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the Lakes Events
Seasons and regulations
brought to you by:
By Steve McCadams
Anyone interested in taking a TWRA Hunter Education Course before that
special Youth Turkey Hunt weekend, slated for March 25-26, are advised of
a couple of upcoming courses in the area.
The first will be offered at Camden High School on March 13-14, skipping
the 15 and resuming on 16-17. That’s a Monday and Tuesday followed by a
Thursday and Friday. Course hours are 6-9 p.m. Participants must attend
all four nights.
Another course will take place March 18 at Carroll County Sports Shooting
Complex in Huntingdon. This one day event is for students who have
completed an approved online course prior to the date.
All students wanting to take a TWRA Hunter Education course, either
classroom or field day, must register online for the particular class you
want to take. Go to
www.tn.gov/twra, click on
Sections, then For Hunters, then find the Hunter Education link and
For additional information call the TWRA regional office in Jackson at
NEW FISHING/HUNTING LICENSES ON SALE
It’s that time again. Renewing your fishing and hunting licenses that
The 2017-18 Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses will go on sale
Saturday. There no price increase this year so not to worry. Your
current ones expire at the end of February each year.
Licenses are available at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional
offices, license agents, on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org, and at
the TWRA “On the Go App” and charged to a credit card.
The 2017-18 licenses are valid through February 2018. License sales
provide the primary funding for the TWRA, which does not receive any
funding from the state's general fund.
Resident licenses may be purchased by persons who possess a valid
Tennessee driver’s license; persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90
consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their
permanent home (but do not hold a driver’s license in another state);
military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate
families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status; students
who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at
least six months. A Social Security number is required to purchase a
Tennessee hunting or fishing license.
Through the internet, charges are $4.25 for licenses mailed and $3 for
self-print or emailed.
In case of a lost license, duplicate licenses can be obtained from any
TWRA license agent for an $8 fee. Also, valid duplicate licenses can be
printed online at no cost by selecting the reprint my licenses button on
the customer information screen.
Beginning this license year, customers have the option to purchase a
hard-copy collector’s card for any annual license. The size of a credit
card, the license features recreated paintings by famed Tennessee artist
Ralph McDonald. Specific license information is on the back of the card....
Remind your buddies to updates...Each year licenses expire on the last
day of February but it’s easy to overlook the expiration date when
fishing fever takes hold!
NEW LIMIT ON CRAPPIE
Crappie fishermen on Kentucky Lake are reminded of the new regulation
taking place March 1. That’s when the daily creel limit on crappie at
twenty per person takes effect.
For several years the Kentucky portion of the reservoir has been at
twenty. This will be the first time for Tennessee anglers as the
wildlife commission officially approved the reduction from the present
day thirty daily creel limit back in October of last year.
A 10-inch minimum length limit remains in effect.
National Wild Turkey Federation’s local chapter, known as The Tennessee
River Longbeards, will host its 19th Annual membership banquet on
Saturday, February 25 at Henry County Fairgrounds, 517 Royal Oak Drive,
Tickets are no on sale from committee members. Single membership is $50
and couple price is $65. Sponsor level membership is $275.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. A live and silent
auction will follow. For tickets and additional info contact Keith or
Natalie Hickman at 731-336-3769 or 336-9465.
LBL BEGINS SEASON
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area begins its 2017 season
Wednesday, March 1, when Energy Lake, Hillman Ferry, and Piney
campgrounds, along with Woodlands Nature Station, Homeplace 1850s Farm,
and North and South Welcome stations open.
LBL honors the America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal
Recreational Lands Pass including Senior, Access, and Military Passes.
For more information on discount passes and how to get federal
recreation passes, visit www.landbetweenthelakes.us/visit/passes/.
To find more information about Land Between the Lakes, log on to the
official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call 1-800-LBL-7077 or
LBL QUOTA HUNT DEATLINE
The deadline for Turkey Quota Hunt applications at Land Between the
Lakes is February 28. Hunters may apply online, 24/7, at
lblquotahunt.hometracker.com/ or by phone until February 28. If applying
by phone, call 270-924-2065, 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday. Application fees
are $5 online and $7 by phone.
Applicants can check the quota hunt website at the end of March to see
if they were drawn.
BIG DOG PREDATOR HUNT RESULTS
Last Saturday’s 17th Annual Big Dog Predator Hunt had a big turnout.
There were 90 teams participating and several ventured to the Paris area
from distant towns.
