NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission set the state’s 2013-14 hunting seasons at its May meeting, which concluded Friday.
TWRA staff had presented the recommendations on upcoming hunting seasons at its April meeting with few changes for 2013-14. Tennessee deer hunters will again see an increased opportunities for harvest in the coming year.
Tennessee’s deer hunting is divided into three units, with Unit L being the most liberal. Crockett County in West Tennessee was approved to be moved to Unit L. Numerous counties in units A and B were recommended for increases in antlerless opportunities.
In regard to the bear hunting seasons, there were minimal changes proposed. To avoid a conflict with the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday, the main bear gun season is will open on Friday, Nov. 29 rather than Thursday.
During fall turkey season, several counties in southern Middle Tennessee are having their bag limits reduced. The bag limits in Giles, Wayne, and Lawrence counties will be one, and Lincoln County will be three. The fall turkey season counties included three expansions to include Meigs, Rhea and Roane counties to have bag limits of one. Bag limits in the West Tennessee counties of Carroll and Weakley were increased from one to three.
The statewide changes to Wildlife Management Areas include cave closures, to assist in the control of white nose syndrome, on all areas unless authorized by TWRA. All WMAs open to statewide seasons would have a Jan. 15 closure for quail hunting.
In regard to manner and means, the boating and law enforcement division proposed that the air rifles regulation wording be changed to air guns, with a maximum caliber of .25.
The commission voted to approve its “Moment of Freedom” campaign which began with discussion late last year. The project includes making available no less than five new wheelchair accessible facilities in each of the TWRA’s four regions over a three year period within the WMA system.
The facilities would provide opportunities for those who are wheelchair-bound to enjoy the outdoors via hunting, fishing, shooting sports or observing the state’s wildlife in its native habitat. Funds to purchase and/or construct the facilities would be the responsibility of the TFWC through seeking corporate or individual donations.
Where construction is required, the TFWC will undertake these projects using volunteers in keeping with the “Habitat for Humanity” approach for home construction.
Visit the TWRA website for more information about outdoors programs in Tennessee.