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TN DEER SEASON 2015-16
GUN DEER SEASON OPENS…FOURTH SATURDAY IN NOVEMBER IS A TRADITION
By Steve McCadams
It’s billed as the opener of gun deer season in Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Agency literature. Yet a big number of deer hunters across the
Volunteer State have already been in the woods and fields for quite some
time with a muzzleloader or bow.
At midweek deer hunters across the state had already harvested a total
of 55,281 as the regular gun season opener approaches.
Locally, Henry County hunters have checked in a total of 1,197, which is
in the top four counties across the state at the present time.
Montgomery County is the leader among the state’s 95 counties with a
tally of 1,587.
Meanwhile, one of Tennessee’s long-standing annual outdoors traditions
begins Saturday with the opening of the 2015-16 gun hunting season for
deer. Deer gun season has the permanent opening date of the Saturday
prior to Thanksgiving.
The biggest change for hunters in 2015-16 is the statewide bag limit for
antlered deer is now two. The number includes those taken during the
archery only, muzzleloader, and gun seasons.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency divides the state into three
deer hunting units, A, B and & L. No more than one antlered deer may be
taken per day toward the bag limit.
For antlerless deer hunting in Units A and B during this season, refer
to the list of hunts on page 26 of TWRA’s 2015-16. The bag limit for
antlerless deer in Unit L is three per day. An antlerless deer is
defined as those deer with no antlers or deer with both antlers less
than three inches in length.
A Type 94 permit is required to harvest antlerless deer during this
season on all non-quota hunts in Units A, B, & L, except for holders of
an Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, Senior Citizen License Type 167
Permit, or landowners hunting under the landowner exemption. A Type 94
permit is required for all ages.
TWRA personnel will be collecting data at selected check-in stations and
deer processors across the state on opening day. Antlered bucks will be
measured and aged for management purposes.
Anyone born on or after January 1, 1969 is required to carry proof of
satisfactory completion of a hunter education class or be in possession
of the Apprentice Hunting License (along with other required licenses)
while hunting any species in Tennessee.
For more information about Tennessee’s 2015-16 deer hunting seasons,
refer to the 2015-16 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available at
all license agents or log onto the agency’s website at
YOUTH HUNT WENT WELL
Last weekend’s youth deer hunt went over well as a lot of youngsters
were in the woods with a friend, relative or family member. Judging by
talk on the street there were a lot of young hunters who bagged their
very first deer.
Official numbers hadn’t been released at midweek but it appears after
the soggy start on Saturday things improved in this area and a lot of
hunters went back to the deer stands that afternoon and throughout the
day on Sunday.
NATIONAL HUNT/FISH DAY
Over 100 years ago, hunters and anglers were the earliest and most vocal
supporters of conservation and scientific wildlife management. They were
the first to recognize that rapid development and unregulated uses of
wildlife were threatening the future of many species.
Led by fellow sportsman President Theodore Roosevelt, these early
conservationists called for the first laws restricting the commercial
slaughter of wildlife. They urged sustainable use of fish and game,
created hunting and fishing licenses, and lobbied for taxes on sporting
equipment to provide funds for state conservation agencies. These
actions were the foundation of the North American wildlife conservation
model, a science-based, user-pay system that would foster the most
dramatic conservation successes of all time.
Populations of white-tailed deer, elk, antelope, wild turkey, wood ducks
and many other species began to recover from decades of unregulated
During the next half-century, in addition to the funds they contributed
for conservation and their diligent watch over the returning health of
America’s outdoors, sportsmen worked countless hours to protect and
improve millions of acres of vital habitat—lands and waters for the use
and enjoyment of everyone.
In the 1960s, hunters and anglers embraced the era's heightened
environmental awareness but were discouraged that many people didn't
understand the crucial role that sportsmen had played-and continue to
play-in the conservation movement.
On May 2, 1972, President Nixon signed the first proclamation of
National Hunting and Fishing Day, writing, "I urge all citizens to join
with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in
insuring their proper management for the benefit of future generations."
By late summer, all 50 governors and over 600 mayors had joined in by
proclaiming state and local versions of National Hunting and Fishing
Day. The response was dramatic.
National, regional, state and local organizations staged some 3,000
"open house" hunting- and fishing-related events everywhere from
shooting ranges to suburban frog ponds, providing an estimated four
million Americans with a chance to experience, understand and appreciate
traditional outdoor sports.
Over the years, National Hunting and Fishing Day boasted many more
public relations successes, assisted by celebrities who volunteered to
help spotlight the conservation accomplishments of sportsmen and women.
Honorary chairs have included George Bush, Tom Seaver, Hank Williams
Jr., Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, George Brett, Robert Urich, Ward
Burton, Louise Mandrell, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy and
many other sports and entertainment figures.
National Hunting and Fishing Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday of
every September, remains the most effective grassroots efforts ever
undertaken to promote the outdoor sports and conservation.
HENRY COUNTY THIRD IN STATEWIDE DEER HARVEST 2014-15
Tennessee’s deer season looks to have been a pretty good one across the
state as unofficial figures this week showed hunters checked in a total
of 164,650 this year.
Last weekend’s second special Young Sportsman’s Deer Hunt for youngsters
ages 6-16 years of age ended on a decent note and that brought the
official end to deer season that started way back on the fourth Saturday
in September when archery kicked it off.
Henry County deer hunters fared well again this year. Harvest figures
showed Henry ranked third among the state’s 95 counties as hunters here
checked in 4,444 deer.
Giles County took the top spot this year with a total of 5,239.
ON-LINE HARVEST INSTRUCTIONS
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides several methods for hunters
to report their big game harvests. Recently some hunters have reported
problems when using their personal computer to report a harvest. TWRA is
offering the following instructions for those persons experiencing
time-out issues when accessing the TWRA’s online harvest reporting system.
cases, the issues are connected to the internet browser on your computer
and can be resolved by following the steps below. (The specific
instructions are based on Internet Explorer because it is the State of
Tennessee standard). However, if a different browser is utilized such as
Firefox or Chrome, the persons will need to accomplish the same task, but
will need to refer to specific instructions posted on those manufacturer
3) Delete all
cookies and temporary internet files
4) Open a new
browser tab and manually type in GOTWRA.ORG (do not use the saved link
from a previous session)
are reminded that big game harvests can also be checked in on the TWRA
mobile app from a smart phone or tablet and in person at a traditional
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.