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The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) voted unanimously to increase the early wood duck and teal hunting season daily bag limit from 4 to 6 (no more than two wood ducks) and also allow the addition of teal-only hunting days to this season.
The TFWC approved the proclamation (14-10 which amended 3-11) in a meeting via conference call on Friday, Aug. 1. The only item on the agenda was this proclamation which addresses the early migratory bird hunting seasons.
In late June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s and the Mississippi Flyway Council’s request for these two changes.
The requests had been made in response to the high blue-winged teal populations and similar recent expansions in states with September teal-only hunting seasons. The change will allow the addition of four teal-only hunting days.
The wood duck and teal season is Sept. 13-17. The teal-only hunting dates are Sept. 18-21. The TWRA emphasizes the need for proper duck identification during the additional teal-only days.
The TWRA staff worked for months with the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways and the USFWS to bring this request forward. The request is based on biological information in a 2013 report made available to the flyway councils. These changes will be experimental for three years.
The TFWC’s next regular meeting will be held in Jackson on Aug. 28-29 at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center.