Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the 2022-23 proclamation for migratory game bird hunting seasons pertaining to the federal framework. The meeting, which concluded Friday, was also a rule-making hearing where the commission considered changes to the regulations governing migratory game birds and hunts.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency recommendations to the migratory bird hunting seasons were made at the January meeting and for the statewide season dates and bag limits which fall within federal frameworks.
A preliminary summary of the post-season surveys of waterfowl hunters was made. Waterfowl hunters had the opportunity to comment on the recently completed waterfowl season. The survey provided an opportunity for waterfowl hunters to provide input on the duck blind application process, the condition of Tier 2 blinds, and their overall hunting experience.
The rule making hearing regarding migratory game birds and hunts established several changes to the existing rule. Major changes include only Tennessee residents can apply for season-long duck blinds and the number of wildlife management areas in which they can apply. In addition, 10 staked position sites will be reverted back to the pool of season-long draw sites.
A presentation on the new TWRA license structure was given. Beginning this month, all commercial and all licenses and permits will be valid for year from the date of purchase. Exceptions to the new structure will be captive permits, Federal duck stamp, migratory bird permits, and slat basket tags.
There are required purchasing deadlines that remain. Commercial turtle permit, commercial roe for residents and non-residents must be purchased by March 15th of each year. If they are purchased by that date, persons will again have to go through the approval process. Reelfoot permanent blind registration remains to be required by July 31st annually. Failure to register a blind will result in steps to begin moving the site to an annual blind draw.
The TFWC elected its new officers. Angie Box (Humboldt) will move from vice chair to chairman. Tommy Woods (Piney Flats) will now serve as vice chairman after serving as secretary the past year. Jimmy Granbery (Nashville) becomes an officer as the new secretary. Chairman Jim Ripley (Kodak) served as chairman the past year and remains as a commissioner.
Legendary fisherman and television personality Bill Dance was honored with the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s second Legacy Award winner. The award was established in 2021 to show appreciation for service and dedication to the people and wildlife in Tennessee. The popular angler and Tennessee native joined the meeting by video to receive notification of the honor.
Sgt. Brad Bagwell, the 2021 Tennessee winner of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Officer of the Year, was introduced to the commission and officially received his award. He works primarily in TWRA Region II’s Cheatham County.
Dawson Rader, a senior at the University of Tennessee, was a guest at the meeting and was presented the Robert M. Hatcher Ornithologist Scholarship Award. The $1,000 scholarship is named in honor of the late Bob Hatcher, who served the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for 38 years, which included the Non-Game and Endangered Species Coordinator from 1987 until 2001. He initiated the state bald eagle recovery efforts in the early 1980s.