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Seasons and regulations
Wood Duck Season Prevails
Waterfowlers in Tennessee,
Kentucky and Florida came close to loosing the early wood duck season
again this year. It's been labeled by the U. S Fish and Wildlife Service
as a "experimental season" but it has been underway for twenty years.
Tennessee's wood duck hunters will be thrilled to know that their late
summer tradition of early wood duck hunting will continue this year and
apparently for years to come, according to the Tennessee Wildlife
"We recently got word from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that there
is no longer an effort being made to halt the early wood duck season,"
said Steve Patrick, the manager of TWRA's Region II office. "Our
understanding is that the Service has decided to indefinitely leave that
The season is set this year for September 8-12. Hunters will also be
allowed to bag teal during the early season. The bag limit will remain the
same as always, with hunters allowed up to four birds, but no more than a
two wood ducks per day.
The U.S. Fish Wildlife Service establishes season guidelines for migratory
birds, including wood ducks. Three years the federal agency announced that
Tennessee would no longer be allowed to have an early wood duck season
starting in 2001.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service felt like TWRA didn't have enough data to
prove that the wood duck population was healthy enough to justify an early
season," explained Patrick. "Tennessee is only one of three states allowed
to have a September wood duck hunt and that began as an experiment about
two decades ago."
The TWRA disagreed with the Wildlife Service and argued that point
vehemently with Fish and Wildlife officials. "I think between the points
that the TWRA made in discussions with federal biologists and an effort by
sportsmen to let the Service know that they wanted to keep this season is
what ultimately allowed us to continue this tradition," noted Patrick.
is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area and host of The Outdoor Channel's television series IN-PURSUIT.