(Updated September 29, 2016)
PRESS RELEASE: Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
Larry Rea named managing editor for Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News
Larry Rea, veteran outdoors reporter, radio show host and former outdoors editor for The Commercial Appeal, has been named managing editor of the Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News.
The MSHFN, a regional monthly magazine which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017, is owned by Wireless Group Inc., based in Brownsville, Tenn.
MSHFN publisher Carlton Veirs said, ""When we began our search for the next editor of The News, Larry was, immediately, our first choice. There's not a journalist anywhere in the southeast that knows more about our region than Larry. We are very excited."
Rea worked almost 34 years at The Commercial Appeal before taking early retirement in January 2001 to start Outdoors with Larry Rea on ESPN 790-AM, a 90-minute show broadcast on Saturday mornings from 6-7:30. The show has won numerous state, regional and national awards.
During his tenure at The Commercial Appeal, Rea was the prep editor for 21 years during which he was co-founder of The Best of the Preps awards program. He was the outdoors editor from 1988-2001. For the past three years he was written a weekly Sunday outdoors article for The Commercial Appeal.
"I am excited to become part of the MSHFN team," said Rea, who lives in Germantown. "It is truly a unique part of the Mid-South, a publication that I have read for years. I was only the fourth outdoor editor in 100 years at The Commercial Appeal, and there have been only a handful of managing editors at the Mid-South Hunting & Fishing News."
Rea is a former president, current board member and honored lifetime member of the Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association and is a former board member of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.
Tennesseans hunting deer out of state reminded of carcass changes
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) voted unanimously to approve a proposal that will impact Tennesseans who plan to hunt deer out of state for the 2016-17 seasons.
The approved proposal extends the restrictions on importation of deer, moose, and elk carcasses to the entirety of any state not bordering Tennessee that has found a positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It also includes states bordering Tennessee if that state has a CWD-positive county within 150 miles of Tennessee's border. Beginning May 1, 2017, the restrictions will apply statewide to all CWD-positive states including those that border Tennessee.
The restrictions prohibit deer carcasses being brought into Tennessee from the CWD-positive areas where the restrictions are applied unless it is deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull, a clean skull (no meat or tissue), cleaned teeth, finished taxidermy products, or hides and tanned products.
Previously, 11 of the 24 CWD-positive states had carcass importation restrictions applied to only the CWD-positive counties, while the other 13 already had statewide restrictions. As of now, 23 of the 24 CWD-positive states have the restrictions applied statewide. Three of Tennessee's bordering states, Arkansas, Virginia, and Missouri, have found CWD in their state, but only Arkansas and Missouri have CWD-positive counties within 150 miles of Tennessee's border. Consequently, Virginia is the only CWD-positive state that has county-specific carcass importation restrictions for the current hunting season.
The carcass importation restrictions also apply to the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in their entirety just as they did prior to the August Commission meeting. The intent of the action taken by TFWC is to minimize the risk of CWD being introduced to Tennessee's deer herd while also affording taxidermists and processors in Tennessee some time to make necessary preparations to minimize impacts to their business.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a contagious, incurable, and always fatal neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose. It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and eventually death. The misfolded proteins, or prions, that are responsible for the disease accumulate in brain tissue, eyes, tonsil, spleen, lymph nodes, intestinal tracts, and spinal cord of infected animals. Live deer can also shed the prion through saliva, urine, and feces. Once introduced into the environment, the infectious prions can persist for up to 18 years so prevention truly is the only medicine. Eighty free-ranging elk and 9,394 free-ranging deer have been tested for the disease in the state with all the results coming back negative.
For official rule language and a description of which states will be impacted please see: http://tn.gov/twra/article/cwd-carcass-importation-ban
Meyer Mississippi Flyway Waterfowl Officer of the Year
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer Block Meyer from Cross County was recognized at the Mississippi Flyway Council Committee meeting for his accomplishments in protecting America's waterfowl resource, promoting the tradition of duck hunting and ensuring hunters have safe, enjoyable times afield. The council, a panel of representatives from the 11 states that make up the Mississippi Flyway, named Meyer as Waterfowl Officer of the Year for his accomplishments during 2015 and the 2015-16 waterfowl season.
