feb. 28. The daily bag limits are five for rabbit, six for quail and eight for snipe. Dove’s second segment closes on Nov. 4, but …

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking comments for its 2019-20 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting regulations, including sandhill cranes. This is an opportunity for the public to provide ideas and share concerns about hunting regulations with TWRA staff. The comment peri…

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The early Canada goose season is the first phase of Tennessee’s migratory waterfowl hunting. The Statewide Zone is Oct. 13-23, then Nov. 24-25 and Dec. 1 to Feb. 10. The Northwest Zone is Oct. 13-23, then Nov. 10-11 and Dec. 1 to Feb. 10. The daily bag limit is three.

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Big game hunters must know the new chronic wasting disease restrictions for Tennessee. Right now there are 25 states and three Canadian provinces that have documented cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD). Mississippi (in March) and Quebec Province (in September) are the latest to join the …

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Here is a special opportunity for young hunters who have never taken a deer. A free hunt at Buffalo Ridge Refuge in deer-rich Humphreys County (Unit L) has been arranged again by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for Oct. 27, the opening day for the statewide youth deer hunt.

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The end of summer is a good time to make sure your trees are healthy, strong and pest free. Tennessee has its share of tree diseases and infestations that are threatening our forests. These include the pine beetle, emerald ash borer (all ash trees), wooly adelgid (hemlocks), Asian longhorn b…

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Welcome, autumn! The autumnal — or September — equinox occurs on Sept. 22 at 9:54 p.m. EDT (Sept. 23 01:54 Universal Time). For East Tennessee, sunrise will be at 7:24 a.m. and sunset will be at 7:32 p.m. At this time, the sun rises due east and sets due west.

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It is time to comment on next year’s fishing regulations. Proposed changes in the 2019-2020 Tennessee sport fishing regulations were presented to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission in August by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Following is a summary. Complete details can be f…