Attendees at the year’s first meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission in Nashville received a preview of the 2018–19 waterfowl and migratory bird hunting seasons.
Jamie Feddersen, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency migratory game bird program leader, presented the preview.
Seasons and bag limits for most migratory game birds will remain similar to those of the 2017–18 season. Proposed changes include an increase of the daily bag limit for pintails and black ducks from one bird a day to two birds a day.
Youth waterfowl hunts, which occur on consecutive Saturdays in February, have been for youth ages 6 to 15. The agency is proposing changing the ages to 6 to 16, which would fall in line with other TWRA youth hunts, such as those for deer and turkey. Recent changes in federal regulations include youth to age 16.
Youth hunters are required to be in the company of a nonhunting adult age 21 or older. Another proposal is that adults and other persons accompanying youth hunters are not allowed to hunt during youth waterfowl hunts.
It was proposed that most goose seasons be expanded to include more days. Plus, the bag limit for white-fronted geese would increase from two birds a day to three a day.
The statewide sandhill crane hunting season remains the same, with only a change in calendar dates.
Frank Fiss, Fisheries Division chief, gave an update on Asian carp and discussed the agency’s exploration of possibilities of controlling the invasive species, including working with commercial fishermen.
Doug Markham, TWRA communication manager, also gave an update on the agency’s continued efforts to educate the public about chronic wasting disease, which could be devastating to deer and elk populations.
Though Tennessee has not yet had any documented cases of the disease, efforts include informing hunters who travel out of state about Tennessee’s carcass import restrictions. Three adjoining states, Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia, have reported cases of CWD in deer or elk herds and are among the states where Tennessee’s import restrictions apply.
Ducks Unlimited Canada representative Dave Kostersky discussed the organization’s 2017 highlights and their continued partnership with TWRA.
The next TFWC meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27–28 in Nashville.
Learn more about the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission and watch videos of past meetings here.