More hunting season days for Bear and Hog using dogs in Tennessee

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Overview

Increase the number of days that hog and bear can be hunted with dogs in Tennessee.

A chance of the Heritage of Bear and Hog Hunting using Dogs is being diminished by the TWRA. The Bear and Hog Hunters that use dogs know the TWRA has this tradition and family activity in its final days before its total eradication whether that is the intent of TWRA or not. This has been proven by TWRA’s continual scheduling the hunting seasons  with over 80 % of the days to hunt Bear and Hog using dogs being Monday through Friday. The TWRA has continually year after year failed to take into consideration the hunter demographics like most hunters work Monday-Friday with little to no vacation days so they barely get to hunt, people from Tennessee typically go to or attend Church, UT football games, School for kids Monday-Friday, Kids sports like Basketball and football with games on Saturday, yet this is when over 80% of the bear and hog hunting days are scheduled to take place by the TWRA.

Changes

1. Open more dog training days for bear and hog like august through September which increases hunter participation, and revenue generation from hunting supplies, vehicle maintenance, and gas etc.  Supports reference 1, 3, 6 shown below.

2. Open more hunting days for bear and hog with dogs similar to north Carolina that have from 56-80 days to hunt not counting training season even if that means that once hunting quota for year is full that hunting season is closed on bear and hog can still be hunted.  Supports TWRA Strategic plan reference 1, 3, 6 as shown below.

    a. Currently Zone 1, 2, & 3 have 30, 37, & 32 total hunting days respectively with 2, 4, & 5 of them being on Sundays resulting in just 28, 33, & 27 non Sunday hunting days respectively when these zones are located in the bible belt and most hunters don’t hunt on Sundays because they go to church.

    b. Over half of the bear and hog hunting with dogs days 20, 24, & 17 respectively for Zones 1, 2, & 3 are during the week when most people who hunt bear and hog with dogs are required to be at work and their kids are at school.

    c. This includes leaving bear hunting open during times when school students and parents are not required to be at work like during fall break, thanksgiving break, Christmas break etc.   like a hunting season from last week of September through 2 nd week in January.

3. Make hunting hogs with dogs legal year round any time of day in Tennessee on national forest, WMA, and private lands similar to North Carolina laws.  Supports TWRA Strategic plan reference 1, 3, 6 as shown below.

4. Give place where hogs are to be checked in online after being killed so TWRA and public can determine if hunting them with dogs works as an eradication method instead of assuming dog hunting doesn’t work and publicizing that it doesn’t in its studies and communication with the public.  If hog hunters that use dogs were allowed to hunt over bait, using night vision, all year long day or night like the paid TWRA agents and contractors that are eradicating hogs, the dog hunters could show more successful than is currently and would definitely be cheaper than paying for people to kill them.

5. Give a place on TWRA website for all Bear and hog hunters to state how much money they spend to hunt bear and hog including, dog food, dog supplies, gas for truck, batteries for tracking equipment and the cost of tracking equipment, gun ammunition and accessories, hunting clothes and boots, food while hunting, miles put on trucks, gas, lodging, the number of days they get to hunt and days they can’t hunt, days their kids can’t hunt, what kept them from hunting certain days etc.   Supports reference 2, 4, 5, 7, & 8 shown below.

 

Benefits of the Changes above in no specific order.

1. Increases hunter participation due to more hunting opportunities, and revenue generation from hunting supplies, vehicle maintenance, and gas etc.

2. This also gives the hunters more of an opportunity to take younger sportsman with them that otherwise wouldn’t go because of sports, school, or other activities that conflict with the hunting dates.  Keeping in mind that during the fall and winter in East Tennessee it is Vol and youth football and basketball time which discourages many parents and their kids from going hunting or they have to leave early to get to the sporting event game or watch on television.

3. This would also encourage more people to get involved in hunting bear and hog with dogs because there would be more opportunity to hunt which in turn therefore justifying the high annual cost of maintaining and training hunting dogs would also drive further financial increase due to additional money spent on hunting supplies licenses etc..

