(Updated July 12, 2016)
Memphis Redbirds Hunting & Fishing Night
Friday, July 29 - 7:05 p.m. Memphis Redbirds vs.Oklahoma City Dodgers. Are you ready for hunting season?Purchase this specialty theme ticket and you'll receive your very own Redbirds camo cap! $18 FIELDBOX • $21 DUGOUT. For more information visit memphisredbirds.com/theme or contact Austin Pilkington at email@example.com.
WMA Big Game Quota Hunt Applications Accepted Through July 27th
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced the application period for the 2016 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Big Game Quota Hunts, the regular elk, youth elk, and WMA youth will run from June 15 through July 27.
Entries must be submitted before midnight (CDT) July 27. The WMA hunting instruction sheet lists locations and dates for each of the quota hunts along with drawing rules and regulations. Instruction sheets can be obtained and applications made for the hunts at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office or online at the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org. Mailed applications will not be processed into the drawing system.
There is no fee for current Annual Sportsman License holders, Lifetime Sportsman License holders, or seniors possessing a Type 167 Annual Senior Citizen Sportsman License. For all other applicants, there is a non-refundable $12 permit fee for each drawing entered. There is a $1 agent fee for applications made at a license agent. When applying at a license agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed to verify the information is correct on the receipt.
For applications made on the internet, there is a $2 internet usage fee. An internet application is not complete until the applicant gets a Temporary Authorization Number, which is found on the Purchase Confirmation page. If entering multiple quota hunts, a person must pay the permit and agent fee(s) for each quota hunt application submitted.
The WMA (elk hunts excluded) priority point system gives a priority point for each year a hunter participates (this year a maximum of 11 points) without being successfully drawn for a hunt. Applicants drawn for a hunt last year will start over with a priority of zero.
After all the drawings are conducted, leftover permits will be sold on-line, on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning Aug. 24 at 8 a.m. (CDT).
The state's eighth elk hunt will be held Oct. 17-21, 2016. As in the previous hunts, five individuals will be selected to participate. Four of the participants will be selected through a computer drawing conducted by the TWRA. The fifth participant will be the recipient of a permit that is donated to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), which will be announced at a later date. That permit will be auctioned with proceeds going to the elk program.
Additionally, five new archery only permits were added. Archery hunt dates are Oct. 3-7, 2016.
For the fifth year, a Young Sportsman Elk Hunt will be held Oct. 22-23. Those applying must be ages 13-16 years old at the time of the hunt. Youth who submit an application for the regular elk quota hunt are not permitted to apply for the youth elk hunt.
Florida Largemouth Stocked at Columbus Lake
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) recently stocked 62,000 Florida-strain largemouth bass fingerlings into Columbus Lake on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (TTW). "Florida-strain largemouth bass typically grow faster and larger than native bass," says Tyler Stubbs, MDWFP Fisheries Biologist. According to Stubbs, the goal of these stockings is to increase the number of trophy-sized bass. A 14 inch minimum length limit also remains in effect on Columbus Lake to help increase the number of fish that reach larger sizes. MDWFP has stocked approximately 700,000 Florida strain bass into Columbus Lake since 2004.
Fire Boat School Offers Real World Emergency Training
Wildlife officers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission joined 34 fire boat crews from Arkansas, Texas and Missouri for the annual Arkansas Fire Boat School at DeGray Lake and the Caddo River.
More than 30 enforcement staff from the AGFC served as instructors for the event, which included 338 total attendees, 45 fire boats and a rescue helicopter.
This is the 13th year for the special training event, which hosts a variety of staged emergency scenarios fire boat teams are likely to encounter during the course of their job duties.
"We try to incorporate lifelike emergency situations based on real events that have happened in Arkansas," said Adriane Barnes, director of communications for the Arkansas Agriculture Department. "Scenarios usually include an array of simulated incidents including a wildfire response, defensive boat operations, medical scenarios with live victims and oftentimes live fire, as well as scenarios mixed with unique challenges like a sinking boat or a wrecked plane."
Capt. Greg Rae with the AGFC says the school began as a way for agencies to work together more efficiently during a crisis situation to make sure emergencies were handled while preserving evidence.
"Many volunteer fire departments would do an excellent job of putting out a fire or rescuing someone from the water, but would unknowingly move boat controls or throttles that were essential in our investigations after the incident occurred," Rae said. "For us, the school started as a way to teach what sort of evidence we needed them to preserve, but has enabled us to teach them much more about things like locating areas using GPS systems and handling their boats defensively during emergency situations."
The school has grown over the years to incorporate more situations first responders on the water may face. This year's event was split into two sections: large-water scenarios held on DeGray Lake and small boat operations on the Caddo River.
"We had such a demand for smaller boat training that we expanded the event several years ago to include scenarios specifically designed for the operation of smaller vessels on small Arkansas rivers and streams," Barnes said. "It's a totally different animal from rescues and fire operations on larger lakes."
Barnes says many of the crews attending the school are from volunteer fire departments and have to travel on their own dime to attend the training. But getting firsthand experience dealing with some of the scenarios may mean the difference between a successful rescue and tragedy.
"Each training scenario is put together and overseen by an agency or group with specialized knowledge on the subject," Barnes said. "The Arkansas Forestry Commission designs a wildfire incident, the AGFC creates a serpentine course each year to address boat maneuvering and vessel operator skills, Air Evac and LifeNet Helicopter teams work with medical personnel to simulate emergency scenes including live victims, and a host of fire departments provide input and organize incidents that may mimic a plane crash, a sinking boat, boat wreck or other water emergency."
"First responders should constantly look for ways to improve the next program and teach valuable skills to those attending the training. We want people to leave the school better prepared for the situations they may face in the real world, so they can make the right decisions during those times when every second counts."
Conservation Educator Helps Rescue Driver from Burning Truck
A bus load of elementary and middle school students on their way home from a week of Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation camp witnessed a harrowing single-vehicle wreck and then saw one of their camp counselors run to the stricken vehicle and pull the unconscious driver to safety seconds before it burst into flames.
Conservation educator Clay Brummal was driving south on the Natcher Parkway near Hartford in Ohio County Friday shortly after 2 p.m. when he came upon a wrecked and mangled pickup just seconds after its driver had lost control and crashed.
He ran to the vehicle and found its driver badly injured, bleeding and unconscious.
"He did not respond when I tapped his foot," said Brummal. "Then I saw the flames coming up out of the engine compartment and knew we had to get him out of there."
Kaelin McWilliams, a conservation educator accompanying the campers returning to their Hancock and Breckinridge County homes, said they had stopped along the northbound side of the highway to repair a flat tire on the luggage trailer behind the Miller Transportation bus when the students began exclaiming about the wreck.
"The wreck happened directly across from us. The campers saw it, and then they saw Clay pull up," said McWilliams. "They all started shouting 'Mr. Brummal's here.'" They had just spent the last week with him at Camp Currie.
When State Police and ambulance personnel cleared, Brummal, who had slowed originally upon noticing the camp bus across the highway in the emergency lane, crossed the road and changed the luggage trailer's flat tire.
"Not only did he rescue that injured driver, but he changed our tire and got us back on the road home," said McWilliams. "He was definitely our hero."