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East Tennessee Outdoors… Outdoor News for the week of August 19, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

It’s that time of year when it is difficult to decide what to do in the outdoors. Fishing in some lakes is still good. Trout are still biting on the area’s trophy rivers.

It is the perfect weather to camp and hike, and finally, Saturday is the opening day of the hunting season. All of this makes a man’s head hurt trying to decide what to do first!

Whatever you decide to do, stay safe in the outdoors. Accidents can happen especially for those that are not prepared.

Outdoor Accidents

A woman had to be rescued from the Dennis Cove Hiking and Camping Area last weekend after being injured in a fall. According to officials the woman was hiking during heavy rain and flooding conditions in the area and had to be evacuated to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

At the publishing of this column, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating a possible drowning at the Shook Branch Area of Watauga Lake.

According to the TWRA, an unattended floatation device was found in the area, but no one had been reported missing. The agency was using sonar to try to find the possibly missing swimmer.

Pick up a copy of the Elizabethton Star Newspaper to keep up with this developing story.

Free Hunting Day

The TWRA has named Saturday, August 22, 2020, as Free Hunting Day in Tennessee. On this Saturday any hunter can take to the woods and try to bring home some meat for the freezer and table.

During this Saturday, a hunter does not need a hunting license nor do they need a Hunter Safety certificate to take game. This is to give people in Tennessee the opportunity to see if they are interested in hunting before they buy a full hunting license and go to a hunter safety course.

Tennessee Squirrel Season

Next Saturday is the opening day of squirrel season in Tennessee and the unofficial opening day of hunting season in the state. Any hunter can take up to 10 red, grey, fox, or flying squirrels per day.

The season opens this Saturday, August 22, 2020, and will last until February 28, 2020.

Watauga and South Holston Lakes

The bass and walleye are still hitting on Watauga and South Holston Lakes, but the fishing is extra good at night.

Start fishing about two hours before dark and fish as long as you can. Also, fish early in the morning up until around 9:00 am.

Use black lights to draw the fish into you and jigs to catch the fish.

Also, keep an eye out for local tournaments on some of these lakes. There are tournaments for the skilled angler who take their bass fishing series, and there are tournaments for those who just want to relax for a few hours and see if they can catch a fish in the money.

Either way, it is enjoyable, and I guarantee you that you will have a good time.

Final thought

It seems that I caution all of the sportsmen and women in this area in this column every week to stay safe, watch the weather, and go prepared. If you pay attention to nothing I print here, heed my warning of staying safe.

It seems that each week someone has to be rescued from one of our trails because they are lost or have fallen while hiking.

Drunk boaters capsize boats or cause accidents on the water. Anglers are caught in lightning storms and stranded in floods.

Watch and plan for the weather and go prepared for any situation. In the end, we all want our experiences in the outdoors to be happy ones.