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Gun hunters set their sights on deer
Nov 22, 2012 12:00 am
The bow hunters got first dibs at the deer, the muzzleloader brigade took their turn, and now it’s time for the most popular season of all – regular gun season.
Tennessee’s gun season opened Nov. 17 and runs through Jan. 6.
For the second consecutive year deer hunters have one consecutive season, uninterrupted by a fall turkey season as had been the case prior to last year.
The TWRA divides the state into three deer hunting units, A, B and L. Wilson County, Trousdale County and most of the rest of Middle Tennessee falls into Unit L.
Hunters may harvest one antlered buck per day until the statewide limit of three is reached.
An antlered buck is defined as one with one antler at least three inches long. All other bucks fall under the “antlerless” category, along with does.
A wide range of licenses and permits are available, and regulations and bag limits vary from county to county.
Depending on the type of license held, additional quota permits may be required.
Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 is required to pass a TWRA-certified Hunter Education Class in order to buy a license. There is a certain one-time exemption, called an Apprentice Hunting License.
Information about license requirements and county-by-county regulations is available on the TWRA website, tnwildlife.org or in the Tennessee Trapping & Hunting Guide, available for free at most outdoors outlets.
Harvested deer can be checked in at any participating TWRA checking station (see website for a state-wide list) or on-line. For on-line check-ins, simply go to tnwildlife.org and click on the Big Game Checking box. Step-by-step instructions will follow, along with the printout of a new Permanent Big Game Kill Tag.
(Tip: since the new Kill Tag is printed on standard computer printer paper it tears easily, especially when wet. To protect the Kill Tag and make it more durable, laminate it on both sides with ordinary Scotch tape.)
A permanent Kill Tag must accompany each deer delivered to a commercial deer-processing plant or taken to a taxidermist.
The TWRA reminds hunters that they are required to secure permission to hunt from a landowner, whether or not the land is posted. In the event that the land is posted but the hunter has permission, he is required to carry a written permission slip with him when in the field.
Game wardens report an increase in poaching and other game-law violations during deer season. Along with trespassing, the most common violation is road-hunting. Hunting or shooting from a public roadway is illegal and can result in severe penalties.
Signs warning that “Road Hunters Will be Prosecuted” have become common in many parts of Wilson County.
While the regular deer season ends on Jan. 6, a special Young Sportsman Hunt will be held the weekend of Jan. 12-13. Details about the hunt are available on the Agency website and in the Hunting Guide.