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Fishermen taking back seat to hunters as Old Man Winter arrives

Fishermen taking back seat to hunters as Old Man Winter arrives

Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:05 am
By: Brent Callicott

Cool weather remains settled into our area with this week producing one small round of rain with rain or snow or both possible toward the end of the week. We will have to wait and see if Mother Nature sends us a white Christmas.
All precipitation is greatly appreciated but much much more is needed — a lot more.
Ice on some area lakes and hunting areas has also helped some in their waterfowl hunting with others not having the best of luck as for the kind of hunting season. I have even had folks tell me that having the ice around has made a (good) difference in their hunting seasons so far.
I have talked with several folks over the past several days and many who I have talked with have seen their waterfowl hunting pick up tremendously since opening weekend.
I know back in the days I hunted, the best overall time for me was from Christmas through the end of the season, which is the end of January.
There have been some really good hunts on Reelfoot Lake with manmade flooded hunting areas that surround the lake or are in the West Tennessee area have faired very well. Most getting their limits by early to mid-morning.
Low water conditions and ice have caused the waterfowl to have to search around for open water. Reelfoot Lake over the past several days has been completely frozen over with a reported three inches of ice in some places. This may have changed this week with the somewhat warmer temps. But colder weather is in the forecast for late in the week through the weekend and into next week. Private hunting areas that also have flooded fields and hunting grounds use all different types of mechanical devices to help keep some open and clear water for the ducks and geese.
No reports of any geese being harvested at this time. That usually takes place right after the first of the year.
At this time, I have had no fishing reports but I know there have been some to test their skills during the last few days if they can get out on Reelfoot or Kentucky Lake.
Predicted Mississippi River Stages at the Cairo, Ill., gauge is as follows: 12/22, 21.7 feet; 12/23, 21.5 feet; 12/24, 20.9 feet; and 12/25, 20.6 feet.
Tennessee’s gun season for deer hunters resumed Saturday and will continue through Jan. 9, 2011.
Since archery season opened in late September, more than 122,500 deer have been harvested in the state. Giles County has the top overall harvest with 3,663.
During the first gun season segment (Nov. 20-Dec. 5) 52,572 harvested deer were reported. Giles County was the leader with 3,663. Fayette County was second with 2,007 while Hardeman County, the 2009 first gun segment leader, was third with 1,973. Rounding out the top 10 counties during the first gun segment were Henry County (1,865), Lincoln County (1,673), Maury County (1,359), Madison County (1,348), Franklin County (1,336), Weakley County (1,294) and Carroll County (1,291).
The state’s 2010-11 deer hunting seasons will conclude with the second Young Sportsman Deer Hunt to be held the weekend of Jan. 15-16. Only youth, ages 6-16 may participate in the Young Sportsman Hunt.
Also, applications for the 2011 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts will be accepted now through Jan. 26, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA Web site at Applications will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. Jan. 26. Mailed applications will not be accepted.
The areas available for the hunts are listed on the instruction sheets. Hunters have up to 12 choices, but will be drawn for only one. Applicants may not use the same hunt code more than once. There are a total of 19 hunts listed. No person may apply more than once.
A permit fee will not be charged to Annual Sportsman (Type 004), Lifetime Sportsman (Types 402-405) license holders or Senior Citizen Hunters (Type 166) with an Annual Senior Citizen Permit (Type 167), TWRA will pay the agent fee for these transactions. For all other license holders, the cost is $20 per permit, plus the agent fee. When applying with a licensing agent, hunters must remain at the location while the application is processed. Hunters will receive a receipt with a confirmation number when the application is complete.
Hunters with Internet access may go to and apply for a spring quota turkey hunt. Hunters can click on Buy a License online. Once the Internet site has been accessed, hunters can follow the on-screen directions.
For more information and regulations concerning Tennessee’s deer hunting season or any seasons, refer to the 2010 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents or on the TWRA website at Harvest information is also updated on the For Hunters section of the website.
The 7th Annual Reelfoot Lake Eagle Festival will be taking place Feb. 4-6, 2011, so mark your calendars. This will be held at the Reelfoot Lake State Park Visitor Center/Ellington Hall located on Highway 21/22 on the southern end of Reelfoot Lake.
I will have more information to pass along soon about this event. For more information, you can call 731-253-2007 or visit their website at
In closing, I would like to take this time to wish each of you a Merry Christmas. I hope and pray your Christmas Holiday season is filled with joy, happiness, love and kindness. Most of all, remember what this season is really about. We tend to forget sometimes what the true meaning of Christmas is. Remember those who are less fortunate as well. Most of us are blessed with far more than we deserve. Christmas is about giving, not receiving, for me. I also want to ask you to remember our country’s military. There are families today that are sacrificing there loved ones for our freedom, so please remember those not only this season but each and every day.

Until next week… Merry Christmas

Published in The Messenger 12.22.10

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