The early Canada goose season is the first phase of Tennessee’s migratory waterfowl hunting. The Statewide Zone is Oct. 12-22, then Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 7 to Feb. 14. The Northwest Zone is Oct. 12-22, then Nov. 9-10 and Dec. 5 to Feb. 14. The daily bag limit is three.

For more information on the Canada goose seasons, see the 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting Guide on page 23. The earliest opportunity for duck hunting in Tennessee is Nov. 9-10 in the Reelfoot Duck Zone. More here on the duck seasons later, or go to Page 22 of the hunting guide.

BOW: This Beyond BOW takes women muzzleload hunting. The Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman Muzzleloader Workshop will be held on Nov. 8-10 on private property in Humphreys County. Women age 18 and older are eligible and the sponsor is the TWRA.

The private farm for the event has more than 2,000 acres of prime deer habitat with a variety of wildlife management projects. Besides actual hunting time, a variety of clinics are scheduled including, deer biology, deer management and hunting ethics.

Registration for the workshop is on a first-come basis; however, two weeks priority will be given to first-time participants. The workshop fee is $250, which includes meals and campsites, if participants wish to camp. Participants must have the appropriate licenses and hunter education cards (or the apprentice license). Some treestands will be available.

There will be two hunts on Saturday and one Sunday morning. For more information and a registration application, contact Donald Hosse at or phone 615-781-6541. Applications are also available on the TWRA website under Outreach.

BUTTERFLIES: SaveOurMonarchs Foundation has a good idea for the upcoming holidays. For a donation of $35 they will send you 100 milkweed seed packets holiday-themed for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas. The packets make nice handouts for trick-or-treaters – but not in lieu of candy, of course — or simple gifts for holiday gatherings.

The various milkweed plants are perennial wildflowers that can grow anywhere in the U.S. and they are essential to the survival of all monarch caterpillars. Besides that, milkweed adds a lot to a wildflower garden and it requires no maintenance. Autumn is a good time to plant wildflowers, or you can wait for the spring.

Check out SaveOurMonarchs Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity; they offer free milkweed seeds to anyone requesting them, and larger quantities for a small donation. For seeds and more information go to; or contact Ward Johnson at 952-829-0600.

HARD CARD: When buying your hunting licenses this fall, consider getting one of the collectible “hard-card” hunting and fishing licenses. It has a beautiful wildlife scene on the front of the card (driver license sized) and lists all of your current licenses on the back; it costs an extra five dollars.

The hard-cards began in 2017 with a woodland white-tailed buck, now retired. The second artwork issued is an airborne largemouth bass. The latest design to choose features a flock of mallards and a Labrador retriever in a flooded woods. Licenses are available at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional offices, license agencies, on the TWRA website , and at the TWRA “On the Go App.”

TROUT: For trout anglers heading for the North Carolina side of the Smokies, be advised: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission implemented Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations on 36 trout waters in 20 western North Carolina counties on Oct. 1.

Under Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters from Oct. 1 to June 5, 2020. No natural bait may be possessed, and anglers can fish only with artificial lures with one single hook, and without the addition of a taste or smell attractant..

The Wildlife Commission stocks Delayed Harvest Trout Waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.

The Commission reminds anglers fishing Delayed Harvest Trout Waters to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species, such as whirling disease, gill lice and didymo, by: Cleaning equipment of all aquatic plants and animals and mud; draining water from boats, live wells and equipment; drying equipment thoroughly; never moving fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another.

For a complete list of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, stocking dates, information on regulations and trout fishing maps, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page at

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

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