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Regional Roundup!

(Updated March 30, 2017)

 

Tennessee

Radians sponsors World Trapshooting Championships

Memphis-based Radians, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high performance Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for shooters and hunters, is a sponsor of the 2017 Grand American World Trapshooting Championships Aug. 2-12 at the World Shooting & Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill. Hosted by the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA), this event is the largest participation shooting event in the world, attracting over 4,500 classified shooters who shoot at over four million clay targets. The complex where the event will be held has 121 trap fields extending 3.5 miles, more than 1,000 campsites, and over 80 exhibitors on site.
According to Art Kunkle, VP of Retail Sales for Radians, "This event lets us promote our eyewear and hearing protection lines directly to avid trap shooters, reminding them of the importance of wearing safety products when shooting traps. Plus, our Arctic RadWear cooling products help protect from heat stress and will keep trap shooters cool during hot summer events, such as the Grand American."

Musky on fly gather on Collins River

Registration for Hardly, Strictly Musky 2017 is now open. The largest and longest running musky on the fly gathering takes place May 11-13 on the Collins River near McMinnville. Hardly, Strictly Musky is the largest and longest running gathering of adventure fly fishing enthusiasts in the United States. Each year on the second weekend in May, Musky on the fly enthusiasts from across the U.S. and Canada gather on the Collins River near McMinnville. Registrations can be completed online at www.hardlystrictlymusky.com.

Public comment sought from anglers

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is requesting comments for its 2018 fishing regulations. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about fishing regulations with TWRA staff. The comment period is open through April 23. Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Attn: Fisheries Division-Comments, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or e-mailed to [email protected]. This year the TWRA Fisheries Division will present the proposed regulations at the August meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission. The commission will set the regulations at its September meeting.

Collectible waterfowl stamps available

The TWRA is taking orders for the collectible state waterfowl stamp that is produced annually and sold for conservation education. The TWRA has taken the Best of Show winning artwork each year since 1999 from the state's Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest to create the collectible stamp. This year's duck stamp comes from the artwork that was selected as Best of Show winner in the 2016 contest. Mary Alford from Dyersburg won the prestigious Best of Show honor for her depiction of three cinnamon teal. The 16-year-old created her winning entry in colored pencil. Stamps are $11 each and may be ordered by completing the Wildlife Stamp order form located in the Watchable Wildlife Information under Wildlife Enthusiasts on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.

Mississippi

Record largemouth bass caught at Neshoba County Lake

The Neshoba County Lake largemouth bass record has been broken. Austin Vowell of Philadelphia, Miss., caught a 14.3-pound bass in late February. This fish eclipses the old record of 14 pounds set in 2011. Neshoba County Lake is a 138-acre state fishing lake located southeast of Philadelphia.
"Our state fishing lakes offer excellent fishing for largemouth bass, bream, crappie, and catfish," said Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) State Lake Coordinator Jerry Brown. "Each lake maintains a list of the record fish and we encourage anglers to let us know if they believe their catch might be a new record."Vowell received a record fish certificate from MDWFP, and a copy will be on display at the lake's office and on the lake's information page of MDWFP's website. Fish that qualify for a state lake record include largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, and catfish. Potential record fish must be verified by a member of the Fisheries Bureau staff. For more information regarding fishing in Mississippi visit www.mdwfp.com or call (601) 432-2212.

Excitement is high for spring turkey season

Throughout much of the state, the 2017 spring turkey season should be a slight improvement over the last few years, according to the MDWF. Turkey populations in portions of north and central Mississippi are on an upwards trend following successive years of good hatches. In southern Mississippi, numbers are still not at levels hunters in these regions enjoyed in the past, but the reports from the field indicate that a turnaround may have begun. Early spring weather has seemingly primed gobbling activity, which should lead to a fast and furious start to the 2017 season in areas of sufficient populations. Mississippi has an estimated 50,000 turkey hunters. The spring season opened on March 15 and closes on May 1. Bag limits for the spring season are one adult gobbler or one gobbler with at least a six-inch beard per day, not to exceed three per spring season.
Turkey hunters asked to voluntarily report harvests
In an effort to increase information on the well-being of Mississippi's wild turkey flock, the MDWFP is asking turkey hunters to voluntarily report their harvests this spring through a new online system produced by the agency.
"Mississippi is one of only two states throughout the Eastern wild turkey's range that does not require hunters to report their spring harvests," said Adam Butler, the MDWFP's Wild Turkey Program Coordinator. "While we are not legally requiring hunters to do so at this time, we strongly encourage hunters to begin using our new system to become familiar with the concept," Butler continued. Hunters can report their harvests online at www.mdwfp.com/turkeyharvest.

MDWFP concerned about illegal wild hog trapping methods

Wild hogs can be found in all 82 of Mississippi's counties, and the damage they cause to the ecosystem, agriculture, and native wildlife are a serious concern. The MDWFP encourages control of wild hogs at every legal opportunity and for everyone to become familiar with regulations regarding hunting and trapping wild hogs. For specific information about wild hog trapping techniques go to www.mdwfp.com/wild hogs and www.wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/. The MDWFP is particularly concerned about recent reports of use of illegally constructed wild hog cage-type traps. To protect non-target animals such as deer, turkeys, raccoons, and black bears regulations require that all wild hog traps be constructed with the top at least 50 percent open to allow the escape of non-target animals, particularly black bears. Such traps must be labeled with the owner's name and contact information. Additionally, traps must be monitored at least every 36 hours, and all non-target animals must be released.

Arkansas

Valley View girl, Acorn boy take top honors

By scant millimeters, Addison Roberts from Valley View in the girls division and Chantry Blake from Acorn (Polk County) in the boys division won first-place scholarships in the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament. The tournament drew more than 1,600 archers from Arkansas schools. "It was one of the best tournaments we have ever had," said Curtis Gray, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's ANASP coordinator. "The crowds were great all weekend, with 8,000-9,000 people in attendance. We also raised 2,900 canned food items through our canned food drive in conjunction with Hunters Feeding the Hungry."
Roberts and Blake both won their respective divisions by a single point. Archery is scored with 10 points for a bull's eye and points decreasing by one for each ring moving outward. Roberts and girls runner-up Harli Simmons from Arkansas Christian Academy each had 20 bull's-eyes, with Roberts tallying 288 total points to Simmons' 287.
Roberts earned a $2,500 scholarship for finishing first. Simmons received a $2,000 scholarship. The third-place finisher, Sarah Shepherd from Little Rock Parkview, scored 286 points and received a $1,500 scholarship. Victoria Gawrieh of Genoa Central was fourth place with 285 total points and received a $1,000 scholarship. The fifth-place scholarship worth $500 went to Staci Gwin of Hamburg, who tallied 284 points.

Missouri

Looking good for Missouri turkey hunters

Missouri turkey hunters can expect a good spring season overall according to the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The spring turkey hunting season starts with a youth-only weekend April 8-9. The regular spring season runs April 17 through May 7. "Since 2011, we've seen an increasing trend in the spring turkey harvest," MDC Turkey Biologist Jason Isabelle said. "A great deal of what makes for a good spring turkey season depends on the hatch two years prior. Although the 2015 hatch was not as high as in 2014, it, along with carry-over from previous years, should result in a strong 2017 harvest." Isabelle does note that last year's poor hatch will result in fewer jakes on the landscape.

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