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Outdoors notebook

Larry Woody • May 26, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Straights win shoot: The Cedar City Straights interscholastic trap team won first place in last week's competition at Big Springs, Tenn., in the Junior-Senior Division.

The winning team consisted of R.T. Williams, Jackson Holland, Sam Ludwikowski, Jack Wright and Alexis Franck.Franck also posted the top score in the weekly trap shoot at the Cedar City Gun Club, breaking 48 of 50 targets. A club official believes Alexis is the first woman to win the overall competition in the club's history.

John Hess took Senior honors.

The Straights are open to any school-age youngster in Wilson County. For information about the team or other Gun Club activities contact Kerry Hale at 615-519-2934.

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Total turkey tally: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reported 32,252 turkeys checked in at the end of the season on May 16.

That's up from the 31,498 birds checked in last year, but down slightly from the 32,633 turkeys checked in during the 2014 season.

This season marked marks the fifth consecutive spring that more than 30,000 gobblers were bagged.

Additional birds will be harvested during the October fall season, although that number usually is around only 2,000 or so.

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Turkey study: Although the state's turkey population overall is robust, populations have declined in some counties, and the TWRA can't explain why.

Therefore, a $1 million, 6-year turkey study has been proposed. It will be conducted by the University of Tennessee through federal funds.

The TWRA already has a full-time wild turkey biologist on its staff.

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Major deer, turkey changes: As anticipated, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has made two major changes in the 2016-17 hunting regulations regarding deer and turkeys.

It changed the definition of an "antlerless" deer to one with no antlers, or with antlers below the hairline (button bucks).

Previously, antlerless deer included bucks with antlers less than three inches. Such bucks can still be taken under the new regulation, but will now count as part of the two-buck season limit.

The other big change involves the limit for fall turkeys. It was reduced to one per county.

In the past, most Middle Tennessee counties had a six-bird fall limit, either sex. Wildlife biologists decided that's too many to remove from a flock, especially since all six could be hens.

A complete list of the new hunting regulations is posted on the TWRA website, tnwildlife.org, and in the new Tennessee Hunting Guide which will be available soon.

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Free fishing: Tennessee's annual Free Fishing Day is June 11. State residents can fish in public waters without a license. All other regulations apply, including creel and size limits.

The Heartland Anglers bass tournament will be held this weekend out of Flippers Marina on Old Hickory Lake. For details visit www.heartlandanglers.com.

OUTDOORS CALENDAR:

May 14-June 12: spring squirrel season

May 16: turkey season ends

May 21: national safe boating week

June 11: Free Fishing Day

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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