Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency news

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 Wildlife commission 

meets today at Nashville

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission will hold its first meeting of the year Jan. 20-21 at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Region II Ray Bell Building in the Ellington Agricultural Center at Nashville.

At the January meeting, the TWRA will seek direction from the commission on whether to move forward through the regulation process and request the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a hunting season for sandhill cranes in 2011-12. The regulations process would start in February.

The TWRA presented the commission, at its June 2010 meeting, a draft hunt plan for hunting sandhill cranes in Tennessee in 2011-12. The Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway Councils approved this plan in July 2010. The commission directed the TWRA to develop this plan as a result of a request made by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

A period for accepting public comments began last fall concerning the possibility of the establishment of a sandhill crane hunting season. The TWRA is accepting input until Jan. 19. Plans for the state’s third managed elk hunt include a few slight changes. If approved by the commission, the hunt would be held Oct. 17-21, with five permits available for antlered bulls only. Four of the elk permits will again be randomly selected through a drawing conducted by the TWRA, while the fifth permit will be donated to an organization, yet to be determined, which will help raise monies for Tennessee’s elk program. The request for proposals for this fifth permit has been sent out, and the deadline for submission is by the end of January.

As in the previous two hunts, hunters will once again be assigned to one of five elk hunting zones. Additional tagging procedures will also require hunters to adequately mark the exact location of their harvest.

Staff from TWRA will present information regarding a number of activities related to waterfowl management in Tennessee. 

Items will range from the number of waterfowl hunters to differing methods of management for waterfowl refuges and for wildlife management areas where hunting is allowed. Discussion on how the wetlands fund has impacted waterfowl and wetlands restoration, specifically over the past 10 years, will be covered.

An overview of a proposed TWRA and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation marketing/branding program and a review of the draft legislation and proposed wild hogs legislation are among the other items on the agenda. Committee meetings will begin at 1 p.m. on Jan. 20. The commission meeting will start at 9 a.m. on Jan. 21. The public is invited to attend.