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Waterfowl season coming to a close with mixed bag of results

Waterfowl season coming to a close with mixed bag of results

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 3:00 pm
By: By: Brent Callicott

Waterfowl season coming to a close with mixed bag of results | Waterfowl season coming to a close with mixed bag of results
This coming Sunday will see the 2011-12 duck season come to an end for residents in both Tennessee and Kentucky.
Goose season will also conclude in most areas in the state of Tennessee Tuesday, but will continue in the Northwestern Goose Zone until Feb. 12.
Kentucky’s Goose season will close in Kentucky Tuesday.
The season will be one to remember for some and for some, not so much. The season did pick up with the last 25 days or so for many.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I spoke on the freeze line? Well I saw for myself where it was this past weekend.
I was up in the area of Monmouth, Ill., late last week and weekend for a funeral and all bodies of water were frozen there, which is about 45 minutes southeast from Davenport, Iowa.
The Illinois River was frozen there as well. Where I did see the difference between frozen and open water was between Champaign, Ill., and Effingham, Ill. This area was loaded with both ducks and Canadian geese, we saw this for ourselves just driving down the interstate.
Many ponds and larger bodies of water located along I-57 were packed full of mainly Canadian Geese with some ducks mixed in. We also saw hunters along the way.
There was very little snow for this time of year on the ground, an inch or two at most but, just north of this area, more like 5 to 10 inches of snow covers the grounds (which also covers food).
Maybe a little too late for this year, the freeze line is as a very important factor each year on how well many will do during their waterfowl seasons.
As for the remaining seasons for waterfowl, the youth hunts are next.
There will be two youth duck hunts still left to enjoy in Tennessee. One of which will be on the weekend of Feb. 4-5, which is the Tennessee State junior waterfowl hunt. Then it will be Reelfoot Lake’s turn as that junior waterfowl hunt will be the weekend of Feb. 11-12.
The youth must be between the ages of 6 and 15. An adult at least 21 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field and must remain in a position to take control of the hunting device. The adult accompanying the young hunter may not hunt ducks but may participate in other open seasons.
Geese, coots, gallinules, moorhens, and ducks, including pintails, may be taken by youths during Youth Waterfowl Season. WMAs with special closing times are open all day, each day of the Youth Waterfowl Season.
Kentucky also has a youth waterfowl hunt and that will take place next weekend, Feb. 4-5.
Received a report on Crockett Lake from our good friend, Charlie Cavender.
He said with duck season drawing near the end Sunday, the winter crappie fishing should get going in full swing. From the reports he has received, the water color on Crockett Lake is pretty clear and looks good.
In February, if we don’t have big rains, the lake usually runs around 4 to 5 foot deep. And if the air temps get right and turns colder, getting out to fish may be a problem, but once you find an open hole, there should be some good fishing. February and March should be your best times to fish before the moss starts to take over as the waters warm later into the spring and early summer.
Mr. Charlie recommends to start out fishing with minnows and then jigs, using what works best for you. Then as the moss starts to grow, fish tree to tree while using jigs or minnows.
He also advises people to wear their life vest. Even though Crockett Lake is somewhat shallow, the water is still cold and could cause problems for you if you were to fall in. Just follow the orange markers on the trees to get in and out of the lake because there is only one way in and one way out.
Thanks Mr. Charlie for your very important information.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments for its 2012-13 hunting seasons’ regulations. This is a great opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about hunting regulations with TWRA staff.
Public comments will be considered by TWRA’s Wildlife Division staff and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: 2012-13 Hunting Season Comments, TWRA, Wildlife Management Division, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to twra.comment@tn.gov. Please include “Hunting Season Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.
The comment period concerning the 2012-13 hunting season regulations will be open until Feb. 24.
This past Tuesday, my father, Lanny, and his fishing buddy, R.C. Crews, caught 31 crappie and kept 26 of them. Most of which were of the black crappie species. Jimmy King of Tiptonville and Richard King of Jackson kept 53 crappie. At least half were of the black crappie species. All of these were caught on Reelfoot Lake.
This past early Sunday morning, an old hunting buddy of mine’s life was taken from this earth way too early. Mark O’Steen, a very avid hunter and fisherman is someone I spent lots of time with in a duck blind along with his father, Kerry, and brother, Michael. I cherished his hunting abilities and enjoyed the time spent with Mark in years’ past. May God comfort the O’Steen family during this difficult time of their lives.
My hat’s off to my good friend, past teacher, coach and school administrator in the Union City School System — Dan Boykin. He was honored Tuesday night during the Humboldt/Union City High School basketball games. The Union City Middle School Gymnasium has now been named in honor of coach Boykin. What a honor and well deserved reward for him. He has touched so many young people in our entire community and my wife and I are so blessed that we had coach Boykin as our teacher and mentor. Congrats to you coach Boykin, couldn’t have happened to a better person, community leader and educator.
I want to end with this.
I just want to take a minute to say a special Happy 70th birthday to my father, who is special, very special.
He is the one who — no matter how tired he was after driving a load of Reelfoot Packing Co. meats — he would make sure we had at least some time in the outdoors together either fishing or hunting. Happy 70th and many more…
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.
Brent  Published in The Messenger 1.27.12

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