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East Tennessee Outdoors… Outdoor News for August 12, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT 

Where I am sitting, the temperature is almost 90 degrees, but I can clearly see a few leaves that are brown on the forest trees. Fall is peeking at us, and it will not be long until the mountains will give us that sweet smell of decayed leaves on a forest floor.

With all we have faced this year – I am not even going to try to name it all – fall gives us hope that the year is still moving along and the earth is still turning.

We are almost at a time when squirrels chase each other in fresh fallen leaves and a buck deer leave all precautions to go find the love of his life.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2020-2021 Hunting Guide has been printed, so pick up a copy and get familiar with the new regulations. To help toward that end, here are a few of the most important changes in this year’s hunting regulations.

TWRA 2020-2021 Hunting Guide

Here are some of the changes that have been made to the upcoming hunting season.

– Tag Before You Drag (new regulation): All big game animals must be tagged in the field as soon as the kill has been made. A hunter can either check the animal in through a smartphone or tag the animal and check it in by phone later in the day. Any big game animal must be checked in by midnight of the day the animal was taken.

– New black bear hunting dates have been adopted. See page 38 of the hunting guide for more information on this. The limit is still only one bear per season, and it must weigh over 75 pounds.

– The definition of legal trapping devices has changed. In some cases, the trapper will have to measure the trap’s jaw to make sure it does not violate TWRA’s new regulations.

Padded traps, some Conifer traps, cage traps (or live catch traps) and some snares are still legal. Be sure to read the new regulations on page 15 of the hunting guide.

– Crow season has changed this year. The season is open for crow hunting starting June 12 through July 12, September 4 to December 20 and January 1 through February 28. A hunter can only hunt on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the season, and there is no bag limit on crow.

– The deer hunting “Unit CWD” has expanded to include Lauderdale, Gibson and Crockett Counties. Unit CWD is a special unit that was created to stop the spread of Chronic Waste Disease in the Tennessee deer population.

Unit CWD hunters will be able to use archery, muzzleloader or guns during the three-day August hunt.

– Unit CWD now includes Chester, Crockett, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Shelby, and Tipton counties.

– Also, Unit CWD hunters can now earn an unlimited number of antlered deer. See the “Earn-A-Buck Program” on page 29 of your hunting guide.
 
Passing Thoughts
When hunting season comes to our mountains, so does the likelihood that someone will fall from a tree stand and get hurt. The TWRA strongly recommends that all deer hunters who are hunting from tree stands should use fall-restraint systems.
Since most hunting accidents are falls from tree stands, a fall-restraint system could go a long way in saving a hunter’s life.
Also, with hunting seasons come poaching. If you see someone poaching deer or other game, be sure to let the TWRA know.
Poachers hurt all of us who take game legally, so do your part in making sure these greedy hunters are caught and pay for their crimes.
I hope you have a good week, and God bless.