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 list this year.

As of July 2018, Tennessee’s law on the importation of wildlife carcasses has changed. If you harvest a deer, elk or moose (cervids) from any state outside Tennessee or any Canadian province, it must be properly processed before bringing it back into Tennessee. The law states: “No person may import, transport, or possess in Tennessee a cervid carcass or carcass part from anywhere outside state except as provided herein: Meat that has bones removed; Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, or cleaned skulls (where no meat or tissue is attached to the skull); Cleaned teeth; Finished taxidermy and antler products; Hides and tanned products.”

CWD is a contagious and deadly neurological disorder that affects deer, elk and moose. It is transmitted through animal-to-animal contact, animal contact with a contaminated environment, and by contaminated food or water sources. For more information, go to /cwd.html.

GROUSE: Tennessee’s grouse season opens Oct. 13 and runs through Feb. 28 for areas east of Interstate 65. The bag limit is three per day. Grouse numbers have been growing in recent years due to habitat improvements like more native grasses, prescribed burns and more second-growth forests. The second dove segment reopens Oct. 13 to Nov. 4 with a daily limit of 15.

TURKEY: Tennessee’s fall turkey season is Oct. 13-26. That’s for shotgun; bowhunters can hunt turkeys every day of the archery deer season. New this year: Only bearded birds can be taken, and the seasonal bag limit is one per county. Fall turkey hunting is closed in the following counties: Bledsoe, Bradley, Crockett, Dyer, Giles, Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Polk, Shelby, Tipton, Unicoi and Wayne. For more information, see page 39 of the 2018 Hunting Guide, also at

FLYING FUR: The Tennessee Fur Harvesters fall convention will be Oct. 18-21 at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Newcomers, veteran trappers and their families will enjoy the many seminars, contests, games and activities, live entertainment, storytellers and supplies vendors.

Tent camping and primitive cabins are available. For more information, contact John Daniel at, call 423-595-0986 or visit

FISHING: Following the public comment period, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission set the 2019-20 fishing regulations during its September meeting.

Several of the new fishing regulations are geared toward the agency’s effort to battle the invasive Asian carp.

In TWRA Regions I and II, skipjack herring, gizzard shad and threadfin shad will be unable to be transported alive from the Mississippi River; Barkley, Kentucky and Pickwick reservoirs; and any tributaries or oxbows of these waters. The restrictions do not apply to the Duck River above Normandy Dam. These bait species are similar in appearance to small Asian carp.

Changes to seasons on the Tellico River, Citico Creek and Green Cove Pond will allow optimal stocking and fishing conditions during the permit season. Big Lost Creek, Goforth Creek, Spring Creek and Greasy Creek and their tributaries in Polk County have been changed to follow statewide regulations. Previously these waters were closed on Fridays.

In other news, the TWRA will implement this fall a new risk assessment plan to prevent the introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) into Tennessee. Samples from deer will be collected from potentially higher risk areas. The Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission’s next meeting will be Oct. 25-26 in Nashville.

TROPHY ROOM: If you like to share your hunting and fishing experiences on social media sites, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency invites you to include its Trophy Room. Whatever your favorite site — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Vine or Flickr — use #tntrophyroom to include TWRA”s new Tagboard. Share your memories with your friends and family and the TWRA world. Make sure your posts are public; private posts will not make it to the board. Take a look at The Trophy Room at

Email 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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