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.

For more information on the Canada goose seasons, see the Waterfowl Section of the 2018-19 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide) on pages 22-23 (waterfowl and hunting brochures are combined this year. The earliest opportunity for duck hunting in Tennessee is Nov. 10-11 in the Reelfoot Duck Zone.

YOUNG HUNTERS: The early Young Sportsman hunts for deer and bear are Oct. 27-28. Hunters ages six through 16 are eligible, and they must have a non-hunting adult at least 21 years old with them close enough to control the hunting weapon. Both need to wear the required fluorescent orange, but the adult does not have to have a license. Any legal weapon may be used: Gun, muzzleloader, bow and crossbow.

Hunters ages six through 12 do not need a hunting license; hunters ages 13 through 15 must have the junior license; those age 16 (when the license is purchased) must have an adult license. Young hunters age 10 to 16 must have their hunter education certificate or the Apprentice License.

For deer: The early season bag limit for bucks allows one antlered deer per day up to the state maximum of two bucks per year. The antlerless bag limit for this youth hunt is two for the big game units A, B, C and D; Unit L allows three does per day. Some of the TWRA wildlife management areas will also be open for this hunt. See the WMA list online or in the 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide.

For bear: Young hunters will have exclusive use of these Bear Hunt Zones: BHZ-1, BHZ-2 and BHZ-3 (The adult archery bear season ends on Oct. 19).

SQUIRREL: Squirrel hunters, recycle those squirrel tails. Sheldon’s Inc. will buy them for their very popular Mepp’s Spinner fishing lures. Sheldon’s feels they are too valuable not to be recycled. The company is quick to specify that it wants only tails that have been harvested by sport hunters that will eat the meat. And yes, Tennessee does allow the sale of squirrel tails.

The tails can have varying qualities. They are at their best beginning in October. The minimum rate per tail is 20 cents for those graded premium and 16 cents for those graded good; double that fee if you take payment in fishing lures. Your shipping costs are refunded on shipments of 50 or more, and the money increases on larger shipments.

You may not get rich, but Hey! It’s recycling … and some bargain fishing tackle. Check out their website at www.mepps.com/squirrels for tips on storage and shipping (like bone-in tails, salting the butts and freezing or drying tails straight). For more information their telephone is 800-637-7700; email stinfo@mepps.com; or write to them at Sheldon’s, Inc., 626 Center Street, Antigo, WI 54409-2496.

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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