A youth hunt (ages 13-16 only) will be held on March 24. Additional hunts will be held on March 31, April 1 and April 7. Each hunt will begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end at noon.
The quota for each hunt will be 16 hunters, with three alternates selected to replace no-shows. The bag limit for each hunt will be one bearded turkey per hunter, which will count against the statewide bag limit.
Eligible hunters must be at least 13 years old at the time of the hunt and possess valid Tennessee hunting licenses and permits as required by state law. Hunters age 17 and younger must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult who is age 21 or older.
All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1969, must show proof of successful completion of a hunter's safety course during check-in or they will not be allowed to hunt. HSAAP will not honor the Tennessee Apprentice License as a substitute for the required hunter safety training.
Hunters will be required to wear a fluorescent orange vest while moving around in the hunting areas, but may remove the vest when setting up to call a turkey. Hunters may not have a shell loaded in the chamber of his or her shotgun while moving around in the hunting area. Hunters will be allowed to load shells into the magazines of their shotguns, however, providing they do not chamber a round until they set up to call a turkey.
Hunters will be allowed to bring only four shells for the hunt. Blackpowder and archery equipment will not be allowed.
Since two hunters will be place in each hunting area, applicants are encouraged to apply in groups of two to avoid hunting with an unknown partner. Applicants may not apply in groups of more than two.
When applying as a group, both applicants must request the same hunt dates. Applicants age 17 and older should not apply with any minor who lists the March 24 hunt date as one of their hunt choices.
To apply, send an application and application fee to: Holston Army Ammunition Plant, Attn: Turkey Hunt, 4509 West Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tenn. 37660. An application will consist of a note (preferably on an index card) with the hunter's name, address, age, Social Security number, phone number and a list of the hunt dates requested in order of preference. A $3 non-refundable application fee per person should be submitted with the application. Applicants who submit more than one application will be disqualified.
The fee must be paid with a money order or cashiers check made payable to DAO, Rock Island. Personal checks or cash will not be accepted. If selected, hunters will be required to purchase installation hunting permits for $20 at a later date.
All applications must be received at HSAAP by March 6. Successful applicants will be notified by mail by March 12 and will receive additional information about their hunt at that time. Unsuccessful applicants will not be notified by mail.
Questions concerning the hunts should be directed to HSAAP Natural Resources Manager Bruce Cole at (423) 578-6726.
Boaters relying more and more on cell phones
There once was a day when the VHF radio was a stranded boater's only way to call for assistance. But according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States, increasing numbers of boaters are using cell phones to call for help.
According to Jerry Cardarelli, Vice President of BoatU.S. Towing Services, non-emergency cell phone calls to his organization's 24-hour call increased by 4 percent in 2006.
Overall, the nation's largest on-the-water assistance program reported a 2.5 percent increase of assistance calls, including tows back to port, fuel drop-offs and ungroundings.
Cardarelli speculated that the main reason for the increase in cell phone requests is boaters' preference not to share their minor boating mishaps with the entire world on the VHF airwaves.
Cell phones haven't rendered marine radio obsolete, Cardarelli noted.
"Boaters should still have a VHF radio. In an emergency, the first responders most likely to come to your aid will be fellow boaters, and the best way to reach them is with a VHF radio," he said.
S. American trout fishing featured at TU meeting
Member Bob Viers will give a presentation about fly fishing in Patagonia, Argentina, in this month's meeting of the Overmountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
The meeting will be held Thursday at Sunny's Cafeteria, 601 Spring Street in Johnson City. Dinner is set for 6 p.m., with a short business meeting at 7 followed by the program at 7:15.
Trout Unlimited is a national organization with the mission to conserve, protect and restore North America's trout and salmon streams and related watersheds.
The meeting is open to members of the general public who are interested in coldwater fisheries conservation.
Hunting up in Tennessee, down in Old Dominion
According to a recent report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 2005 increases in Tennessee hunting license sales marked the second highest uptick in the nation.
Figures compiled by the NSSF indicated 775,511 paid license holders in Tennessee in 2005 compared to 730,495 in '04. The shift indicated an increase of 6.1 percent.
Arizona had the greatest proportional surge of hunting license sales (8.1 percent) for the same period. The state reported 182,044 paid license holders in 2004 as compared to 196,706 in 2005.
Nationwide, hunting license sales experienced an average decline of 1.4 percent. Virginia just barely registered on the downside, revealing an 0.1 percent decrease from 317,484 to 317,239.