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2018-19 Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Set; New Officers Elected During TFWC Meeting

Thursday, March 01, 2018 | 03:12pm

NASHVILLE --- The 2018-19 state waterfowl hunting regulations were set during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s February meeting which concluded Wednesday.

The TFWC also elected its new officers for 2018-19 during the two-day session held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Region II Ray Bell Building.

Seasons and bag limits for most migratory gamebirds will be similar to 2017-18 with a few slight changes. There will be an increase of the daily bag limit for pintails from one bird a day to two birds a day.

The youth waterfowl hunts which occur on consecutive Saturdays in February have a change, increasing the age for participants by a year.  The hunts have been for youth ages 6 to 15, but the Commission approved the agency’s recommendation  for youth from ages 6 to 16 to fall in line with other TWRA youth hunts such as deer and turkey. Federal regulations were also recently changed to include 16-year old hunters.

Next year’s regulations include an expansion for most goose seasons to include more days. The bag limit of white-fronted geese would increase from two birds a day to three a day.

The statewide sandhill crane hunting season will remain the same with only a change in calendar dates.

The commission approved an amendment to its rule on restrictions of importation of deer, elk, moose, and caribou carcasses to include all U.S. states and Canadian provinces, rather than just those that have confirmed cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD).

Contagious and deadly to members of the deer family known as cervids, this disease has been discovered in 25 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Mississippi became the latest state to confirm CWD two weeks ago.

Many hunters travel out of state and often return with harvested animals. Import restrictions require that cervid carcasses be properly cleaned and dressed before being transported into Tennessee.

At the TFWC’s January meeting, the commission asked the TWRA Law Enforcement Division to research the cost of equipment in regard to help with law enforcement issues surrounding CWD. Lt. Col. Cape Taylor presented preliminary costs of freezers and incinerators and will provide additional information at a future TFWC meeting.

Capt. Matt Majors made a presentation on the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that TWRA has used often in recovery efforts after fatal boating or drowning accidents. The agency has also been called on numerous occasions to assist other agencies.

Among its budget expansions, the Agency approved the purchase of another ROV which is will be funded completely by federal funds.

Cpt. Dale Grandstaff gave a presentation on the “Cluster Buck” deer display which featured trophies from across the state. All of the mounts, with the exception of a replica of the record “Tucker Buck” from 2016, were on loan from the sportsmen who harvested the deer. The display was featured at the recently held Southeastern Deer Study Group conference and at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the commission elected its new officers for the coming year. Jeff Cook (Franklin) will move into the chairman role after serving as vice chairman. Kurt Holbert (Decaturville) moves from secretary to vice chairman and Brian McLerran (Moss) becomes an officer as the secretary.

Jamie Woodson (Lebanon) served as the chair the past year and was praised by her colleagues for her tenure in the position. She will continue to serve as a member of the commission.