(Updated March 2, 2017)
You asked for it, you got it
Tennessee sportsmen and non-residents, who work as hunting and fishing guides in the state, will now have to complete an application for their licenses beginning with the 2017-18 license year. Resident and non-resident guide licenses were available by application effective Feb. 18, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Guides wishing to apply can go online at tnwildlife.org to get an application. Once filled out, the application can be sent by fax or mail (number and address are included on the application) or the application can be taken to a TWRA regional office. Regional offices are located in Jackson, Nashville, Crossville, and Morristown. The agency will immediately issue a 30-day temporary license and then send by mail, a hard copy license before the temporary period ends. The size of a credit card, this year's guide licenses features a rainbow trout. The cost for guide licenses is $150 for Tennessee residents. The cost is $650 for non-Tennessee residents.
Youth waterfowl hunt gets 1,000 youth into the outdoors
The Davis P. Rice Memorial Youth Waterfowl Hunt celebrated its ninth year and marked its 1,000th youth to participate recently. The weekend remembers Rice, who tragically passed away in 2007, through his favorite pastime and fosters appreciation for wildlife conservation in youth from across the state. The hunt invited 122 high and middle schoolers who compete on Tennessee trap, skeet and sporting clay shooting teams. The Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program and the Davis P. Rice Memorial Youth Waterfowl Hunt are both initiatives of Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest independent nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee's wildlife and natural resources.
Dane Selden of Germantown, Tenn., is the 1,000th youth to participate in the hunt. He received a Special Edition Browning Silver Hunter Shotgun—one of only 1,000 made. Selden is on the Houston High School shooting team. Christopher Salemi of Collierville, Tenn. was drawn to receive a lifetime sporting license, which has a face value of nearly $2,000 and allows him to hunt and fish for the rest of his life. Salemi is a member of the Collierville shooting team. Other winners were: Medina shooting team athlete Evan Dunphy of Trenton, Tenn. ($250 college scholarship from Final Flight Outfitters); Delta Waterfowl's $250 college scholarship was awarded to Landon Biggers, a Collierville shooting team member; Tennessee Wildlife Federation gave a $500 college scholarship to Chase Carroll of Hohenwald, Tenn. Carroll is a member of the Lewis County shooting team; Ducks Unlimited gave firearms to Chris Hinton of Collierville (Weatherby 300 Mag rifle) and Lance Sherer of Medina, Tenn. (Beretta Outlander 300 12-gauge shotgun).
Let's see it one more time
A buck harvested in Sumner County has taken yet another step on its way to becoming an official world record for a non-typical deer rack. Justin Spring, an official from the Boone and Crockett headquarters in Missoula, Mont., because of the potential historical importance of the scoring, came to Nashville to help review the process. Officials spent most of a day scoring the 47-point buck tabbed the "Tennessee Tucker Buck" at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's Region II Building. The buck was harvested by 26-year-old Gallatin resident Stephen Tucker. In this latest tabulation the deer rack scored 312 0/8 after being scored 312 3/8 in its initial tabulation on Jan. 9. The January scoring was held after 60 days had passed since the original "wet" score indicated that the buck was a potential world record. If it stands, the score will break previous mark of 307 5/8 set by then 15-year old Tony Lovsteun in Albia, Iowa. Boone & Crockett will score the rack one more time when its membership meets for its awards banquet in 2019. Until then, Tucker will own the pending record for the highest scored deer rack taken by a hunter.
Clean it up! Operation Trache on the Cache
Wildlife Officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission worked with partner agencies and volunteers cleaned a "ton" of trash from the waters of the Cache River recently. "During Operation Trache on the Cache, we removed 35 bags of garbage and many more pieces of refuse from the refuge," said Cpl. Jay Thomas with the AGFC. "It wasn't restricted to small items either." In addition to smaller bits of trash, volunteers recovered 107 tires, three porta potties, a bathtub, a water heater, a refrigerator a couch and a large amount of scrap metal. They even collected a kitchen sink to wrap things up properly. All of these items had been illegally dumped near the Bayou DeView Access on Arkansas Highway 306. "In addition to being an eyesore and possible danger to people using the area, littering is a serious offense with possible fines up to $1,000," said Thomas.
