Tags: Gun Control | hunting in tennessee | animals | protected species

Hunting in Tennessee: 4 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 12:42 PM

Hunting in Tennessee can be a rewarding experience for any enthusiast of the sport, but without the correct knowledge of the area and the animals that live in the state, one can make grave mistakes hunting and killing animals that are designated as endangered, threatened, or protected.

The state of Tennessee boasts a wide variety of big game, small game, and fish that are plentiful. However, there are approximately 100 plants and animals that are endangered or threatened in the state of Tennessee.

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Although many hunters rely heavily on experience and believe they know exactly what they are shooting, mistakes can happen, especially under the cover of darkness or in instances when quick decisions can mean getting the kill or going home empty-handed.

Because of the number of endangered species and the popularity of hunting in Tennessee, hunters should understand which animals to leave unharmed and how to identify them.

These four animals are listed as protected species by the state:

1. Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus)
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel is a small nocturnal gliding mammal. It possesses a long, broad, flattened tail (80 percent of head and body length), prominent eyes, and dense, silky fur.

Adults are gray with a brownish, tan, or reddish wash on the back, and are grayish white or buffy white ventrally. Juveniles have uniform dark, slate-gray backs, and off-white undersides. These squirrels can be found in the eastern part of the state along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.

2. Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
The peregrine falcon is renowned for being the fastest predator on the planet, reaching a top speed of about 200 miles per hour when diving for prey. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, “The Peregrine Falcon is a medium-sized hawk with a bold black ‘mustache’ mark on the face and white cheeks behind the black mustache. The wings are long and pointed, the back and wings are bluish gray, the head is blackish. The underparts are whitish with a variable amount of black spotting and barring. First-year birds are brown with streaking on the breast and have the bold mustache mark. As with other bird-eating raptors, the female is larger than the male.”

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3. Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
The Golden Eagle is a migratory bird that can be found in Tennessee during the winter months. The eagle “has long, broad wings that are held in a slight ‘V’ when soaring, and legs that are feathered to the toes. The adult is dark brown with golden tinged feathers on the back of the head.”

4. Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus)
The Saw-whet owl is another nocturnal endangered species. “The Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small, round headed owl with a pale face, outlined in brown. It has yellow eyes, the upper parts are brown spotted with white, and the pale breast has brown streaks.”

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting in Tennessee can be a rewarding experience for any enthusiast of the sport, but without the correct knowledge of the area and the animals that live in the state, one can make grave mistakes hunting and killing animals that are designated as endangered, threatened, or protected.
hunting in tennessee, animals, protected species
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Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 12:42 PM
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