Tags: Gun Control | Tennessee | hunting | invasive species

Hunting in Tennessee: 3 Invasive Species to Tennessee and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 11:37 AM

Invasive species are nonnative animals that have a devastating effect on native ecosystems, wildlife populations and the local agricultural industry. Hunting in Tennessee offers opportunities to help the state manage these pests.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is responsible for managing animal populations for healthy sustainment and robust diversity. Invasive species have the potential ability to devastate their efforts through resource consumption, environmental destruction and the distribution of disease.

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Here are three invasive species and the state's rules for hunting them.

1. Wild Hogs
Also known as feral pigs or boars, this species is indigenous to Europe and Asia. In an attempt to eradicate their presence, the TWRA opened an unlimited bag season in 1999. Unfortunately, this effort resulted in population explosion as hunters released specimens to increase hunting prospects and opportunities, according to the TWRA.

As hunting has proven an ineffective means of control and eradication, the TWRA has reclassified them as a destructive species to be controlled by methods other than sport hunting. Only landowners and their authorized lease agents are permitted to hunt on their private property.

Day hunting is permitted year-round, and special licenses may be acquired for night hunts. Feral pigs also may be taken by hunters in certain wildlife management areas during or incidental to certain approved hunts. Hunters should confirm regulations for specific areas prior to hunting.

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2. Nutria
Also known as swamp rats, this amphibious furbearer resembles a beaver and is indigenous to South America. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center, they were first introduced to the continental United States. in 1899 for the purposes of fur farming. They are not protected by law or wildlife regulation, meaning hunters can take them year-round without bag limits, provided they abide by existing restrictions or regulations that apply to hunting activities.

3. Songbirds
European starlings and house sparrows are two of the most prevalent songbirds throughout the United States. These exotic species thrive through their adaptability and eagerness to coexist in urbanized regions. They are notorious for forcing out native songbird species from access to limited resources, such as prime nesting locations and food sources. They are not protected by law in Tennessee, and hunting is permitted year-round without bag limit, the TWRA said.

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

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Invasive species are nonnative animals that have a devastating effect on native ecosystems, wildlife populations and the local agricultural industry. Hunting in Tennessee offers opportunities to help the state manage these pests.
Tennessee, hunting, invasive species
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2015-37-06
Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 11:37 AM
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