It may not be quite as popular as the opening day of the regular gun season but it’s a close second.
The 2019 statewide muzzleloader/archery season for deer opens in Tennessee on Saturday and continues through Nov. 22 in all of the state’s deer hunting units. The opening of muzzleloader season in the state has a permanent opening date of the third Saturday before Thanksgiving.
For Unit CWD only in addition to muzzleloader, gun season will open on Saturday. The newly-created Unit CWD in the southwestern portion of the state was established after the confirmation of chronic wasting disease (CWD) last December.
Muzzleloading firearms are defined as those firearms which are incapable of being loaded from the breech.
Muzzleloading firearms of .36-caliber minimum, plus long bows, compound bows and crossbows are legal hunting equipment for this season. Hunters are also reminded that they must meet the blaze orange requirements while hunting.
The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is two. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day. Hunters are allowed the following antlerless bag limits: Unit L — three a day, Unit A and B — two total, and Unit C and D — one total.
In Unit CWD, muzzleloader/archery season began in late October. In Unit CWD, there is a limit of three antlerless deer per day with no season limit and the statewide bag limit of two antlered deer.
For the exact boundaries of the different deer units, hunters can refer to the 2019-20 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and at all TWRA offices. In addition, regulations and other information for Unit CWD are included on pages 33-37 of the guide.
A list of the state’s permanent annual opening hunting dates is on page 12 of the guide. The guide can also be viewed at the TWRA’s website at www.tnwildlife.org.
Resident hunters, ages 16 through 64, must possess in addition to other appropriate licenses, an annual big game license for the equipment used. Lifetime Sportsman license, Junior Hunt/Trap/Fish, Adult Sportsman license and Permanent Senior Citizens license holders are not required to purchase supplemental big game licenses.
In addition to private lands, including public hunting areas, several wildlife management areas (WMAs) will be open to hunters during this muzzleloader season. Hunters need to refer to the 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Guide for a listing of these WMAs or go to the TWRA’s website.
Tennessee’s gun season for deer opens in units A, B, C, D and L on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year’s date is Nov. 23. The season for gun/muzzleloader/archery will then continue through Jan. 5, 2020.
Archery equipment is legal during muzzleloader and gun seasons. Muzzleloaders are legal during gun season.
SEASONAL CLOSURES AT REFUGE
Every fall, select areas of the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge are closed beginning Nov. 15 to prohibit disturbance to wintering waterfowl.
Locally, portions of the Big Sandy unit will have both road and boating access sectors closed off to boating, fishing and vehicle activity. Areas under the closure will be Bennett’s Creek, Swamp Creek and Sulphur Well Basin, which is the area in front of the V.L. Childs Observation Area.
For other closures on the refuge, call the refuge office at 642-2091. The areas reopen every year on March 15.
QUAIL FOREVER YOUTH HUNT
The local Kentucky Lake Quail Forever chapter will host a youth quail hunt from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and it’s free to all participants. The hunt will offer folks hunting safety tips with amazingly trained dogs.
Safety glasses, vests, and ammunition will be provided. It will be held at 4-E Kennel and Shooting Preserve, 1100 Green Allen Springs Road in Huntingdon. The hunt is limited to 30 youth participants who have completed a hunter safety course.
All participants are required to preregister. Every youngster will receive a free lunch, guided hunt, clay target shooting, use of a BB gun target range, a free one-year Quail Forever Whistlers membership, ammunition, safety glasses and safety hunting vest.
The hunt is made possible by a grant from the Friends of the National Rifle Association. For additional information on the event, contact Clint Ellis at 731-693-9146 or Ken Creamer at 731-441-3886.
DUCKS UNLIMITED DINNER
The Paris-Henry County chapter of Ducks Unlimited has set its annual dinner date for Nov. 16. This year’s event will be at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Hours are 6-10 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale from committee members and online. Single ticket is $50 and couple price is $75. Sponsor level is $250.
Greenwing Varsity Ticket is free for youngsters age 17 and younger when accompanying a paid adult and includes a one-year youth DU membership.
To purchase tickets online, go to HenryCountyDucks.org.
For additional information on the forthcoming event, contact one of the following committee members: Michael Culley at 336-0188, Ty Wilson at 336-7163 or Ethan Lee at 731-415-3999.
WMA CLOSURE DATES SET
Waterfowlers across the state are scrambling to finalize chores on duck blinds before season gets here.
Duck hunters are reminded of the closure period five days prior to the opening of duck season in select wildlife management areas. Closure dates will be Nov. 24-28.
TWRA regulations say all sub-impoundments are closed to activity for a few days so as to avoid disturbance to feeding and roosting waterfowl using the units.
PARKS OFFER CAMPING DISCOUNTS
Thirty Tennessee State Parks are offering a 30% discount on winter camping, from now until the end of February 2020.
Campers may register online or by phone to get the discount, which is valid only at the participating state parks. Those who register online should use the promotion code WINTER19 at payment to receive the offer. Those who register by phone must mention “Winter Camping Deal” when making a reservation.
The discount is based on availability and is not valid with other discounts at the parks. The discount is not valid on reservations made prior to Nov. 1.
For more information on the winter camping discounts and contact information for the parks, visit tnstateparks.com/winter-camping-deal.
Saturday — Quail Forever youth hunt, 4-E Kennel, Huntingdon.
Saturday through Nov. 22 — Muzzleloader/archery season open.
Saturday-Sunday — First segment Reelfoot Lake duck season.
Nov. 15 — Season closures begin at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.
Nov. 16 — Paris/Henry County Ducks Unlimited banquet, fairgrounds.
Nov. 23 — Gun/muzzleloader/archery deer season opens.
Nov. 24-28 — Off-limits period in Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency waterfowl Wildlife Management Areas.
Nov. 29-Dec. 2 — First segment of statewide duck season.