• 46°

East Tennessee Outdoors… Outdoor News for November 1, 2020

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT

We are in the middle of Indian Summer, and the temperatures are warm and the woods are inviting. Pick an outdoor sport and get out. You will be glad you did.

Deer Season

Just a reminder that the first youth hunting season for whitetail deer will take place next Saturday and Sunday. The age range that can hunt is 6-16 years old, and the youth hunters have to be accompanied by an adult who can take control of the weapon.

Also, all Tennessee hunters must have taken a hunter safety course with one exception. A hunter can hunt for 12 months without one, but they have to possess an apprentice license.

This allows the hunter time to see if they are going to like hunting.

Before they can hunt again, they must take a hunter safety course if they were born after January 1, 1969. Any hunter born before this date does not have to have a hunter safety course.

Finally, just another reminder that if you are hunting on government property to make sure you have a type 094 or 095 government license.

Poachers

As usual, poachers are out in full force.

The TWRA Game Wardens are doing what they can to stop them, but they can only do so much if they do not have help from local hunters and citizens.

If you see someone poaching on your property, road hunting, or spotlighting at night, call the poaching hotline found in the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Hunting Guide for 2020-2021. The wildlife are there for all of us to enjoy.

Dumb Poacher Stories

Every year there are stories of individuals who decide to break the game laws, but they get caught because they are just dumb.

My favorite of these happened a few years back when the game wardens put a fake deer in a field to see if any road hunters would stop and shoot at it.

Sure enough, a few minutes later a truck slowly drove down the mountain road and came to a stop. The driver got out of the truck and took careful aim at the fake six-point buck standing in the field.

He fired, and of course, the buck never moved.

That wasn’t enough for this poacher. He reloaded his gun and took another shot.

The deer did not move.

The poacher decided that he would get closer and crept through the grass toward the fake deer. He aimed and fired his rifle again.

The deer did not move.

Not wanting to go home empty, he finally got so close he pulled a hunting knife and jumped on the deer, knocking it over.

When the game warden pulled up to his truck, the would-be poacher walked out of the field, handed his rifle and knife to the warden, and got into the warden’s truck without saying a word.

I guess he was wondering how dumb he could be and how he was going to explain all of this to his wife. In the end, let’s just say that crime does not pay.

Non-game wildlife

Take some time while you are outdoors to enjoy some of Tennessee’s nongame wildlife.

Owl, bald eagles, songbirds, and many other outdoor creatures are there if you know where to look for them. Take a camera and a pair of binoculars and enjoy them.

Sometimes they will be the highlight of your trip.

Tennessee Cougar

Finally, this is just a reminder for outdoorsmen and women to always watch for rare animals.

The cougar is one animal that is seeing a small comeback in Tennessee even if East Tennessee has not had a sighting yet. The animal has been discovered in Middle and West Tennessee, and to date, a total of 10 confirmed sightings have been documented.

Keep a check on your trail cams because you never know what you will see.

Have a safe week and God bless.