Among Meyer's accomplishments from last season was his quick thinking to help waterfowl hunters in need of rescue. In one instance, three juveniles had become stranded when their boat's motor failed 4 miles from the boat ramp. Severe weather was moving in and Meyer was able to get the juveniles back to the safety of the ramp. On another occasion, Meyer assisted two hunters who had fallen into freezing water and were airlifted out of the area because of hypothermia.
Last year, Meyer worked a dozen special waterfowl operations, six of which he initiated. He also worked 297 hours or waterfowl enforcement throughout the season, resulting in 830 waterfowl-related contacts and 85 citations and warnings for violations. He was extremely busy outside of waterfowl season. He conducted 50 waterfowl-related programs throughout the year, spreading his knowledge to radio audiences and Arkansas's youth. He participated on a radio talk show on four occasions, focusing on waterfowl regulations and waterfowl identification. He worked with a local Boy Scouts troop to build wood duck boxes and place them on a local wildlife management area, helping one of them become an Eagle Scout. Meyer also organized or participated in four youth hunts for 13 hunters. He developed The Hunting Club at Wynne Intermediate School and met with 22 students multiple times to educate them on waterfowl identification and hunting.
Record Alligator Harvested During Season Opener
The public waters record length male alligator was taken during the opening weekend of the 2016 Alligator Hunting Season by the hunting party of Tiffany Wienke of Vicksburg. The record alligator measures 13 feet and 7 7/8 inches (just 1/8 inch longer than the previous record) and weighed 686 pounds with a belly girth of 59 inches and a tail girth of 43 inches. The alligator was taken from Bayou Pierre in the Southwest Zone.
McIyour Creek Shooting Facility Has Ground-Breaking Ceremony
MDWFP, Winchester Ammunition, and the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (Foundation) held a ground breaking ceremony for McIvor Creek Shooting Facility. Located on Charles Ray Nix Wildlife Management Area, McIvor will be Mississippi's third public shooting range owned and operated by MDWFP.
"This is an excellent example of how public, private, and corporate entities can partner on meaningful projects to serve the public's interest," said Dr. Sam Polles, MDWFP Executive Director. "Not only will this facility provide tremendous recreational opportunities for Mississippi's sporting public, but it will also bring economic growth to this area of the State. It is a win, win for all concerned."
Funding for the range facility was secured through a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration grant with a significant contribution from Winchester Ammunition. The preliminary layout of the shooting facility will include:
• 15-station sporting clay range
• Two skeet ranges, with a trap range overlaid in each
• 5-stand range
• Pistol range
• 100 and 300-yard rifle ranges
• 3D archery range
Largemouth Bass Record for Lake Jeff Davis
A record largemouth bass was harvested at Lake Jeff Davis by George Griffith of Prentiss. The fish weighed an impressive 11.5 pounds and was caught on a 6 inch black colored plastic worm. Lake Jeff Davis is located south of Prentiss in Jeff Davis County. The lake was drained and restocked with Florida largemouth bass in 2011. According to Fisheries Biologist Trevor Knight, this lake should continue to produce large bass as the initial stock of bass continues to age and grow.
What's new for 2016-17 deer hunting season
Deer hunters need to take notice that there are several new items for Kentucky's 2016-17 deer season, including the following:
• Hardin and Webster counties are now Zone 1. Marion County is now Zone 2.
• At Grayson Lake WMA in Carter and Elliott counties, the December muzzleloader season is open under statewide regulations.
• At Knobs State Forest WMA in Bullitt County, the youth-only firearm season and free youth weekend are open under statewide regulations.
• The one deer per license year limit on Higginson-Henry WMA in Union County has been removed. Statewide bag limits now apply.
• Drawn quota hunters may bring one non-hunting person along on their hunt. The non-hunting person is not required to have applied for the quota hunt but must check in and check out with the drawn quota hunter and abide by hunter orange requirements.
• At Big Rivers WMA in Crittenden and Union counties, an archery and crossbow quota hunt will start the Monday following the October youth-only firearms season and continue through November 30, except when closed during the two-day quota hunt that starts the first Saturday in November. All deer hunting seasons on this WMA are closed, except to drawn hunters, during quota hunts.
• Except during youth quota hunts, deer taken on Land Between The Lakes in Trigg and Lyon counties are no longer "bonus" deer and will count against a hunter's statewide limit. The archery season on the Kentucky portion of Land Between The Lakes will run from the fourth Saturday in September through the first full weekend in January. The bag limit is one deer during the archery season.