Lebanon's Woodson named Commission vice-chairman

Larry Woody • Feb 24, 2016 at 10:56 PM

Lebanon's Jamie Woodson has been selected vice-chairman of the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission.

She served as secretary of the Commission for the past four years after being appointed in 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam.

The 13-member Fish & Wildlife Commission sets the rules and regulations that govern the state's hunting, fishing and related activities, with overnight by the State Legislature.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency enforces the regulations. The TWRA also offers advice and input to the Commission.

In other officer changes announced at the Commission's recent meeting, Jim Bledsoe of Jamestown was replaced as Chairman by Harold Cannon of Lenoir City. Bledsoe had served as Chairman for the past year.

David Watson was named Secretary, replacing Woodson.

Also on the Commission meeting agenda was a report by Mark Gudlin of Mt. Juliet, head of the TWRA's Wildlife & Forestry Division, on several recently-completed hunting seasons:

January's special five-day anterless deer season had a harvest of 3,277.

A breakdown of the bear season showed 434 bears taken by gun, 116 by archery.

A proposed change in hunting/fishing permits for the Reelfoot Lake Wildlife Management Area was dropped in the wake of public opposition.

Gudlin also presented an update on the state's evolving cougar situation, announcing two more recent sightings in Humphreys County. That brings the total of confirmed sightings to six.

The TWRA website (tnwildlife.org) has an update on the cougars, including a link on which sightings can be reported. With cougars now confirmed in the state, the TWRA reminds the public that it is illegal to kill, injure or capture one of the animals unless it presents a clear threat.

The Commission has set the 2016 fishing regulations, with no major changes involving Middle Tennessee waters. This year's Tennessee Fishing Guide will be available soon at most outdoors outlets, detailing rules and regulations and license requirements. (Licenses expire Feb. 29.)

The Commission will set this fall's hunting seasons soon. No major changes are anticipated. Hunters can submit suggestions and proposals to TWRA headquarters in Nashville.

The TWRA recently made a major deer-poaching case, a result of which two Rutherford County men were banned from hunting for life. The Agency encourages the public to report any suspected incidents of poaching or other wildlife violations.

The Commission's next meeting is in March.

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