BY STEVE McCADAMS The Kentucky Lake Quail Forever chapter will host a youth hunt for youngsters ages 11-15 on Saturday. Hours of the event are from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. It will be held at Covenant Ranch, located at 8759 Hwy. 79 northeast of Paris. It’s free to all participants. The hunt will offer hunting safety tips plus an outing with amazingly trained dogs. Safety glasses, vests and ammunition will be provided. The hunt is limited to 30 youth participants who have successfully completed the hunter safety class. 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 and a free oneyear Quail Forever Whistlers membership. Ammunition and safety glasses plus the use of a safety hunting vest will be provided. The hunt is made possible by a grant from the National Rifle Foundation. To sign up for the Youth Quail Hunt, call Clint Ellis at 731-693-9146 or Ken Creamer at 731-441-3886. CLOSURES BEGIN ON REFUGES Seasonal closures will be implemented Monday on the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge. Every year, several areas are closed off to boat traffic and vehicle activity to avoid disturbance to wintering waterfowl and nesting bald eagles. However, for great views of the lake, or for waterfowl and wildlife viewing opportunities, there are still some areas of both refuges open to daylight visitation during winter. At Cross Creeks, located at 643 Wildlife Road in Dover, an observation deck offers an excellent view looking out at the refuge. On the TNWR, the Visitor Center, located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and entry is free. There are also many observation areas on the refuge in which to view and photograph wildlife. On the Big Sandy Unit of the TNWR, the main road running through the Big Sandy Peninsula remains open. Visitors at this location have year round access to the handicapped-accessible Bennett’s Creek observation deck. This deck is a great place to see bald eagles this time of year, as well as views of Bennett’s Creek’s embayment and two managed impoundments. Chickasaw National Recreation Trail, a 1.1-mile hiking trail, is a great place to take a stroll through the woods on a sunny winter day. This hiking trail offers an easy pace as well as a little of the past history of the people that once lived on this peninsula. The tip of the peninsula, called Pace Point, is considered a very popular winter birding location offering excellent views of migratory birds such as waterfowl, loons, gulls and terns. At the Britton Ford/Sulphur Well area, the V.L. Childs Observation Deck extends visitors an outstanding view of refuge waters and adjacent shorelines and woodlands. The observation deck is handicappedaccessible, complete with two spotting scopes that provide excellent opportunities for viewing waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and songbirds along with other native wildlife. Please note however, that the Britton Ford Hiking Trail and the Discovery Nature Trail that is located in the sanctuary closure areas will be closed until March 15. The Duck River Bottoms is always an exciting place to visit in the winter. The main road running through the bottoms area is open year round offering many chances for the visitor to connect with nature. Just turning off the vehicle and listening to thousands of ducks resting and feeding in the surrounding area is worth the drive to this area. This area also offers views of bald eagles, white pelicans, herons and egrets as well as many different species of hawks. The Pintail Point observation deck and photography blind is open year round along Haul Road. The visitor at this location is greeted with a very short stroll through the woods ending with a boardwalk and deck/blind that overlooks one of the managed impoundments. Possible wildlife to view at this location would be woodpeckers, puddle ducks, herons, egrets, hawks and eagles. The entire Busseltown Unit will be closed for sanctuary. Visitors to this unit will be able to observe the wildlife from the information kiosk area. For further information on the TNWR, contact the refuge office by calling 731-642-2091 or see the refuge web page at www.fws.gov/refuge/tennessee. or www.facebook.com/ tennesseenwr. For information about Cross Creeks, contact the office in Dover by calling 931-232-7477 or see the website at www.fws. gov/refuge/cross_creeks. EARLY DUCK SEASON AT REELFOOT Reelfoot Lake duck zone will have a two-day early segment on Saturday and Sunday. Every year, that area has an early opener some two weeks ahead of the statewide season start. The zone doesn’t get additional days but just uses two days of its 60-day season to kick things off early in hopes of catching some of the early migration of greenwing teal, widgeons and gadwalls. Second segment there resumes Dec. 4 and runs through Jan. 30. The Tennessee statewide season opens Nov. 27-28 and continues Dec. 4 through Jan. 30. GUN SHOW AT FAIRGROUNDS Great American Promotions will return to the Henry County Fairgrounds for a two-day gun/knife show on Dec. 4-5. The event will allow vendors to buy, sell or trade. Hours of the event will be 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Dec. 5. For more information on the gun show contact Ron Henderson at 865-310-5427 or email ronrhenderson@yahoo.com.

SPORTSMEN’S CALENDAR Saturday — Quail Forever youth hunt, Covenant Ranch. Saturday-Sunday — Early duck season, Reelfoot Lake. Monday — Seasonal closures begin on Tennessee/Cross Creeks national wildlife refuges. Nov. 20 — Regular gun/muzzleloader, archery deer segment opens.

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