Get 2017 hunting and fishing permits from MDC
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds Missouri hunters and anglers that related annual permits expire at the end of February, including 2016 permits for small game, fishing, trout fishing, and combination hunting and fishing.
Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from one of many vendors around the state, online at mdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through MDC's free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. Save time by buying hunting and fishing permits for multiple people in a single transaction. Select the "Additional Customer" option during the permit purchase. Commercial permits and lifetime permits can be purchased only through the MDC Permit Services Unit by calling 573-751-4115.
Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt and fish for more than a half-million hunters and more than a million anglers.
MDC hatcheries stocked about three trout per angler for opening day
As winter winds down, anglers throughout the Show-Me State are beginning to show some signs of trout fever. Symptoms include: tying flies, putting new fishing line on reels, checking waders for holes, and practicing casting. Most anglers who get trout fever get rid of it by doing one thing — visiting one of Missouri's four trout parks to participate in the catch-and-keep trout season. March 1 marked the opening of catch-and-keep trout fishing at Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon, Montauk State Park near Licking, Roaring River State Park near Cassville, and Maramec Spring Park near St. James. The catch-and-keep season at the trout parks runs through Oct. 31.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) operates trout hatcheries at all four parks. To help predict angler turnout on opening day, hatchery staff rely on permit records going back more than 70 years. Montauk, Bennett Spring, and Roaring River hatchery staff expect crowds of about 2,000 anglers at each location and Maramec Spring staff is planning for a crowd of about 1,000. Based on these predictions, hatchery staff will stock three trout per expected angler on opening day for a total of more than 21,000 fish averaging around a foot in length. The hatcheries will also stock a mix of "lunkers" ranging in three to 10 pounds.
Mountain lion is confirmed
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently received DNA results from a confirmed mountain lion in Shannon County. Those results indicated the mountain lion was a female with a probable origin in the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota, and Northwest Nebraska. This is the first definitive confirmation of a female mountain lion being present in Missouri since 1994.
"Mountain lions are still rare in Missouri," said MDC Wildlife Management Coordinator Alan Leary. "The detection of a female increases the likelihood that breeding could occur within the state, but at this point we don't have evidence that a breeding population exists in Missouri."
Since 1994, MDC has recorded 68 confirmed mountain lion sightings in the state. On Jan. 21, MDC confirmed a male mountain lion was struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 70 in Warren County.
Record bigmouth buffalo taken by bow angler
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports that John Paul Morris of Springfield became the most recent record-breaking fisherman in Missouri when he shot a bigmouth buffalo on a private pond in Henry County using a bow and arrow. The new "alternative method" record bigmouth buffalo taken by Morris Jan. 21 weighed 57 pounds, 13 ounces. It measured at 39 inches with a girth of 32 ½ inches. The fish was shot on a coal mine strip pit. The new bigmouth buffalo broke the previous alternative-method state record of 54 pounds taken on Pomme de Terre Lake in 2015.
Tagged fish put in Lake Dockery
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) tagged 100 fish at Lake Dockery. Largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish were marked with a yellow tag on their back behind the dorsal fin. Anglers are encouraged to fish Lake Dockery and catch a tagged fish. To date, only two anglers have brought in a tag to claim their reward. Anglers that catch a tagged fish should remove the tag and bring it to the Jackson office to claim the prize associated with the tag. Prizes include MDWFP fishing towels, Plano tackle boxes, and Quantum rod and reel setups. Lake Dockery is a 43 acre lake in Byram. The lake is owned and operated by the city of Byram, and it is the largest lake in the Community Fishing Assistance Program. The lake is open each day from 30 minutes before dawn until 30 minutes before sunset. The lake features a boat ramp, but the operation of gasoline motors is not allowed.