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 WTU chapter events held nationwide. The booklets can also be mailed for free upon request from the WTU headquarters, phone 800-274-5471.

The booklet is an overview of topics and techniques involved with turning a piece of property into a more attractive habitat for white-tailed deer. A few of the topics include management styles, food plots and habitat enhancement.

Whitetails Unlimited Program Services Director Russ Austad commented, “While it is not a comprehensive manual for land management, it can help someone get started. Different landowners will have different goals, interests, types of terrain, and available time and budget. Many landowners manage by trial and error, which can take years before they ultimately manage their property to their liking.” For more on WTU go to www.whitetailsunlimited.com.

LAKE SHORE: Now is the time to plan that big cleanup project for your favorite shorelines of our area’s streams, rivers and lakes; and there is financial help available for those that plan ahead. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced the availability of grant dollars to assist conservation groups, community organizations, civic groups, cities, schools, clubs, etc. with stream cleanup projects and planting projects during the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Five grants of $1,000 each are available for each of TWRA’s four regional Aquatic Habitat Protection projects. The deadline for project proposals is June 30, 2019. The grant money can be used to buy supplies such as rakes, work gloves, and garbage bags; also, waste disposal fees, tire removal, and promotional items such as t-shirts and refreshments for volunteer support.

Because it is a grant the project leader must have a tax number; the project must be completed by June 30, 2020. Get more information in the news section of the TWRA website www.tnwildlife.org; or telephone Della Sawyers at 615-781-6577 or email her at della.sawyers@tn.gov.

ARCHERY: Whitetails Unlimited will introduce more than 13,000 youngsters to archery this year through the Kids On Target program, with the help of Realtree as a title sponsor. The program consists of kits that are given to youth through a willing mentor. Mentors can be anyone including a parent, a hunter safety instructor, or an archery coach.

The kits consist of two paper targets, the 10 commandments of archery safety, a certificate of achievement, and a medal. A letter to the mentor is also included explaining what the youth needs to accomplish in order to earn the certificate of achievement and medal.

“This is a very quick and easy way to introduce a kid to the world of archery,” says Whitetails Unlimited Program Services Director Russ Austad. “As a mentor you don’t need to be certified or even proficient in archery. All you need to do is follow the mentor instructions in the letter and hopefully get a kid hooked on archery.”

Whitetails Unlimited also offers a firearm version of the Kids On Target program. The kits come in a large envelope and can be shipped free upon request; call 800-274-5471. For more on WTU go to www.whitetailsunlimited.com.

ELK: For those wishing to hunt elk close to home, consider this: Tennessee has about 300-plus animals; but Kentucky has the largest elk herd in the eastern United States, estimated at 11,000 head. A chance in their hunt lottery costs only $10. Why not increase your elk hunting odds by also applying for Kentucky’s quota elk hunt, too.

Tennessee had a mere six rifle and five archery elk licenses issued last year. (The Tennessee elk drawing will occur in July; more on that later.]. Kentucky will issue 594 elk licenses this year, and the hunter success rate is above 55 percent. The whole Kentucky process is done online at fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Elk-Info.aspx, or call the Kentucky Elk Information Center at 800-858-1549 for assistance. The deadline to apply is April 30.

Kentucky’s drawing for quota elk hunts is open equally to out-of-state hunters. Kentucky does not employ a preference points system for its quota elk hunts, meaning everyone who applies has an equal chance of being drawn.

Hunters may apply for all of the four permit types: Bull firearms, bull archery or crossbow, cow firearms, and cow archery or crossbow. New for the 2019 season, elk hunters can now apply for an either-sex archery/crossbow permit.

If successful in the lottery a non-resident may buy a cow license for $400 or a bull for $550; the youth permit is only $200. The various archery seasons begin on Sept. 14 and end on Dec. 13; the various rifle seasons begin on Sept. 28 and end on Jan. 1.

Email wiest.tom@gmail.com to share with your news and comments with Tom Wiest.

Tom Wiest is a long time columnist on all matters outdoors. He welcomes news, questions and comments from readers.

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