Deer season opens Saturday

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Tennessee’s 2012 deer archery-only season opens statewide on Saturday, Sept. 22. The archery season dates in all three of the state’s deer hunting units are the same. The dates are Sept. 22-Oct. 26 and Oct. 29-Nov. 2.

The antlerless deer bag limits by units are four in Units A and B deer management areas and three per day in Unit L areas. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission approved the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s proposal to increase the antlerless archery season bag limit in Unit B to four deer per season at its 2012-13 seasons setting meeting in May.

The antlered deer bag limit is a total of three for the year. A hunter may take his three antlered deer during any season, but no more than one per day.

 In addition to deer, archers may harvest wild turkeys of either sex during the archery-only deer season in counties that have a fall turkey gun hunt. Turkeys harvested during the archery-only deer season count toward the fall turkey county bag limits. (A list of counties and their bag limits are located on page 32 of the 2012 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide).

The TWRA suggests all archery hunters obtain a 2012 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide lists the counties and bag limits for each of the different deer management units. The guides are available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org.

During the opening weekend of the 2011 deer archery-only season, 2,811 were harvested an increase of 407 from 2010. All 95 counties reported harvests during the last year’s opening weekend. 

Hunters are reminded that they must possess the appropriate licenses and permits. Any hunter born on or after Jan. 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. 


Boating fatalities recorded over 

Labor Day weekend


The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports that two boating fatalities occurred over the 2012 Labor Day weekend. 

One of the fatal accidents was on the Hiwassee River when two vessels collided, leaving one boat operator dead. The second was on Cherokee Lake that left one dead and three others injured. The accidents are under investigation. 

For the second straight year, rain across the state limited the normal volume of boaters over the weekend. TWRA officers recorded two boating under the influence (BUI) arrests and there were two other boating accidents reported.

 The holiday period began Friday evening (Aug. 31) and continued through Monday (Sept. 3).

So far in 2012, there have been 21 boating fatalities. TWRA boating officers have made 133 BUI arrests, an increase of 21 over the same period from last year.


Grants available for NFSP program


The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is announcing the availability of additional grant dollars to assist schools incorporating The National Fishing in Schools Program (NFSP) during the 2012-13 school year.

Initial funding was set aside for 10 grants at $1,000 each per calendar year.  Due to the growing popularity of the fly-fishing curriculum with students, parents and teachers, an additional $4,000 has been allocated to fund classrooms in 2012. Schools adding NFSP into their learning activities are also eligible to coordinate TWRA school-sponsored Free-Fishing Days on local lakes, ponds or streams. 

The NFSP is currently deployed in more than a dozen states. NFSP’s current “Cast a Fly, Catch a Student” curriculum approved by the State Boards of Education enables middle school and high school students to earn education credits while learning to fly fish, tie knots, and explore aquatic entomology. Students also learn about the importance of water quality and habitat conservation.  The NFSP curriculum and activities correlate to National Academic Standards in Physical Education, Technology, Science and Language Arts. 

“Tennesseans have seen an overwhelming success in the health and welfare of students in similar outdoor educational programs supported by TWRA, such as the archery and the scholastic clay target programs,” said Don King, TWRA Chief of Information and Education. “TWRA is committed to creating and maintaining high quality fishing opportunities and ‘Fishing in Schools’ complements our efforts by teaching the skills necessary to enjoy and conserve our state resources for future anglers.” 

The NFSP hopes to reach 500 schools across the United States and teach 225,000 youth by 2015, with support and funding from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, State and Federal Fish/Wildlife Agencies, private companies and individual donors. Two one-day Teacher/Mentor training classes are set for Oct. 10-11 at John Overton High School in Nashville. Registration can be made at www.flyfishinginschools.org. 

TWRA Grant applications must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2012. Grant Applications are available online at the TWRA website.  For questions concerning the grants or NFSP in Tennessee contact Don Crawford at (615) 781-6542 or by email at Don.Crawford@tn.gov. 

 Additional information is also available on the NFSP website, www.flyfishinginschools.org