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East Tennessee Outdoors… Outdoor News for the week of October 5, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

Does it get any better than this?

The leaves are turning every color you can imagine, deer hunting season is in full swing, bear hunting season has begun, small game hunting has started, and the fishing is heating up on many of the local waters.

If you love the outdoors, you can say it is good to be alive.

Bear Found Eating Man?

A report to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was received of a bear scavenging on a human remains near Jellico, Tennessee. According to the report, a bear was seen eating part of the dead man that apparently had died from natural causes.

After the TWRA conducted their investigation, it was determined that there was no sign of a bear around the remains, and it had been scavenged upon by other wildlife.

The cause of death is still under investigation.

Tennessee Velvet Hunt

The numbers are in from this year’s deer “velvet hunt” that was held in August.

During this hunt, participants can use archery equipment and deer hunt for three days on private land during the last weekend in August.

Hunters can only kill a buck during this hunt, and that is why it is nicknamed the “velvet hunt”. Often the deer will have velvet on their antlers during this hunt.

This year’s hunt was the most successful one to date with a total of 769 bucks taken. This is an increase of 29 percent from last year.

Boating Fatalities

According to the TWRA, boating fatalities have increased this year compared to other years. So far this year Tennessee has seen 26 people killed on its waterways.

The record for deaths on Tennessee waters was set in 2004, and this year is likely to top that record year.

TWRA blames part of the increase in fatalities on the popularity of paddle craft. People using kayaks, rafts, canoes, paddleboards, etc., has increased since 2010, and part of these deaths are attributed to the use of these crafts on Tennessee rivers.

Tennessee Bear Season

If you have noticed trucks driving backroads with dogs in the back of them, that is a sure sign of the opening of the first bear season.

The black bear season opened when deer archery season opened in September. During this first part, a hunter could only kill a black bear with archery equipment.

The first black bear season that allows the hunters to use dogs and guns opened on October 3, 2020, and closed on October 5. This is the first official stage of the bear gun season, and it will reopen in this area again on October 10 – 11, 2020.

A hunter can only take one bear per year. The bear cannot be a female with cubs and has to weigh at least 75 pounds.

The harvested bear must be checked-in at a local check-in station and cannot be checked-in online or with your phone.

Raccoon Hunting Season

The statewide raccoon hunting season opened on September 18, 2020, and will close on February 28, 2021. The nightly bag limit is two per night per hunter.

I know there are many outdoor seasons taking place this time of year, and it is probably the busiest time of the year for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

Remember that you are not by yourself in the forest and be courteous while you share the hunting and fishing experience with others.

If someone is hunting your area on public land, go somewhere else. If someone kills that big buck you have been hunting for weeks, wish them well and hunt another buck. Be courteous while you are in the woods and it will be paid back to you 100-fold.

God bless and have a wonderful time exploring our great outdoors.