Hunter Education Course required for youngsters, offered free in March
By Brent Callicott
Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 10:27 pm
If you have a youngster about to be or has been introduced into hunting of any kind, before they start hunting, they must successfully pass the Hunter Education Course.
Passing the Hunters Education Program, earning a certificate is a must and is required for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969. Parents or guardian, please take note.
Tennessee Code Anno-tated 70-2-108 became law in 1985 and states every person born on or after Jan. 1, 1969, before hunting, shall possess, in addition to all other licenses and permits required, proof of satisfactory completion of an agency approved hunter education course…
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1969, you must possess proof of successful completion of a hunter education class before hunting in Tennessee.
Those under 10 years of age do not need a Hunter Education certificate, but must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device.
There will be a class offered as it usually is in Union City at the First Assembly of God Church located at 1810 Pleasant Valley Ave.
Here are the dates: Monday, March 11, March 12, March 14, March 19, March 21 and March 23.
This is a five-night class and students must attend all five nights and the live shoot March 23.
You must cancel your registration before March 11 at 10 a.m. if you find that you cannot attend the classes.
All registrants for this event must be 9 years of age by March 23. The course is offered free of charge to anyone interested regardless of age; however, you must be nine years of age or older in order to become a certified hunter education graduate.
Per state and federal statutes, your Social Security Number is required. If you wish to register for this course but do not have a Social Security Number, please call 615-781-6538 for assistance. To register for this class, go to the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org and click on hunting then click on hunters education.
This is especially important to get started off on the right foot when any child has been given his or her first new firearm. A great way to learn about the firearm and safety aspect of it.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is now accepting entries for its photo contest for publication in the Tennessee Wildlife Magazine’s popular annual calendar issue. All interested photographers are invited to submit their best photos on fishing and wildlife species native to Tennessee, and fishing and hunting scenes in Tennessee.
Interested photographers must submit their photo entries by the March 7 deadline. The photos will be reviewed for publication in the annual calendar edition of Tennessee Wildlife Magazine. If a photo is selected for the calendar edition, the photographer will receive a cash stipend of $60.
The format for sending in your pictures is horizontal digital images on disk. Only digital images in JPEG format and of high resolution (300 dpi) sized as an 81⁄2 x11 will be accepted. Each disk submitted must have the name of the photographer stamped or written on it. No prints can be accepted. (Sorry, disks cannot be returned).
Entries can be mailed to: Tennessee Wildlife Magazine, Calendar Issue, P.O. Box 40747. Nashville, TN 37204.
Tennessee Wildlife is the official magazine for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Subscription rates are $10 for one year, $17 for two years and $25 for three years
Since last week’s report, I have been receiving several reports that many of the ducks in our part of the country have ventured south or some place besides our area where the weather might be a little warmer but snow has not covered the food.
Many of the ducks that have been harvested in West Tennessee have been feeding in rice fields just across the river in Missouri and Arkansas. Well, if you remember, the blizzard that areas to the west of the Mississippi River were slammed by covered up food sources for the ducks. And the further west you went, some areas receiving well over a foot with our area receiving a couple of inches, especially down near the Mississippi River. The thinking is this has caused the ducks to move elsewhere looking for food that has not been covered by snow.
There are low numbers of ducks in this area at the present time. Water levels continue to rise both on Reelfoot Lake and on the Mississippi River. My family and I drove over to the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon and did notice the river has come up but is still low overall.
Also, we have seen a much colder trend as for our temperatures and this is also the case to our north. Some areas well to our north, many bodies of water have frozen over. I also understand that areas not too far to the north of St. Louis, the Mississippi River has some ice jams starting to collect, but this is a good piece from here. Waterfowl like hanging rather close to the freeze line where they can have access to water. Many of the old timers will tell you that the largest concentration of waterfowl will be closer to the freeze line in general.
Some warmer weather is in the forecast for our area sometime next week.
I have heard of a few blinds doing well. Most are on private ground but a couple of blinds on Reelfoot Lake have been doing pretty good also. When the ducks are low in numbers and what we have in the area are scattered, this is a hit or miss type thing and if you have a blind in the right place at the right time, everyone else’s season may be slow but yours may be right the opposite. This happens almost every year.
Water levels continue to rise very slowly day by day on Reelfoot Lake with the burst of rainfall that our area has received in the past month. Right now, Reelfoot Lake is in the 281.0 feet above sea level. Normal level is 282.20 feet above sea level. As I looked back on 2012, we received between 35 and 36 inches of rainfall, depending on where you live. Most of that has fallen since mid-June. In 2011, we received almost double of that with close to 70 inches of rainfall, which helped in producing record level flooding in the Midwest and Mississippi River Valley.
When it comes to fishing right now on Reelfoot Lake, the crappie fishing has been good with most folks fishing around the exposed wood due to the low water but as the lake continues to rise, some of this exposed wood is being re-covered by water.
Don’t forget about the ongoing eagle tours being offered at Reelfoot Lake. The Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) down near the Walnut Log area is now conducting bald eagle tours. These will be offered as free tours Thursday through Saturday, ending February 28th. Tour times are 8 a.m. and noon, each tour lasting 2 to 3 hours.
Reservations are required due to limited space, with 5 slots available per tour. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and bring cameras and binoculars. A spotting scope will be provided, and binoculars are available for loan. The tour takes visitors on both the Grassy Island and Long Point units of the Reelfoot NWR, in addition to other areas around Reelfoot Lake where eagles are regularly spotted. Both refuge units have observation towers for viewing eagles, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Grassy Island, which has a newly built boardwalk, provides a photogenic viewpoint of Reelfoot Lake while Long Point provides excellent viewing opportunities for eagles and a wide variety of waterfowl. For more information or to make reservations for tours, contact Reelfoot NWR at (731) 538-2481.
Happy New Year to all. I plan to continue to keep the outdoor public informed to the best of my ability each week right here on Fridays. I encourage you to send us your information of events, stories and photos so we can share with our readers. I can be reached at email@example.com or 731-446-3678.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.