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TN 2017-18 DEER SEASON



HENRY COUNTY SECOND STATEWIDE…DEER HARVEST DOWN FROM LAST YEAR

    Tennessee’s deer season officially ended Sunday afternoon when the curtain fell on the second and final youth hunt. It’s over now for the Volunteer State until the archery season returns on the traditional fourth Saturday in September to kick things off next fall.

    Henry County hunters had another good year, ranking second in the statewide total harvest among the state’s 95 counties. The unofficial total harvest from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency shows hunters here checked in 3,691 deer this season. Last year’s total was a bit higher at 3,839.

    Odds are the total for both Henry County and statewide would be been a bit higher had severe weather and blizzard conditions not descended during the last weekend of the youth hunt and at the end of the antlerless week which allow five days on private lands.

    Statewide Volunteer State deer hunters checked in 143,881 this season. That’s also down compared to last year’s total of 157,801.

    Leading the state this year was Fayette County where hunters harvested 4,028 to command the top spot.

    Neighboring counties that make the top 15 ranking were Carroll which placed seventh with 3,058. Stewart County ranked 11th with 2,745 followed by Weakley in 15th place with 2,536.

    Just why the local and statewide harvest was down has hunters voicing opinions. Some say they just saw less deer this year around this area. Several veteran hunters reported fewer deer sightings while others say they saw plenty but took fewer small bucks in hopes of managing their acreage for bigger deer in the future.

    Others feel there are just less deer in the county and region. A few feel the liberal doe limited enacted several years ago may have diminished the herd, a scenario that may well have been the object of the overall management plan by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

    Factors like blue-tongue in some middle and east Tennessee counties could well have hurt the deer numbers for hunters in some places.

    Weather is always a factor too and the last week or so wasn’t friendly to most hunters nor was the first full week of January at the end of the regular gun season when frigid temperatures likely curtailed hunting activity for some.

    Still, it was a pretty good season overall for most. Practically every deer hunter was able to put some meat in the freezer even if they didn’t bag that trophy buck of their dreams this year.

    It will be interesting to hear from Henry County deer hunters as to their overall take on the season just passed. How about it? Do you think the buck limit or doe limits need adjusting? Season dates need changing?

    If you have an idea TWRA is seeking comments up until February 15 so now is the time to formulate your thoughts and sent them to the agency.

    Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2018-19 Hunting Season Comments, TWRA, Wildlife and Forestry Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed TWRA.HuntingComments@tn.gov. 

  Please include “Hunting Season Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.
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DEER CHECK-IN OPTIONS

Sportsmen are reminded of various methods to check in their harvests.

Most deer are checked in on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website. Many sportsmen have smartphones/web access. For those sportsmen who do not have web/smartphone access, the TWRA suggests you consider using a friend’s phone or computer to check in your harvest on the TWRA website or by the TWRA mobile application.

If this is not possible, you can physically check in your harvest at a check station. Please note that due to a vendor change, there is about a 20 percent decrease in the number of check in stations across the state. An updated check-in station list is available on the TWRA website under the For Hunters section.

All deer harvests must be checked in by the end of the calendar day. Evidence of the animal’s sex and antlered status must remain with the animal while afield and checked in.
 

CWD CONCERNS AGENCY

In an effort to keep chronic wasting disease (CWD) out of Tennessee, the state’s wildlife agency is reminding hunters who travel beyond state lines that they must be mindful of import restrictions before they return home.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is concerned about hunters who pursue big game in the cervid family, which includes white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.

Because chronic wasting disease is contagious and deadly to deer, the agency is urging sportsmen to read this year’s Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide for instructions on properly preparing game for transport.

Import restrictions apply to most U.S. states and all Canadian provinces where chronic wasting disease has been discovered.

“This includes Arkansas and Missouri, which border Tennessee,” noted Col. Darren Rider of the TWRA Law Enforcement Division. “If someone comes back into the state without following the restrictions we would have to confiscate their prized deer, elk, or moose, which is something we definitely do not want to do.”

Virginia has also reported CWD, but because the positive counties are more than 150 miles from Tennessee, hunters outside of Frederick and Shenandoah counties are not bound by this year’s restrictions.

“The import restriction will go into effect for all of Virginia beginning next spring,” said Col. Rider.

While Tennessee’s import restrictions do not halt the transport of legally taken deer, elk, or moose, they do require carcasses be cleaned and dressed beyond what is typically done by most hunters.

The following can be imported into Tennessee from CWD positive areas:

*Meat that has bones removed.

*Antlers, antlers attached to cleaned skull plates, and cleaned skulls (where no meat or tissues are attached to the skull.)

*Cleaned teeth.

*Finished taxidermy, hides, and tanned products.

More information about CWD, including many of the states and provinces where CWD has been reported, can also be found on TWRA’s website homepage under “Hot Topics.”

