Portions of Northwest Tennessee Closed for Young Sportsman Deer Hunt
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted to close portions of northwest Tennessee for this weekend’s Young Sportsman Deer Hunt due to severe flooding along the Mississippi River.
The commission met via conference call on Thursday morning to discuss the flooding in areas in the West Tennessee area and how it would impact this weekend’s scheduled two-day Young Sportsman Deer Hunt.
“The flood waters in West Tennessee, occurring uncharacteristically during deer hunting season, offered a unique challenge as the commissioners and agency strive to protect wildlife but still offer as much opportunity as possible,” said TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter. “After hearing from constituents about deer being stranded on high ground, the commissioners asked for a teleconference briefing and asked multiple questions ranging from the impact to the deer herd to those who might pursue deer in flooded areas.”Upon recommendation from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the commission voted to close all lands, both private and public, to deer hunting west of Tennessee Highway 78 from the Kentucky state line in Lake County to the Obion River Bridge in Dyer County and west of the Obion River from the Highway 78 bridge to the Mississippi River on January 9th-10th.
The action by the commission follows suit by actions taken by four border states along with the Mississippi River. Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Kentucky have all closed portions of their respective states due to flooding along the Mississippi River. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will be closing Chickasaw National Refuge in Lauderdale County and the Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge in Lauderdale and Tipton counties due to the extreme flooding conditions.
“I was very pleased with the professional and in-depth approach the Commission took to address this situation,” Carter said. TFWC Chairman Jim Bledsoe read the agency mission statement to the commission and noted that the welfare of the wildlife and the safety of the people are prominent in the overall goal.”
As always, the TWRA urges caution and safety while hunting. TWRA wildlife officers will have an increased law enforcement effort in the affected areas due to the severity of the flooding and the accompanying safety issues.
Youth ages 6-16 may participate in the Young Sportsman Deer Hunt. Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 years of age of older, who must remain in position to take immediate control of the hunting device and who must comply with fluorescent orange regulations. If hunting on private lands, sportsmen are reminded to obtain permission from landowners.