State proposed changes to duck hunting on public lands

TWRA is proposing changes to policies related to duck hunting on public lands and they’d like your comments. (File Photo)

Do you like to duck hunt at AEDC Woods Reservoir or other public lands in Tennessee? Then, some proposed changes from Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) may be of interest to you.

“For many years Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received public comments about how the current public land duck hunting system operates. The comments mostly fall into two categories: the need for increased duck hunting opportunities on public lands (i.e. more access) and concerns over the fairness of the handheld duck blind draw system,” TWRA officials stated.

A scientific survey of duck hunters done in partnership with the University of Tennessee validated these comments, as well as other issues with in-person handheld draws, and desire for opportunities to hunt for shorter time periods. In 2019, TWRA made changes to make the in-person drawings more fair and equitable, with limited success. In 2020, due to COVID, all handheld duck blind drawings were computerized and online, which made the process fair and equitable for hunters across Tennessee.  

For 2021, TWRA are taking another step, by increasing the number of duck hunters who get drawn to hunt our public WMAs each season. This will be a significant effort to increase public access for duck hunters. To increase access and retain tradition, TWRA says it will continue to issue some of the current season-long permits while changing other sites into quota hunt locations. Quota hunts will be for 3, 4, or 7-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. Based on hunter input, these changes will meet the Agency’s objective of providing increased access to public land duck hunters, increasing the fairness of the draw, and honoring the traditions of duck hunting in Tennessee.    

If you would like to make a comment on the record about this proposal, please email the TWRA at or visit their website and click on the contact link. •

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