Taking first place team honors with three coyotes weighing a total of
105.4 pounds was the team of Randy Coe and Mike Catlett of Camden. Prize
for the biggest coyote went to Jimmy Jackson and Shane Koch of Paris for
one weighing 42.8 pounds. The small dog prize went to Jamie and Jessica
Bethune of Munford for one weighing 22.2 pounds.
“This was our largest turnout ever so we were glad to see the
participation level increasing,” said event spokesman Randall Bowden.
“It was a windy day and that works against coyote hunters but they still
managed to take 40 coyotes and one was a solid black coyote, which is
Small game seasons open Saturday as well across Tennessee. Both quail and
rabbit seasons start Saturday with a long window of opportunity as hunters
will have until February 28, 2017 to pursue bobwhites and cottontails.
Quail season used to be a big deal across West Tennessee but declining
bird populations have all but diminished the ranks of hunters. Hardly
anyone has bird dogs anymore for hunting wild birds, although a few are
holding on to the sport by hunting pen raised birds.
Rabbit hunters are doing pretty good, however. Initial reports indicated
rabbits have made rebounds in many areas.
As a result there are still plenty of hunters cultivating good packs of
beagle hounds throughout the year in anticipation of the approaching
Daily bag limit on rabbits remains at five. For quail the daily limit is
TROUT STOCKING RETURNS
Want to catch and eat a few rainbow trout to start the new year off
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s winter trout stocking program
and will continue at selected locations through middle portion of March.
The 2016-17 program began Dec. 1 and had 27 stockings at various
locations through mid-December.
The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities
for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a
great opportunity to introduce children or first-time anglers to
The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit
is seven, but there is no size limit. Anglers are reminded that a trout
license is needed in addition to the fishing license.
Please note that the dates and locations are subject to change. Updates
can be found on TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.
Henry County’s next stocking will occur January 11. Other areas will be
stocked that same day at McKenzie’s City Park Lake and Union City’s
Reelfoot Packing Plant Lake.
BOAT SALES INCREASE
The National Marine Manufacturers, representing the nation’s recreational
boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturers, says it expects unit
sales of new powerboats to increase between six and seven percent in 2017,
reaching an estimated 250,000 boats sold last year as consumer confidence
soars and manufacturers introduce products attracting younger boaters. In
addition to unit sales of new boats, recreational boating industry dollar
sales are expected to rise between 10-11 percent from $8.4 billion.
In fact, as one of the few original American-made industries – 95 percent
of boats sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. – recreational boating is
seeing some of its healthiest gains in nearly a decade, a trajectory the
NMMA expects to continue through 2018.
“With the U.S. boating industry having one of its strongest years in the
last decade, and manufacturers saying, ‘we’re back!’, it’s likely we will
reflect on this period as a golden age for our economy and our industry,”
notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Economic indicators are working in
the industry’s favor—a continuously improving housing market, strong
consumer confidence, growing disposable income and consumer spending, and
low interest rates all contribute to a healthy recreational boating
market. Looking ahead, 2017 is likely to bring new dollar and unit sales
gains on par with or better than 2016, and this trend will likely continue
SQUIRREL TAILS OR FISH TALES?
How does a squirrel’s tail turn into a fishing tale?
Wisconsin based Sheldon’s, a lure manufacturer of the poplar Mepps
spinners continues to ask hunters to save their squirrel tails. The tails
are used for their hand-tied, dressed hooks of their world-famous,
fish-catching lures. They've been recycling squirrel tails for over
“Squirrels are good eating and we can reuse their tails for making the
world's #1 lure,” explains Mepps Communications Director, Josh Schwartz.
“Consider harvesting squirrels for the 2016 hunting season.”
Mepps buys fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails and will pay up to 26
cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. Plus, the cash
value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.
Schwartz reminds everyone, "We do not advocate harvesting of squirrels
solely for their tails."
For details on the Squirrel Tail Program, either visit our web site
www.mepps.com/squirrels or call 800-713-3474.
Turkey time is about over for Tennessee sportsmen, at least as far as the
spring season goes.
The statewide season began back on the first Saturday in April. Young
turkey hunters got an ever earlier start when the special youth hunt
allowed for a two-day hunt the last weekend in March.
has been a pretty good season overall according to local turkey hunters.
According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency harvest numbers are
similar to last year as the season winds down.
Tennessee turkey hunters have surpassed the 30,000 harvest mark for the 14th
consecutive year. With less than a week remaining total harvest numbers
stood at 30,376 as compared to 30,002 for the same period last year.
