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East Tennessee Outdoors… News for August 5, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

It is August already, and maybe it is me, but it seems that June and July lasted three days each. Regardless, the weather is still warm, and August is a good month for lake fishing.

The fish are hungry and are just waiting for the right lure to drift by their mouth.

August is also the opening of hunting season. I know it seems like an eternity since the last hunting season, but it is almost back. August gives us a free hunting day, the opening of squirrel season, and the first deer season.

Get out, have fun, and make a memory. Life is too short to stay inside next to the air conditioner.

Helicopter Crash

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, four people were on board a helicopter that crashed into the Tennessee River about four miles from the Downtown Island Airport.

More information on this developing story will be printed here at the Elizabethton Star as it becomes available.

East Tennessee lake fishing

I have been receiving reports of good catches coming from the lakes, and the bites are heating up.

The best fishing is still at night when the day is at its coolest. You may catch anything during the night including bass, walleye, and, my favorite, catfish.

Be patient.

Start fishing at sunset, and stay late into the night, and you should catch some fish.

Tennessee dates to remember

There are several dates to remember during the month of August. First, remember August 22, 2020, is Free Hunting Day in Tennessee.

Anyone can hunt on this day without a license or a hunter safety course.

This also corresponds with the opening day of the Tennessee squirrel season. Tennessee’s squirrel season also opens on August 22, 2020. This year’s bag limit for bushy-tails is 10 squirrels per day, and the season lasts until February 28, 2021.

The final day to remember for August is the opening day of deer season.

The TWRA instituted this special hunt last year, and it was a success. The special deer hunt is on August 28-30, 2020, and it is a buck-only hunt.

During this hunt, you have to use archery equipment, and if you kill a buck, it will be a part of your statewide bag limit of two.

Some have called this season the velvet season because some of the bucks will still have velvet on their antlers.

The Purpose of Velvet

This is just a reminder of the purpose of velvet on a deer antler. To begin a deer does not grow horns.

A horn is something dead, and I like to compare a horn to the growing of a fingernail or toenail.

Deer have antlers. These are living things and even have blood vessels. A buck will lose their antlers each winter.

As the weather gets warm, they will start growing their antlers back. As they grow back, the antlers will have a velvet covering to protect them.

The antlers are very brittle and will break easily while they are growing back, so the velvet helps protect them.

To get rid of the velvet, a buck will rub his antlers against a small tree or shrub in late summer or early fall. The velvet is then eaten by squirrels, and other animals because it is filled with nutrition.

A buck that is still in velvet is a true trophy, and this August hunting season is your best opportunity to get one to fill the freezer and the wall.

Good weather, good fishing, and good hunting – does it get any better than that?