Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will set new regulations during its Thursday and Friday meetings.
Doug Markham manages communications at TWRA.
TWRA has proposed various changes in state regulations, including the change in the definition of antlered deer, prohibiting drones for hunting, and prohibiting the use of cervid urine.
Markham said the TWRA wants to ban drone use for hunting for the sake of fair play.
“The reason we are looking at drones, and specifically about hunting, is because it is an issue across the country, and its just one that our agency doesn’t feel like is a very ethical way or even sometimes a very far way for hunters hunting around you,” Markham said. “Because they are so loud and can be disturbing to the people nearby. So it has just been our agency’s decision to propose that they not be used for hunting. ”
Markham said the agency also proposed to retract the hairline rule for antlered deer. Currently, any deer with antlers protruding above the hairline counts towards a hunter’s buck bag limit.
“Anyways, we took the three inches away and said, ‘Hey, if its antlers just break the hairline we are going to call it a buck or an antlered dear from now on.’ Well, it didn’t do exactly what we thought it would do,” Markham said. “And hunters didn’t like it. So we are proposing that we take it back off, put those three inches back in there so they have a chance to make a mistake and not count that towards their buck limit.”
If approved, the definition of antlered deer will return to the old regulation of antlers above three inches.
Markham said TWRA proposed to ban the use of cervid urine to decline the chances of spreading Chronic Wasting Disease.
“There are twenty-five states in the country that now have it. And we are one of the lucky ones so far. We haven’t discovered it here anyway,” Markham said. “So we are moving or proposing to ban it when their hunting. We are worried that the urine carries that disease that could get Chronic Wasting Disease in our herds.”
Markham said hunters would still be able to use synthetic urine for hunting purposes.
The commission will set the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 hunting and trapping seasons.
“This is the vote. This is going to set our seasons for not this year but two years. This is the first time in our history we have ever set our seasons to run for two years rather than one,” Markham said. “So you really need to pay attention and we are hoping that once we set this for two years, you can go ahead and start making your plans well in advance.”
The committee meeting will take place on Thursday, May 17, followed by the regular commission meeting on Friday, May 18.