According to TWRA data Maury County is on pace to be the top harvest
county again this year with its current harvest at 895. Rounding out the
current top 10 counties are Montgomery (828), Greene (715), Dickson (700),
Sumner (653), Wilson (605), Stewart (553), Henry (548), Robertson (546),
and Rutherford (506).
COUGARS IN TENNESSEE
Cougars in Tennessee you say? The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
has announced that it has created its page on its website with
information on cougars for the public.
Recent cougar sightings have been confirmed at four locations in
Tennessee and the TWRA is taking a proactive stance in making
information available. The cougar has not been seen in Tennessee since
the early 20th century until recently. Cougars primarily inhabit the
western region of the United States and extend to the east as far as the
western edge of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and close to the
eastern borders of Colorado and Texas.
The information can be viewed on the TWRA website (www.tnwildlife.org0
and click on the “Cougars in Tennessee” icon located on the top of the
TROPHY BASS CAUGHT
Bass just keep getting bigger here on Kentucky Lake it seems. There was
a time when a 10-pound bass story was almost unheard of here on the big
pond. Not so anymore.
This week’s big fish story comes courtesy of angler Bill Lawrence of
Union City. While fishing in the Big Sandy last Saturday with his son
Jake, Bill landed a trophy fish that tipped the scales at a whopping 11
pounds, 2 ounces!
“I was fishing muddy water in Big Sandy and tossed a spinnerbait around
a shallow stakebed,” said Lawrence when asked to comment about his big
fish. “Thought I was hung for a moment and then it moved a bit. Then, it
felt kind of lethargic and I told my son I bet it’s a drum. Then we got
a glimpse of it and saw it was a bass.”
“It didn’t fight much at first but put up a struggle once I got it close
to the boat. I thought it might be a 6 or 7 pound fish but couldn’t see
it good. My son netted it and once we got it in the boat we both
realized just how big it was!”
“It is the biggest bass of my life,” said Lawrence.
Bass fishing is in the family as his son Jake attended Bethel University
and was a member of the bass team there for four years.
A tip of the hat for landing that big bass. Very few anglers can lay
claim to an 11 pound bass here on Kentucky Lake...or anywhere else for
HUNTER ED SIGN-UP REQUIRED
Registration for a Tennessee Hunter Education course will be required to
be made on the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Agency’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.
On the TWRA website, those wishing to register for a class will click
the “register for a hunter education class” link. Once clicking the
link, there will be directions to search for hunter education classes
closest to your area.
Registration must be completed prior to the starting date of a class to
ensure a spot in a particular class. For those persons without computer
access, they are encouraged to visit a local library or call a TWRA
regional office for further assistance.
Advance registration provides more time for instructors to devote to
students. It also provides a quicker method for the registration
FIRST FALCON TRAPPING IN 50 YEARS
The first Peregrine falcon has been trapped in Tennessee in more than 50
years on the banks of the Mississippi River by a Carroll County
resident. Tennessee was awarded one permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service allowing the trapping of one Peregrine falcon for the use in
falconry beginning in 2011 in selected West Tennessee counties.
Brian Brown, of Clarksburg, made the historic capture. He used a Dho-ghazza net and lured the
Peregrine he has named “Belle.” He brought the bird to the Tennessee
Wildlife Resources Agency in Nashville for the proper processing.
Peregrine falcons were the primary bird used in falconry for hunting in
the 1800s. The population of Peregrine falcons, through state and
federal conservation efforts, has recovered enough since their
near-extinction in the early 20th century to allow for a limited take of
these birds for the use in falconry. Tennessee was allowed to issue a
pair of permits this year.
“This is a true mark of success in our conservation to reestablish the
population of these birds,” said Walter Cook, TWRA Captive Wildlife
Coordinator. “Once again, this was an effort supported and carried out
Belle is believed to be one of the few trapped recently in the
southeast. A Peregrine was trapped in the Jonesboro, Ark. area during
the prior week. Brown plans to have Belle go through a brief training
period prior to her being used as his hunting bird.
Belle weighed just under two pounds on her visit to the TWRA. Peregrines
have a body length of 13 to 23 inches and a wingspan ranging from 29 to
47 inches. The Peregrine is famous for reaching speeds of more than 200
mph during its characteristic high speed dive.
The Peregrine's range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to
the tropics. It is the world's most widespread raptor.
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to
various national publications.