Tennessee ’s 2008 black bear hunting season reopens Nov. 17 and continues through Nov. 20, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Counties open are: Blount, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Jefferson (east of Hwy. 411), Johnson, Monroe, Polk (east of Hwy. 411 and north of Hwy. 64), Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties. Dogs are permitted during this season.
So far this year, there have been reported 145 bears harvested. Harvest by county and equipment type has been: Blount (2 archery, 14 firearm), Carter (20 archery), Cocke (4 archery, 4 firearm), Greene (5 archery, 1 firearm) Johnson (26 archery), Monroe (16 firearm), Sevier (13 firearm), Sullivan (9 archery), Unicoi (11 archery), and Washington (2 archery).
Hunters should be aware of the following regulations when hunting black bears in Tennessee :
· The limit on bear for any person participating in statewide or WMA hunts or both shall not exceed one bear per calendar year.
· Cubs or female bears with cubs at side may not be taken at any time. A cub is defined as a bear weighing 75 pounds or less.
· Bears may be whole or field dressed but must weigh 75 pounds or greater when checked out.
· The reproductive (sex) organs must remain attached to each bear harvested until the bear has been officially checked out at an official TWRA checking station.
Each of the counties listed above will be open for bear hunting again on November 27-30 (no dogs allowed) and then they reopen on Dec. 4 (dogs allowed) for 14 days.
For detailed information about black bear hunting in Tennessee refer to the 2008 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide or the TWRA web page at www.tnwildlife.org .
Free Sight-in day for Big Game Hunters
On Friday, November 14, 2008 , the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) will host a free sight-in day for big game hunters at the John Sevier Hunter Education Center at 2327 Rifle Range Road in Knoxville .
Big game hunters wanting to sight-in a pistol, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader can do it for FREE between 1 and 5 p.m. on that afternoon . Targets, sand bags and scope adjustment tools will be provided.
TWRA personnel and volunteer Hunter Education instructors will assist and provide range safety.
Participants must check in at the Range Office and possess a valid hunting license for hunting big game with a firearm or muzzleloader in Tennessee .
The shooting facility at John Sevier is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 6 p.m. , Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. Handguns/rifles/shotguns and muzzleloaders can be shot on the 100 yard range. Additionally, pistol and clay target programs are available. An entrance fee of $5.50 for adults and $1.50 for youth under 16 is required on public days, but all range fees will be waived during the sight-in period.
All TWRA licenses, WMA permits, hunting guides and regulations are available at this facility. For more information, contact the range office at 865-594-6279.
Waterfowl refuges closed during part of migration
Several TWRA waterfowl refuges in Region IV ( East Tennessee ) will close to public access this winter to provide migrating waterfowl a place to feed and rest, undisturbed by human activities, reminds the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
These refuges are closed to public access, except in designated observation areas, each year during the peak of the migrations.
The following areas are closed as designated: