Landowners and farmers with grain crops, do not miss out on the extra money available just in the manner your crops are harvested. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking dove fields to lease for public hunting for the upcoming dove season.

Landowners can time their harvest, or partially harvest their grain or millet hay fields to be eligible. They should promptly contact their TWRA regional office for consideration.

Rates paid to landowners will be $75 per acre for a maximum field size of 40 acres for a maximum contract of $3,600 per field; wheat crops earn an additional $15 per acre. At least three priority dates for public hunting are required. Our Region IV phone numbers are 423-587-7037 or 800-332-0900.

Dove hunters can find the fields leased by TWRA, which cost nothing to use, at the above website one or two weeks before the season opens. The first phase of dove season begins at noon on Sunday, Sept. 1.

DEER: For the second year Tennessee will have a very early deer season on Aug. 23-25. It is a chance to take a buck in velvet. It is archery only and private lands only, except that this year Unit CWD is open for this hunt. Bag limit is one buck per day and two bucks limit.

Now is a good time to get those trail cameras out and begin planning your strategy and looking for that worthy trophy in velvet. The traditional opening of the archery season has been the fourth Saturday in September – the 28th – and that season is still on.

HELP: For those who want to help wildlife in Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has these suggestions:

1. Buy a fishing or hunting license (even if you don’t fish or hunt): License dollars are the main source of revenue for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency that conserves and manages more than 1,400 species of wildlife in Tennessee. Especially for those who don’t hunt or fish, there is now a “Friend of Wildlife” license package available at that is a good investment in wildlife conservation. Your purchase will help continue wildlife conservation and development of recreational opportunities for future generations.

2. Let wildlife stay wild: Some animals might seem like they need help, but they don’t need rescuing. Babies of some species are left alone all day and rely on camouflage for protection. If you do happen upon a truly injured animal, there is a list of wildlife rehabilitators at

3. Avoid feeding wildlife: Feeding wildlife can lead to serious problems. Human food is not healthy for wild animals and they do not need it to survive. Wild animals have specialized diets and can become malnourished or die if fed the wrong foods. Also, animals cannot distinguish food from wrappers or foil and can get sick eating these items.

4. Do not litter: Most people know litter is bad for the planet, but it is also bad for unsuspecting wildlife. Everyday items such as drink cans and plastic bottles can be deadly for animals, even dogs and cats. Animals of all kinds often mistake trash for food or shelter.

5. Turn your yard into good habitat: Creating habitat in your yard is beneficial to wildlife. Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small animals. Trees, shrubs, and other plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.

6. Appreciate the biodiversity of Tennessee! We are blessed in Tennessee with lots of wildlife to see. We have than 300 bird species to the 320 different types of fish; we are the salamander capital of the world (56 different kinds), and 22 different frogs and toads. Get outside and look and listen for all of these Tennessee residents.

The TWRA is a diverse operation. From hunting, fishing, and boating, to protecting non-game species and creating watchable wildlife opportunities, the TWRA serves the citizens of Tennessee. The Wildlife section of is a great reference point for more in-depth information on what people can do to benefit our wildlife resources.Email

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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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