Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency news

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 Public invited to comment on hunting season proposals

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is soliciting comments concerning its 2011-12 hunting season proposals. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns.

Each of the proposed proclamations can be seen in full by viewing the attachments at the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.com. Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2011-12 Hunting Seasons Proposals Comments, TWRA, Wildlife Management Division, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to twra.comment@tn.gov. Please include “Hunting Seasons Proposals Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.

The comment period will be open through May 12. 


Boating accident on Fort Loudoun

John T. Wasson, age 70 of Louisville, was forced to spend the night on Fort Loudoun Lake after a boating accident that disabled his boat, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The accident happened at approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, but was not reported until 7:22 a.m. on Thursday.

Wasson was on the lake fishing in the Ish Creek area when he ran his 17-foot Nitro boat onto some rocks, tearing a hole in the boat.  He was traveling at a relatively low rate of speed when the accident happened. He was fishing alone and had no way to call for help. Wasson received minor injuries in the accident but refused medical assistance.

The boat will remain on the rocks in a shallow part of the lake until the owner is able to retrieve it.


Wildlife commission hears hunting proposals

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) presented its 2011-12 hunting seasons proposals to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (TWRC) during the April meeting.

The preview gave the commission several major changes in hunting seasons to consider for 2011-12 that would also be in effect for the 2012-13 seasons. New TWRA Wildlife and Forestry Division Chief Daryl Ratajczak said the agency is proposing to keep consistent regulations for the sportsmen and sportswomen of Tennessee and, to save considerable time and money, not to recommend changes for 2012-13. The regulations to be effected include big game, small game, furbearer, manner and means, and TWRA-managed Wildlife Management Areas. The TWRC could recommend changing any of the regulations at any time.

The TWRA Fisheries Division would follow suit to establish its regulations for a two-year period, as well, beginning in 2012. The wildlife regulations would change on odd years and the fisheries regulations on even years.

Other major changes would include creating a continuous deer gun-hunting season that would run from the traditional starting date of the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Jan. 1. Wild hogs will no longer be considered a big game animal and will be allowed to be taken at select WMAs during deer hunts.

Landowners would be given the ability to kill wild hogs by means not previously allowed. This includes all legal weapons and live trapping with bait outside of big game seasons.

The fall turkey season would be moved from December to October and the number of days would be increased from 12 to 14. Quail season would close the last day of January to help protect the resources and hopefully increase the quail population.

Proposals that would directly affect Campbell County hunters include the following:

•Proclamation 11-04 Statewide Big Game Hunting Seasons

Create continuous gun season for deer, running from the first Saturday before Thanksgiving to Jan. 1. Increase antlerless deer hunting opportunities in Union County.

Create a Red Deer season in a section of Claiborne County (Jan 14-22, 2012).

•Proclamation 11-11 Manner and Means of Hunting, Taking, and Trapping

Remove gauge restrictions for turkey hunting (legalizes .410). Change caliber restrictions for muzzleloaders from .40 to .36 for big game hunting. Remove requirement that broadheads need to be of barbless design.

The TWRC will set the 2011-12 seasons at its next meeting, May 19-20, in Nashville.