4. There would be a place to gauge what is working and not for the existing bear and hog hunters, how much money they spend, any ideas they have that could help manager hunting better etc.

5. Hunters will feel like they are not just feeding and raising dogs for no reason and will increase the chance that this tradition and sport will be passed to the younger generations who have little contact with the TWRA and its resources.

 

TWRA Strategic Plan 2014-2020

Reference #, Strategic Plan Page # - Item type Description

Reference 1, Page 56 - Objective 1,Issue 1, Strategy 1

Maintain or improve programs that promote high user satisfaction for hunters, anglers, and boaters.   -- Because of habitat limitations or increased demand, many populations of desired species are insufficient to supply consistent and satisfying opportunities to hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreation users.  -- -- Evaluate current regulations and recommend changes needed to maintain populations of desired species that provide quality hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation experiences

Reference 2, Page 56 - Objective 1,Issue 1, Strategy 3

Maintain or improve programs that promote high user satisfaction for hunters, anglers, and boaters.  -- Because of habitat limitations or increased demand, many populations of desired species are insufficient to supply consistent and satisfying opportunities to hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreation users.    -- -- Collect data on participation, satisfaction, opinions, and economic value of programs for TWRA and Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) consideration

Reference 3, Page 57-58 - Objective 2,Issue 1, Strategy 4

Identify types of outdoor recreation that can be supported on TWRA managed lands, while maintaining high satisfaction among existing and expanding user groups.       -- Predicting which kinds of programs will satisfy new and current users is difficult. Developing new programs or changing existing programs may need to occur in order to maintain current user satisfaction and recruit new users.  -- -- Maintain or develop programs or facilities that increase participation in the shooting sports.

Reference 4, Page 58 - Objective 2,Issue 2, Strategy 1

Identify types of outdoor recreation that can be supported on TWRA managed lands, while maintaining high satisfaction among existing and expanding user groups.       -- There is an increased demand for TWRA to provide opportunities for a greater diversity of outdoor recreation activities on TWRA managed lands and access areas. In order to meet this demand additional funding sources will be necessary.   -- -- Investigate costs and revenue associated with existing and expanded recreational activities on TWRA managed lands 2017-2018 Hunting Season Comments to TWRA.

Reference 5, Page 59 - Objective 3,Issue 1, Strategy 2

Decrease barriers to participation in Agency-sanctioned outdoor recreation.             -- TWRA needs to gain a better understanding of existing barriers and how they may limit or exclude stakeholder participation in outdoor recreation activities on TWRA lands.  -- -- Gain additional information by adding stakeholder participation questions and analysis to the scope of work for human dimension surveys

Reference 6, Page 61 - Objective 3,Issue 8, Strategy 1

Decrease barriers to participation in Agency-sanctioned outdoor recreation.              -- Outdoor recreation opportunities for stakeholders are often limited by external societal factors such as a general lack of time, multiple jobs per family, and travel distance from home. TWRA should seek to minimize these barriers to participation. -- -- Increase the delivery of special outdoor recreation events targeted at special times and locations designed to minimize external societal barriers

Reference 7, Page 66 - Objective 3,Issue 2, Strategy 2

There is a need for wildlife officers to provide informed and educated recommendations for wildlife/fisheries management and public access to Agency-controlled properties and public waters.   -- Provide feedback from local user groups

Reference 8, Page 70 - Objective 3,Issue 1, Strategy 1

Implement and/or facilitate programs to maintain and recruit new stakeholders in Tennessee’s wildlife resources  -- As our society becomes more urban, fewer young people get exposed to outdoor activities, or know of TWRA and its mission.  Many have no mentor to introduce them to hunting or fishing.  -- -- Conduct human dimension surveys to ascertain which recruitment programs are most successful and to identify potential stakeholders that are yet untapped



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