Young hunters should not miss this opportunity to hunt live quail with a good retriever. The Smoky Mountain Quail Forever Chapter is holding another special youth quail hunt on Saturday, March 2. The event will be held at the McGhee Carson Wildlife Management Area south of Vonore (off Hwy 360). Lunch will be provided. Hunting will begin at 8 a.m. and continue into the afternoon. Other activities will include skeet and .22 rifle shooting sponsored by the TWRA.

Participation is for ages 10 to 16 and all must have proof of a hunter education certificate, and must have a non-hunting adult with them. Participants should not bring shotguns or shotshells; the TWRA will furnish all guns and ammunition. Space is limited to 50 shooters so pre-registration is required. To register call Brandon Wear at 423-884-6767 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or email Brandon.Wear@tn.gov. Leave name and contact information.

LICENSE: New Year’s Day for the Tennessee sportsman is March 1. All annual hunting and fishing licenses are expired on that date. The 2019-2020 licenses can be purchased at least a week early.

There are three ways to buy licenses: On the Internet at www.tnwildlife.org; with the Mobile app www.gotwra.org; and in person at all license agencies, which include sporting goods stores, county court clerks and regional TWRA offices. Licenses purchased online with a credit card are charged a processing and handling fee of $4.25 for those licenses mailed and $3 for those self-printed.

Tennessee sportsmen have the option to purchase a hard-copy collector’s card for any annual license. The card costs $5 extra. The size and feel of a credit card, the hard card features one of three prints of original paintings: A trophy large-mouth bass, a breathtaking 12-point buck, and a flooded woods with ducks and Labrador retriever.

All of your license information will be printed on the back of the card.

APP FOR THAT: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is striving to make it easier for “outers” to enjoy the great outdoors. “TWRA on the Go,” is a new smartphone app, with enhanced features to make it easier to hunt, fish, boat, and enjoy wildlife. Find it at Google Play and the Apple Store, or go to www.gotwra.org.

Users will have the ability to access a copy of their current license, store multiple licenses on one phone, buy licenses, check in deer or turkey with or without cellphone service, see harvest data, access Tennessee rules and regulations, use geo-locating tools to enhance the recreational experience, and determine sunrise/sunset times based on GPS location.

There is also an interactive map to find TWRA wildlife management areas, physical check station locations, and duck blind locations. The “Hunter’s Backpack” is where hunter education courses, a summary of hunting seasons, and full versions of the agency hunting guides are available.

For anglers, “Fisherman’s Tacklebox” includes, fish identification, interactive maps to find boat ramp and fish access information, fish attractor locations, trout stocking locations, and trout stocking schedules.

On the app’s boating page, the “Boating Locker” includes boat regulations, safety checklists, boating education information, navigational aids, and recommended boating equipment. For wildlife watchers, there is information about where to view wildlife across the state. The “Stay Connected Page” links TWRA users through the social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube.

BOATS: Boat registration in Tennessee has become easier than ever. Until recently, the purchase of a new boat required the owner to take the bill of sale to the local courthouse to account for taxes. Following that, another trip was required to complete the registration process required for new boats.

Now, once taxes have been paid, boat owners can register their new boats online. Simply go to www.tnwildlife.org, click on “Boat Registration” and follow the menu.

A registration card and decal will be mailed promptly. Registration — and renewals — can be done for up to three years, and can be set up to automatically renew.

Of course mail-in renewals can still be done.

CWD: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is reporting that the 2018-2019 chronic wasting disease testing efforts were successful, thanks to broad cooperation from hunters and special efforts of TWRA staff. Statewide TWRA was able to obtain samples from almost 5,400 deer during the past deer hunting seasons.

In the CWD Management Zone more than 2,700 deer were tested for the disease. All of the CWD positive deer were harvested in Fayette, Hardeman, and Madison counties, 168 deer to date. The information gathered from these efforts is critical to developing a successful long-term CWD management plan.

The CWD Management Zone, established in December, has grown to include eight southwest Tennessee counties: Chester, Fayette, Hardeman, Haywood, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton. Tipton County was just added most recently upon confirmation of a CWD positive deer harvested near its border in the adjacent Fayette County. All testing results should be received later in February. To see the current map and for more information go to www.CWDinTennesee.com.

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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