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Outdoors notebook

Larry Woody • Jul 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Turkey tally delay: Spring turkey season ended May 14, but the final harvest numbers have yet to be released.

A Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman last week said the delay is due to “growing pains with the new license vendor.” He said the numbers “will come eventually.”

Going into the final week of the season the TWRA announced that the turkey harvest had exceeded 30,000 for a 13th consecutive season. The final tally was expected to be quickly computed and announced, but two months later the delay continues.

Although turkey numbers have declined in some areas, no changes will be made in bag limits and other regulations for next spring’s season. Biologists say that making changes now would disrupt a state-wide study that is underway to try to determine the cause of the problem.

Perfect score: Howard McCaleb shot a perfect round of 50 to win last week’s trap shoot at the Cedar City Gun Club.

Ben Schade, founder of the Cedar City Straights interscholastic team, was on hand for last Saturday’s Ben Schade Summer Classic. Schade moved out of state a few years ago.

For information about the Straights or other Gun Club activities contact Kerry Hale at 615-519-2934.

Kayak crackdown: The TWRA is cracking down on safety requirements for kayakers, particularly the use of night lights.

Every kayak on the water after dark must be equipped with a “white light” that can be seen 360 degrees. Unlike other boats, red and green lights are not permitted on kayaks because the stationery lights might be confused for buoy or channel markers.

The low-sitting kayaks can be hard to see and therefore are risky on heavily-used lakes, especially at dusk and after dark.

Each kayak passenger must possess a life jacket at all times.

Since kayaks are not required to be registered, the TWRA does not know how many are in use across the state, but is aware that their popularity has dramatically increased in recent years.

Since there is no mandatory safety course for kayakers, some may not be familiar with the rules and regulations. The regulations are listed in the Tennessee Boating Guide and on the TWRA website tnwildlife.org.

Elk permit deadline: July 26 was the deadline for submitting applications for October’s elk hunt, and winners will be announced soon.

Six gun permits will be issued through a draw and a seventh permit auctioned off on e-bay. Seven archery permits will also be issued, and one youth permit.

Trout input: The TWRA is seeking input from fishermen about its trout management program. Comments and suggestions can be mailed to the Agency office in Nashville or submitted via email. Details are available on the TWRA website.

OUTDOORS CALENDAR:

Aug. 26: squirrel season opens

Sept. 1: dove season opens

Oct. 14-27: fall turkey season

Nov. 4-17: muzzleloader season

PHOTOS WELCOME: Share your favorite outdoors photos with readers of The Lebanon Democrat by e-mailing them to areed@lebanondemocrat.com.

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