Hunters should inquire with wildlife agencies prior to their out-of-state trip if CWD has been identified in local cervid populations.



HENRY COUNTY THIRD STATEWIDE IN DEER HARVEST  2016 - 2017

Tennessee’s deer season ended last Sunday when the last of two special youth hunts saw the curtain fall. Overall it was a pretty successful season for local hunters and those statewide as well.

Unofficial total from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stood at 157,227 for the year. Locally, hunters in Henry County checked in 3,823 since the archery season opened back on the fourth Saturday in September.

Henry County’s total ranked third in the statewide harvest among the state’s ninety-five counties.

Top county for the year in Tennessee was Fayette where hunters harvested 4,233 deer. Second place went to Giles County as hunters there checked in 3,925.

One of the highlights of the season was a buck harvested in Sumner County during the a muzzleloader season, has completed a step toward becoming a world record for a non-typical deer rack.

Boone and Crockett officials spent several hours on January 9 scoring the 47-point buck tabbed the “Tennessee Tucker Buck” as the Nashville headquarters of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The buck was harvested by 26-year old Gallatin resident Stephen Tucker.

The deer rack scored 312 3/8 in the Boone and Crockett tabulation. The tabulation was held after 60 days had passed since the original “wet” score indicated that the buck was a potential world record. As it stands, the score will break previous mark of 307 5/8.

Here’s hoping you had a good season even if you didn’t take a trophy buck!

DEER HARVEST 2015 - 2016

According to figures from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency the statewide deer harvest stands at 167,240 for the 2015-2016 season total.

Henry County deer hunters had another good year and were leading the state’s 95 counties for a few weeks in the latter part of the season but lost the top spot ranking to Giles County by only 116. Hunters in Henry County checked in 4,616 but Giles was tops with 4,732.

Neighboring counties had the following totals for the year: Benton 2,228; Carroll 3,334; Stewart 3,043; Weakley 2,956.


GUN DEER SEASON OPENS…FOURTH SATURDAY IN NOVEMBER IS A TRADITION


It’s billed as the opener of gun deer season in Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency literature. Yet a big number of deer hunters across the Volunteer State have already been in the woods and fields for quite some time with a muzzleloader or bow.

Tennessee’s long-standing annual outdoors traditions begins with the opening of the 2015-16 gun hunting season for deer. Deer gun season has the permanent opening date of the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving.

The biggest change for hunters in 2015-16 is the statewide bag limit for antlered deer is now two. The number includes those taken during the archery only, muzzleloader, and gun seasons.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency divides the state into three deer hunting units, A, B and & L. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day toward the bag limit.

For antlerless deer hunting in Units A and B during this season, refer to the list of hunts on page 26 of TWRA’s 2015-16. The bag limit for antlerless deer in Unit L is three per day. An antlerless deer is defined as those deer with no antlers or deer with both antlers less than three inches in length.

A Type 94 permit is required to harvest antlerless deer during this season on all non-quota hunts in Units A, B, & L, except for holders of an Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, Senior Citizen License Type 167 Permit, or landowners hunting under the landowner exemption. A Type 94 permit is required for all ages.

TWRA personnel will be collecting data at selected check-in stations and deer processors across the state on opening day. Antlered bucks will be measured and aged for management purposes.

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses) while hunting any species in Tennessee.

For more information about Tennessee’s 2015-16 deer hunting seasons, refer to the 2015-16 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents or log onto the agency’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.


NATIONAL HUNT/FISH DAY

Over 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of wildlife were threatening the future of many species.

Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game, created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most dramatic conservation successes of all time.

Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated exploitation.

During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use and enjoyment of everyone.

In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to play-in the conservation movement.

On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, "I urge all citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."

By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The response was dramatic.

National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000 "open house" hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate traditional outdoor sports.

Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women. Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and many other sports and entertainment figures.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.


BIGGER DEER BEING TAKEN

American deer hunters are killing the highest-ever percentage of bucks age 3½ and older, according to data gathered by the Quality Deer Management Association for its 2015 Whitetail Report.

In the 2013-14 season, the most recent season with compete deer harvest data available from all states, 34 percent of bucks harvested in the states that collect buck age data were 3½ or older. That statistic is up from 32 percent the season before, and significantly up from a decade before in the 2003-04 season, when only 23 percent of the national buck harvest was mature. These gains have been made while the percentage of yearling bucks (1½ years old) in the harvest has steadily declined, reaching a record-low of 36 percent.

"This is a testament to how far we've come as hunters in the past decade," said Kip Adams, QDMA's Director of Education & Outreach, who compiles the annual Whitetail Report. "More hunters are choosing to protect yearling bucks, and they are being rewarded by seeing and killing more of them as mature animals."
 

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