Archery season opens for deer Saturday in state
Posted: Friday, September 26, 2008 9:49 pm
NASHVILLE — The year 2007 was a strange year for Tennessee deer hunters as the state faced probably the biggest EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) outbreak on record. The good news is 2008 should see the state’s herd rebounding Nicely from last year.
That is the assessment offered by Daryl Ratajcak, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Big Game Program Coordinator. The fall deer archery season opens Saturday along with the archery seasons for turkey and bear.
Tens of thousands of deer fell victim to EHD, a naturally occurring deer disease that was reported in a record 83 Tennessee counties. Besides the disease, hard mast failure and the drought made 2007 an extremely tough year on deer.
“While the deer are rebounding this year, there will however be pockets within the state that suffered heavy losses, so it may take a few years for those areas to recover,” Ratajcak said. “Hunters should not be surprised to find less than normal deer sightings in those areas in 2008.”
TWRA biologists expect the 2008 harvest to be similar or just slightly below the harvest of last year. This, however, would result in a top 10 all-time harvest in the state, so Tennessee hunters have a lot to look forward to this season.
Also set to open are archery seasons for turkey and bear in selected counties. The turkey population continues to expand in the state with an estimated more than 300,000 birds. Three counties, Knox and Blount in East Tennessee and Benton in West Tennessee, are additions to the turkey archery season. TWRA officials have seen the number of turkey hunters increase in the fall.
TWRA biologists anticipate another bear harvest close to 300 animals for the 2008 season, which is comparable to recent years.
TWRA recommends all archery hunters to pick up a 2008 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide to review and become familiar with the counties and bag limits for each of the different management units.
Hunters are reminded that they must possess the appropriate licenses and permits. Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1969 must also have, in their possession, proof they have successfully completed a hunter education course. For more information, visit the TWRA Web site at www.tnwildlife.org or contact any of the TWRA four regional offices.