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TWRA Updates and Closures due to COVID-19

Waterfowl Quota Hunts (Computerized/Hand Held Draw)

Due to COVID-19, Executive order #38, and CDC guidance duck blinds this year will all be selected by computerized drawing. This is to ensure public health as in-person drawings result in crowds of over 1,000 people.

FAQ Season-long Duck Blind Drawings

A computerized drawing instead of a handheld drawing will occur for each of the following WMAs:

•       Hunters may only apply for one area and may apply as an individual or a party (maximum of 8). The chance of being drawn is the same for individuals and parties.

•       Applicant can prioritize up to 24 hunt locations and the computer will issue blind location to the successful applicants in the order they are chosen. No priority points used or issued.

•       If an applicant is chosen and none of their preferences are available, they have a second chance to get blind.

•       Any blind not issued after all applicants are selected will be awarded to applicants (individuals and groups) who were not successful with their prioritized blind choices in the order in which they were chosen.

•       Sign-ons may not be added later; party is defined with the application.

•       Apply at GoOutdoorsTN.com from – July 2 -26, 2020

•       License requirements are unchanged.

o   All areas (except Reelfoot) - Annual Hunting and Fishing License (Type 001) and an Annual Small Game and Waterfowl Permit (Type 091), or Sportsman License, or any Lifetime Sportsman License.

o   Reelfoot - Annual Reelfoot Preservation Permit (Type 089), or Sportsman License, or any Lifetime Sportsman License.

o   The minimum age requirement to apply is 16.

•       Results will be available by August 1st and successful hunters will receive an electronic blind permit.

•       Blind construction deadline- October 26, 2020.

Sandhill Crane Tags Drawing

•       Drawings usually result in large crowds of hunters.

•       TWRA will conduct a computerized drawing for all sandhill crane tags and will not conduct the traditional in-person drawing for Southeast Crane Zone tags

•       Apply at GoOutdoorsTN.com from Sept. 2-23, 2020.

•       Those successfully drawn will receive two statewide tags (includes SE Zone).

•       Up to 1,350 hunters will receive 2 tags (2,700 total)

•       Hunters unsuccessfully drawn will receive one priority point for future online drawings

Q & A:

1.  What about permanent sites, will the cardholder send in information with the sign-on?

Permanent blind registration is unchanged.  This only affects Reelfoot and West Sandy. 

For Reelfoot - To annually register a permanent registered blind site, an individual must purchase a Reelfoot waterfowl blind permit Type 025. Registration may be done either in person at any TWRA License agent location or through certified mail between February 18 and July 31, inclusive. If registration is in person, the registrant must present a photo ID. To complete the registration process, blind holders must send a signed copy of the Type 025 to the TWRA Sales Office postmarked by July 31. If registered through the mail, a signed and notarized affidavit proving identification must be included and the registration must be postmarked between February 18 and July 31, inclusive.  A permanent registered blind site holder may annually designate other individuals who may for that season be permitted priority use of their permanent blind site. These persons, hereinafter, will be referred to as sign-ons. The permanent registered blind site holder must obtain a type 026 Reelfoot Sign-on Permit for each individual sign-on. Each Type 026 must be signed and notarized and a photocopy submitted by the blind site registrant. Photocopies of each type 026 must be post marked by July 31 to the TWRA Sales Office. 

For West Sandy: To annually register a permanent registered blind site, an individual must purchase either a combination waterfowl and small game annual permit or a sportsman’s license and provide it to TWRA personnel at the time of registration. After the initial registration, each individual must annually renew registration either in person with the area manager or through the individual’s written and properly executed power of attorney delivered to the area manager, on the 1st Saturday in August at the time and location specified.         A permanent registered blind site holder may annually designate other individuals who may for that season be permitted priority use of their permanent blind sites. These persons, hereinafter referred to as sign-ons must be identified at the time of the blind registration.  Failure to annually register a permanent registered blind site during the designated time period on the first Saturday in August shall result in the termination of its status as a permanent registered blind site after which it may be designated as a permanent draw blind site, at the discretion of TWRA.  Individuals that have a permanent registered blind on West Sandy WMA will be able to renew their registration on Saturday August 1, 2020 anytime between 8am and 11am at the Henry County Fairgrounds Livestock Barn.

2.  Will Camden, Big Sandy, Gin Creek, and Harmon Creek still be together like they normally are at the drawing, or are we going to have to choose only one when we apply online?

Applications for different WMAs will be on different applications.  Camden Units 1 and 2 on one application, Big Sandy (including Gin Creek) on one application, Harmon’s Creek on its own application.  

3.  Will we provide maps to choose blinds from for people not familiar with the areas?   These maps are available at https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/hunting/migratory-birds.html#draw

4. I know our talking points said the chances are the same for individuals or parties but people are very confused by this statement. A party of one gets 1 ticket in the barrel.  A party of 8 gets 1 ticket in the barrel.

5. When an applicant is drawn and their preferences are not available,  how does the secondary chance work?  Applicant A is selected by the computer, but all their preferences are assigned.  Applicant A is unsuccessful in the first round of selections.  The computer will continue to select applicants and assign preferred hunt locations until either a) all hunt locations are assigned, or b) all applicants are selected.  If all applicants are selected and hunt locations remain then Applicant A is the first applicant assigned a blind that was not assigned in initial round of selections.  The computer will assign blinds to first round unsuccessful applicants in the order they were selected and determined unsuccessful.