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TN DEER SEASON 2014
DEER HARVEST UPDATE
Deer hunters continue to prosper as the statewide total at midweek stood
at 113,720, which is up significantly from last week. Henry County
continues to hold on to second place in the statewide standings as
hunters have checked in 2,919. Giles is still the leader at 3,202.
Henry County hunters continue to check in some pretty hefty bucks. Most
local hunters agree the bucks have been hefty this year in both weight
and rack display.
Meanwhile, TWRA released additional harvest data this week: There were
12,737 deer harvested the opening weekend as numbers continue to trickle
in to the agency. There were 16,097 harvested over the opening weekend
“There is no reason to believe that when the season comes to an end, the
harvest figures will be consistent with the harvest range we have had
recently,” said Chuck Yoest, TWRA Deer Program Coordinator. “The weather
certainly was a factor this year for the opening weekend.”
More than 168,000 deer were harvested in Tennessee during all the
2013-14 seasons. The 2012-13 total was more than 176,600 while the
2011-12 total was slightly less than 168,000.
During the 2014 muzzleloader/archery season from Nov. 9-22, there was a
harvest of 44,897. The figure is an increase from the 40,201 harvested
during the 2013 muzzleloader season.
The gun season for deer will continue through Jan. 4, 2015. Archery and
muzzleloader equipment are legal during gun season. The second Young
Sportsman Hunt will be held the weekend of Jan. 10-11, 2015.
REGULAR GUN STILL BIG DAY FOR DEER HUNTERS
It was referred to for years as the official opening day of the deer
season. Even though archery season opened much earlier folks just referred
to the first day of gun season as “opening day”.
Things have changed since over the years as the deer population exploded.
Season dates and bag limits are more liberal than yesteryear.
Since the fourth Saturday in September, which is the traditional opener
for archery season, deer hunters have had a lot of days in the woods. Not
only have bow hunters had a wide window of opportunity but by the time the
regular gun season opens Saturday deer hunters of all ages have had an
opportunity to hunt with either a bow, regular gun or muzzleloader.
The special youth hunt back in late October allowed youngsters a weekend
of their own to hunt with regular gun. And, the big guys have been in the
woods with muzzleloaders for almost two weeks so they too have hunt
opportunities with guns.
So, by the time the regular gun season opens on its traditional fourth
Saturday in November most hunters have already been in the woods and
fields. That takes a little cream off the top of the regular gun season
opener compared to times past but it’s still a big day for deer hunters
Some hunters have been passing up smaller deer and waiting for that bigger
buck. And, it appears that atmosphere has spread among the ranks of Henry
County deer hunters as most feel bigger deer are being seen and taken as a
“There have been some very nice bucks taken so far this year! Just not by
me,” said veteran hunter Keith Hickman. “I definitely think the cold temps
kicked in the rut; I personally think it might be a week or so early.
Just my observations.” “I’ve seen more deer this year than in the past
but I attribute that to the cold temps keeping the deer on their feet and
With the rut now in progress hunters are hoping that big buck will be
careless and show himself more often in the pursuit of does.
“I believe the rut will be in full swing next week,” said Henry County
Wildlife Officer Clay Riley. “Some bucks have been chasing does for the
past couple of weeks but the rut should peak the week of Thanksgiving. The
extra heavy acorn crop has kept the does in the woods and they seem
scarce. They should begin to move more if we get some rain to sour the
acorns on the ground.”
For the fourth year, sportsmen will find one continuous season that will
continue through Jan. 4, 2015. The continuous season replaced the
previously two segmented hunting seasons that were in place prior to 2011.
Archery and muzzleloader equipment are legal during gun season.
TWRA personnel will be collecting data at selected check-in stations
across the state on opening day. Antlered bucks will be measured and aged
for management purposes. The second Young Sportsman Hunt will be held the
weekend of Jan. 10-11, 2015.
Updated harvest figures at midweek showed hunters had checked in 66,046
statewide. Montgomery County was leading among the state’s 95 counties
with a total of 1,760.
Locally, Henry County was in the top five ranking with 1,488. Neighboring
Stewart County had a total of 1,595.
Here’s hoping you have a good weekend in the woods.
MUZZLELOADER SEASON KICKS IN…POPULAR SEGMENT STARTS SATURDAY
For a lot of deer hunters the opening day of the muzzleloader season is
the official start of their long awaited Tennessee season. Although
archery season has been underway since late September and the regular
gun season doesn’t open until the fourth Saturday in November each year,
it’s muzzleloader’s opener that really brings on the fever.
Muzzleloader hunters will have a two week segment that runs through
November 21. Actually the season segment is also shared with archery
hunters as bow season is also open the entire time.
Once the muzzleloader segment ends November 21 hunters can still take to
the woods all the way through January 4, 2015. These next two weeks
allow both bow and muzzleloader hunters in the woods but regular gun
doesn’t open until November 22.
Once regular gun opens deer hunters can choose any of the three types
they’d like all the way to the end of season.
Looks like a pretty good weekend of weather ahead. Chilly conditions
will greet hunters this weekend as they climb up in their stands but it
appears no rain will dampen their spirits.
Things are looking pretty good and the rut is fast approaching. Harvest
numbers across the area are decent and most counties will see a
significant jump after the opening weekend of muzzleloader season.
Across the state hunters had checked in 24,670 at midweek. Locally,
Henry County hunters had tallied 485. A spot check of neighboring
counties showed Stewart leading the region with 579. Benton County
hunters have checked in 262 and Carroll stands at 305. Weakley had a
total of 351.
The unique sound of that “pop” from a muzzleloader will fill the woods
and fields this weekend as thousands of hunters open their season with
the black powder rifles. Maybe they ought to call it “Black Saturday”!
DEPUTIES FOR THE HUNGRY ACCEPTING DEER…MEAT TO BENEFIT THE NEEDY
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office will begin accepting harvested deer
for their “Deputies for the Hungry” deer processing program starting
Saturday, November 8th and will run through the months of November and
December. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 8am-6pm are the only days
deer will be accepted.
The entire deer must be donated and the deer must be field dressed. Drop
off will be at the Sheriff’s Office at 210 Forrest Heights Rd – Paris.
Sheriff Belew would like to accept as many deer as possible to provide
meat to people in need in January and February. Those dates and times
will be announced later.
TWRA SEEKS DEER INFO
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is seeking volunteers willing to
provide biological information from white-tailed deer harvested during
the 2014-15 seasons.
Deer hunting clubs harvesting more than ten deer a year are encouraged
to participate. A representative of a qualifying hunt club interested in
participating is encouraged to send an email expressing such interest to
TWRA.TNDeerData@tn.gov by Friday, Nov. 7. In response, the TWRA will
send more information on how to participate.
For more information, contact Stacy Saxton in the TWRA Wildlife and
Forestry Division at (615) 781-5262
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.