By Larry Woody, Outdoors Writer

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments and suggestions from hunters about seasons, bag limits and other regulations.

Submissions can be made through Feb. 18. They can be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to:

TWRA Wildlife Division

5107 Edmondson Pike

Nashville, Tn. 37221

Photo by Larry Woody
The TWRA invites hunter input on regulations.

The comments will be taken into consideration by the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission when it sets the regulations for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. Hunting regulations are set every two years.

Deer harvest down: The 2019-20 deer harvest was down, especially in counties in which Chronic Wasting Disease has been diagnosed.

The TWRA reports 135,885 deer killed during the recently completed season. In the new CWD Zone the harvest was down 18 percent from the previous year, and by 24 percent in one CWD county.

The deadly disease can devastate deer populations in specific areas. There is no known cure. All that can be done to combat it is to try to contain it to specific areas in which is exists, which the TWRA is currently undertaking.

Since the first case of CWD in Tennessee was diagnosed in the winter of 2018, the number of infected deer as steadily risen.

Approximately 400 infected deer were found during the 2019-2020 season, among 13,000 animals tested. All of the infected animals were in the newly designated West Tennessee CWD Zone.

There is no way to know how many deer may be carrying the disease but have not yet manifested the symptoms – chronic weight loss, staggering and other abnormal behavior.

The TWRA is spending $1 million for a special incinerator to dispose of the carcasses of infected animals.

The Agency considers CWD the greatest threat to deer management in the state’s history.

Bass tourney: The first of five Old Hickory and Percy Priest Bass Tournaments (OHPPBT) will be held Feb. 29 out of Shutes Branch.

For information about rules and registration call 615-349-6358 or visit ohppbt.net.

Conservationist nominees: The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is accepting nominations for its 55th annual Conservation Achievement Awards. There are 20 categories, including one for young conservationists.

Nominations will be accepted through March 6. For information about how to make a nomination visit tnwf.org/CAA.