The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved updates to the state’s 2020-2022 fishing regulations at its recent September meeting in Nashville. The time-of-day restriction and one-pole limit on wild trout streams were removed. Wild caught trout from certain waters may only be used as bait in their home waters.

Some sport fishing regulations were changed in some smaller lakes, such as: Carroll, Graham, Glenn Springs, Pin Oak (in Natchez Trace S.P.), and Fort Patrick Henry. There will be bait restrictions on many more streams where the harvest, use and possession of crayfish are prohibited or limited to their home waters. For more details see the news section of

The TFWC also reported on the second annual August “velvet antlered” deer hunt. This year’s statewide harvest was 586 compared to 798 last year. In the newly created Unit CWD in southwestern Tennessee, there was an increase from 36 bucks to 61. This year muzzleloaders were allowed in Unit CWD along with archery equipment.

HUNTERS: This year join the new statewide promotion, “Let’s Hunt Giveaway.” You have a chance to win some cool gear, courtesy of Bear Archery, Cabelas, Powderhook, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The top prizes are a 2019 Divergent Bear Bow, an Alaskan Guide Skinnier Knife, and a Blackout X83 Hub-Style Ground Blind.

All you have to do is take someone “new to hunting” with you. It can be a friend, a family member, your spouse, or a complete stranger. Of course you should have fun in the outdoors and practice safe sportsmanship. Enter now through Dec. 1, 2019. The winners will be drawn randomly on Dec. 16. To enter and get more information go to

Upland game opportunities: Tennessee’s grouse season opens Oct. 12 – Feb. 29 for areas east of I-65 only. The bag limit is three per day. The second dove segment reopens on Oct. 12 – Nov. 3 with a daily limit of 15. Crow season changes to daily hunting on Oct. 5 – Jan. 1, with no limit. Previously crow was open June 1 – Aug. 18 on Friday-Saturday-Sunday only.

ANGLERS: Consider joining the “Anglers for the Bahamas” campaign as it races toward $4 million in support of the island nation devastated by Hurricane Dorian; plus, there is an additional $1 million personal donation and challenge from Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. In its first four days alone, 81,000 anglers have donated through Anglers for the Bahamas to help the people of the Bahamas by uniting with worldwide relief leader, Convoy of Hope, a highly regarded 501(c)(3),with emergency responders currently on the front lines throughout the Bahamas. At all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores, customers can round up their purchases or make an additional donation at registers. To encourage even broader support, customers who donate at least $5 or more in Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s stores will receive a limited-edition Anglers for the Bahamas bumper sticker. Johnny Morris will be adding to these contributions at 25 percent. To donate directly to relief efforts, please visit

HUNTER ED: Time is running out for new hunters to get a hunter education certificate – that’s anyone born after 1968. You must go online to sign up for a hunter education class. The TWRA lists the upcoming classes on its website at in the hunting section. Students must be at least nine years old to earn a certificate; they should bring a pencil and their Social Security number (mandatory). Do not bring a gun.

There are two upcoming classes for this area: 6-9 p.m. beginning Monday, Oct. 7 (M-Tu-Th-F and 9-11 a.m. Saturday) at New Hopewell Baptist Church in Knoxville; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11, at Knoxville’s John Sevier Hunter Education Center. Other classes may be added at any time, so check often. For those persons without computer access, visit a local library or call a TWRA regional office for further assistance. Region IV’s phone number is 800-332-0900.

Are you having trouble scheduling the time for a hunter education class? There is an online alternative with an online written exam and a required field day for live shooting; but, now there also is an exemption to the field day for those 21 years or older. The following steps are required:

Complete one of the online classes at These courses cost $29 and are interactive, narrated, and offer daily (including weekend) live customer service via email or telephone. Complete the form provided for the field day exemption and mail, fax or email it with required documentation and payment ($12) to the address listed on the form. To request a form offline contact the Hunter Education Coordinator at 615-781-6538. Your certificate will arrive in three to five business days after submission.

Email to share your news 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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