(Updated February 01, 2018)
Outdoors with Larry Rea expanding in West TN
Although Larry Rea is probably best remembered in the area as the preps editor at the Memphis Commercial Appeal from 1967 to 1988, he has also been the Mid-South radio voice for outdoor news locally, regionally and nationally since 2001.
Outdoors with Larry Rea will now be available throughout much of West Tennessee in a partnership between Entercom Broadcasting and The Wireless Group, Inc., based in Brownsville.
Outdoors with Larry Rea will be broadcast on WNWS-AM (1520)/WTBG-FM (95.3) in Brownsville, known as Brownsville Radio, which is streamed 24/7 at brownsvilleradio.com.
WNWS-FM in Jackson, known as NEWS/TALK 101.5 and is also streamed 24/7 at WNWS.COM.
Each Saturday, the show will air in Brownsville from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., and in Jackson from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Carlton Veirs, president of the Wireless Group, Inc., said, "Thousands of our listeners are passionate about hunting and fishing, so Larry's show is just perfect for Saturday mornings. We're excited to add it to our local programming lineup."
Dan Barron, vice president/general manager for Entercom Broadcasting in Memphis said passionate hunters and fishermen are in for a special treat.
"After more than 16 years of broadcasting Outdoors with Larry Rea in Memphis and the Mid-South, it's exciting to see the expansion of this show," Barron said.
The program, which airs from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., on ESPN-AM 790 in Memphis, has won numerous awards through the Tennessee Outdoors Writers Association and the 13-state Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and it has been recognized several times by environmental organizations.
TWRA requesting public input for 2018-19 hunting regulations
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments for its 2018-19 hunting seasons' regulations. This is an opportunity for the public to provide ideas and share concerns about hunting regulations with TWRA staff. The comment period will be open through Feb. 15.
Public comments will be considered by TWRA staff and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2018-19 Hunting Season Comments, TWRA, Wildlife and Forestry Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed [email protected]. Please include "Hunting Season Comments" on the subject line of emailed submissions.
Process becomes easier to register new boats in Tennessee
Until recently, the purchase of a new boat in Tennessee required the owner to take the bill of sale to the local courthouse to account for taxes. After having made that trip, another was required to complete the registration process required for new boats. Using technology provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's license vendor, boat owners can now complete the second step, registering their new boat, using home computers or smart phones.
"You could always mail in your new boat registration paperwork, but so many people are anxious about getting everything done at once, " said Susie Spriggs, TWRA License Division chief. " Now a new boat owner can complete the process without having to visit a second office or wait for the mail."
Once taxes have been taken care of completing a new boat registration requires visiting www.tnwildlife.org and clicking on the "Boat Registration" menu atop the agency's website.
Spriggs also noted that boat registrations could be set up to automatically renew, further removing any time spent on the renewal process. The TWRA is the agency that enforces boating laws in Tennessee, which includes checking that boats are properly registered when on the water. While new boat registrations have also required several steps to finalize, boat registration renewals have been easier to complete.
Turkey quota hunt applications available for LBL
Turkey Quota Hunt applications for Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area are available through Feb. 28. Hunters may apply online at https://lblquotahunt.hometracker.com/ or by phone at 270-924-2065. Application fees are $5 online and $7 by phone. Three quota hunts in both the Kentucky and Tennessee portions of Land Between the Lakes require prior application. Hunting is not permitted between these dates.
Hunting provides unique recreational opportunities within the region and helps maintain healthy wildlife populations. Applicants can check the quota hunt website, https://lblquotahunt.hometracker.com/, at the end of March to see if they were drawn. The non-quota hunting season, which does not require prior application, runs for fourteen days.
As always, a state license and Land Between the Lakes Hunter Use Permits are required. Hunter Use Permits may be purchased online at www.landbetweenthelakes.us/reservations/.
CWD detected in three more counties
Chronic wasting disease, detected in Arkansas almost two years ago, has been found in three more counties. Four white-tailed deer in Benton, Washington and Sebastian counties recently tested positive for the deadly disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The deer in Benton County were a 2½-year-old doe near Decatur and a 5½-year-old doe near Springtown. The Sebastian County deer was an adult buck near Lavaca, and the one from Washington County was a 1½-year-old buck near Prairie Grove. All four were harvested by hunters during the 2017-18 deer season, and confirmed as CWD-positive by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison. Test results have not been received for all samples that have been collected; it's possible more deer and elk could test positive for the disease. Since these positive samples were detected outside the current CWD Management Zone, the AGFC will continue their review to ensure all information is accurate.
