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Hunting in Tennessee: 3 Animals to Hunt in the Winter

Image: Hunting in Tennessee: 3 Animals to Hunt in the Winter
Deer. (Volodymyr Byrdyak | Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 03:19 PM

Hunting in the winter months offers unique challenges for the sport hunter and demands a different skill set than other seasons. Tennessee is certainly no exception in that regard, from the snow-blanketed regions of the Smokey Mountains in the east, to the bottomland hardwood forests of the west.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency does their best to optimize access to the best populations for sport hunters, as well as encourage the thriving of a healthy species through proper management.

Here are three animals to hunt in the winter in Tennessee.

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1. Small Game
Wintertime is when furbearers such as bobcat, rabbit, fox, and mink have the heaviest, most luxurious coats. While the thicker fur helps them survive the cold temperatures, it’s also worth more for hunters who sell the hides. Culling the populations during the winter also alleviates pressure on resources that are seasonably scarce.

The open season, with some exceptions, runs from mid-November through the end of February, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Many of the game species that fall within this hunting category have no bag limits.

2. Waterfowl
While much of the hunting for migratory game often occurs in the fall months, there are some open seasons that extend into late January and early February, according to the TWRA. A number of different species of geese are included in these extensions. In addition, the state has a conservation season that runs from early February to mid-March on blue, snow, and Ross’ geese. Possession and bag limits vary by species and season, and hunters should verify current regulations prior to hunting.

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3. Deer
Although the regular hunting season for deer expires in the fall, the TWRA holds a second special weekend hunt for young sportsmen in early January. All participating hunters must be accompanied in the woods by a licensed or qualifying adult, and satisfy all other licensing requirements or regulations.

Depending on the unit cordon within which the participating hunter chooses to hunt, it’s possible for the young sportsman to bag up to three doe per day on this weekend. It provides an extremely valuable opportunity for junior hunters to practice and hone their hunting and tracking skills, as well as their shooting skills. This also gives junior hunters a chance to hunt without having to compete with older, more experienced hunters crowding the woodlands.

From a wildlife conservation and management standpoint, this is a prime opportunity for weak, sickened and otherwise compromised members of the herd population to get thinned out before the worst of the winter weather settles in and the dwindling food resources take their toll.

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

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Hunting in the winter months offers unique challenges for the sport hunter and demands a different skill set than other seasons. Tennessee is certainly no exception in that regard.
Tennessee, hunting, winter
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2015-19-06
Saturday, 06 Jun 2015 03:19 PM
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