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Outdoors Notes: Changes for Tennesseans hunting deer out of state

• Sep 11, 2016 at 1:45 PM

In an effort to minimize the risk of chronic wasting disease being introduced to the state’s deer herd, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to approve a proposal that will impact those residents who plan to hunt deer out of state for the 2016-17 season.

The approved proposal, approved during the TFWC’s August meeting in Nashville and effective immediately, extends the restrictions on importation of deer, moose and elk carcasses to the entirety of any state not bordering Tennessee that has found a positive case of CWD. It also includes states bordering Tennessee if that state has a CWD-positive county within 150 miles of Tennessee’s border. Beginning May 1, 2017, the restrictions will apply statewide to all CWD-positive states including those that border Tennessee.

The restrictions prohibit deer carcasses being brought into Tennessee from the CWD-positive areas where the restrictions are applied unless it is deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to a clean skull, a clean skull (no meat or tissue), cleaned teeth, finished taxidermy products, or hides and tanned products.

Previously, 11 of the 24 CWD-positive states had carcass importation restrictions applied to only the CWD-positive counties, while the other 13 already had statewide restrictions. As of now, 23 of the 24 CWD-positive states have the restrictions applied statewide. Three of Tennessee’s bordering states, Arkansas, Virginia and Missouri, have found CWD in their state, but only Arkansas and Missouri have CWD-positive counties within 150 miles of Tennessee’s border. Consequently, Virginia is the only CWD-positive state that has county-specific carcass importation restrictions for the current hunting season.

Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, incurable and fatal neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose.

To date, 80 free-ranging elk and 9,394 free-ranging deer have been tested for the disease in Tennessee with all the results coming back negative.

For more information, visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website at tn.gov/twra.

Annual Church Hill Trout Rodeo coming up soon

Church Hill’s annual Trout Rodeo, sponsored by VFW Post 9754, Buffalo Springs Fish Hatchery, CASVA Angus Farm and Food City, will be held Saturday, Sept. 17.

This free community event — which runs from 8:30-10 a.m. at Jaycees Park, 455 North Central Ave., Church Hill — is open to children 4-16, with divisions for ages 4-7, 8-11 and 12-16.

In addition to doughnuts, drinks and fun for everyone, children get the chance to win a new bicycle.

Register your child at the Church Hill City Hall or at Jaycees Park before 8:30 a.m. the day of the event. Call the Recreation Department at (423) 357-7010 with further questions.

Hunting opportunities abound in Virginia

Virginia State Parks offer a variety of hunting opportunities, including reservation-only hunts and open hunting, throughout the season. Hunters can reserve stands or zones on a first-come, first-served basis for hunts including:

• Muzzleloading and archery hunt at Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Bedford County, Nov. 7-8 and Nov. 14-15 (reservation period begins Sept. 15).

• Muzzleloading-only hunts at Natural Tunnel State Park in Scott County, Nov. 14-15 (reservation period beginning Sept. 29) and at Grayson Highlands State Park in Grayson County, Nov. 7-8 (reservation period beginning Sept. 8).

• Special youth muzzleloading hunt at Natural Tunnel in Scott County on Nov. 19 (reservation period beginning Sept. 29).

• Muzzleloading and shotgun hunts at Natural Tunnel in Scott County, Jan. 13-14 (reservation period beginning Sept. 29) and at Claytor Lake State Park in Pulaski County, Jan. 6-7 (reservation period beginning Oct. 6).

• General firearms hunt at Grayson Highlands in Grayson County, Nov. 21-22 (reservation period beginning Sept. 8).

Hunters may reserve preferred days and stands or zones by paying in advance $15 per day by calling the VSP Customer Service Center at (800) 933-7275. Some hunts require special qualifications or have special restrictions.

All hunting laws and regulations apply in Virginia State Parks. Additional rules may apply in individual parks.

For information on hunting licenses, hunter safety education and hunting regulations, call the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at (804) 367-1000 or visit dgif.virginia.gov.

For more information about hunting opportunities and programs in Virginia State Parks, call (800) 933-7275, or visit dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hunting.

Lee Strutters Jakes event set for Sept. 17

The Lee County Strutters Jakes event, open to youth ages 5-17, will be held Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Lee County Coon Club, 485 Big Woods Trail, Jonesville.

Events include shotgun, archery, air rifle, hunter’s trail, special guests and more. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

For more information or for a registration packet, visit the Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation Office or Liberty Sport & Pawn or email leecountystrutters09@yahoo.com. The Lee County Strutters also are on Facebook.

Contact Melissa Harber (276) 346-2153 for more information.