CWD was first detected in Arkansas Feb. 23, 2016, when a hunter-harvested elk in Newton County tested positive. The first Arkansas deer with CWD was verified March 3, 2016, also in Newton County. Public meetings in the area will be scheduled as forums to discuss plans and to answer questions.
Deer killed total tops 200,000 again
Through Jan. 19 deer harvest total for Arkansas was 202,451, including 93,175 antlered. 13,927 button buck and 85,349 does. This is the sixth straight year Arkansas hunters have reached this milestone. Arkansas record harvest came in 2012, when hunters harvested killed 213,487 deer. Although this year's harvest likely will fall short of that number, the season is fairly consistent with last year's total harvest of 202,070.
Ralph Meeker, deer program coordinator, says the consistent harvest numbers from recent years are a good indication that Arkansas deer populations are beginning to stabilize.
"Balancing and stabilizing the state's deer population are two of the goals of the AGFC Strategic Deer Management Plan," Meeker said. "We want to balance the deer herd with the available habitat and the people who live in Arkansas. We've seen good growth for the last few decades, and now it's time to maintain our deer where they are abundant for hunters, but not so much that they outgrow their habitat or people's tolerance of them throughout the year."
Meeker says he's seen pictures of some impressive deer and heard about many more trophy-size bucks being taken this year than usual throughout the state.
"Last fall we had a great mast crop in much of the state, followed by a wet spring and early summer that allowed for good growth of natural vegetation. That combination provides a lot of good nutrition for developing antlers and weight gain," Meeker said. "It will be interesting to see what comes in at this year's Big Buck Classic."
In the spotlight
Corporal Mac Davis of Waldron and the members of the Monticello Regional Office Wildlife Division staff of the AGFC were recognized for their commitment to conservation and outdoor traditions at the annual State Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet of the National Wild Turkey Federation' Arkansas Chapter held at the Benton Event Center in Benton. Davis was chosen as the Arkansas NWTF Wildlife Officer of the Year. In addition to his work enforcing wildlife and conservation regulations, he is strongly active in community service. Davis volunteers for his local 4H club, spent time talking about conservation at career day for special need students as well as a local senior citizens' organization. He also has served as a mentor for several high school students. He will represent Arkansas and the AGFC at the 2018 NWTF National Convention in February.
Mark Hooks, Mark Barbee, Bubba Groves, David Luker and Michael Shepherd received the Arkansas NWTF 2017 Partnership Award for their support of mentored hunts during the last three years. Last year's mentored hunt on Warren Prairie deserved particular notoriety, as it was designed specifically to thank disabled veterans for their sacrifice to the people of the United States. In early November, they welcomed five men chosen by Freedom Defender Outdoors to participate in a special hunt on Warren Prairie Natural Area Wildlife Management Area. Previous hunting experience varied between participants. Some had hunted in their youth, but two of the participants had never harvested a deer. One had never even had the opportunity to deer hunt.
MDC reports final deer harvest 283,940, archery turkey harvest 2,426
Missouri's 2017-2018 deer-hunting season ended with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary total harvest of 283,940 deer. Top counties for the overall season were Howell with 6,182 deer harvested, Franklin with 5,957, and Texas with 5,619. Of the 283,940 deer harvested, 135,891 were antlered bucks, 30,538 were button bucks, and 117,511 were does. Hunters harvested 263,834 deer during the 2016-2017 deer hunting season.
Deer hunting ended with the close of the archery season. Preliminary data from MDC showed that hunters checked 51,722 deer during the archery season. Top counties for the archery season were Jefferson with 1,169 deer harvested, St. Louis with 1,021, and Franklin with 1,000. Of the 51,722 deer harvested, 21,162 were antlered bucks, 5,319 were button bucks, and 25,241 were does. Hunters checked 47,552 deer during the 2016-2017 archery season.
Preliminary data from MDC showed 2,426 turkeys harvested. Top counties for the archery turkey season were Phelps with 73 birds harvested, Texas with 63, and Laclede with 58. For the previous year, hunters harvested 2,304 turkeys.
MDC reported five firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall deer and turkey hunting seasons. All were non-fatal. Three involved self-inflicted wounds. Two involved one hunter shooting another.
Black bear research website gets an upgrade, new look
The MDC is updating their black bear research webpage with enhanced features and information on Missouri's native black bear population. The new webpage will offer black bear research project summaries, project updates, new research photos, videos, interactive story maps and much more.
One of many new web features on the black bear research website will be an interactive story map. Story maps combine maps and geography with narrative text, images, and multimedia content to better share the story about black bears in Missouri. The black bear story map will launch this spring on the website.
MDC's Conservation Commission has established a benchmark of 500 black bears before MDC initiates a hunting season. Missouri currently has an estimated black bear population of 350 bears.