Deer archery season opens September 26

Deer Archery-only season will open statewide in Tennessee on Saturday. {File Photo}

OUTDOORS | It’s a rite of passage for Volunteer State hunters each fall. On Saturday, September 26 the 2020 Deer Archery-only season will open statewide in Tennessee and run September 26 through October 30 and November 2-6. Once deer season opens officially, hunters may use archery equipment throughout the season, which will end on January 3.

For local hunters looking for opportunities, the state offers over 100 wildlife management areas (WMA) and refuges for hunts. Click here for a list of the WMAs. Southern middle Tennessee exists in Region II and includes nearby WMA at AEDC, Woods Reservoir Refuge, Flintville Hatchery, and Mingo Swamp. Click here for more information.

Regardless of the hunting location, all hunters must possess a current, valid hunting license and the state reminds hunters that they must obtain permission from landowners to hunt on private land.

For more information, you can access the 2020 Tennessee Hunting Guide by clicking here. You can also visit the TWRA website for more information. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Wildlife Officials: Leave fawns where they lay

State wildlife officials say the best thing you can do for any newborn fawn you discover is to leave it where it lays. The mother will usually return soon. {File Photo)

Bambi doesn’t need your help and you don’t want to be guilty of fawn-napping. That’s what state wildlife officials say.

It’s that time again … fawn season. Mama deer seems to have their babies in the oddest places … under your azaleas, in the hay field, or on your back lawn. As deer populations increase and natural habitats decrease, the likelihood that a deer mistakes your yard for the forest are good.

Many locals discover fawns and immediately think they’ve been abandoned by their mom and need help. Not true, say Tennessee Wildlife officials.

Fawns, unlike foals, don’t walk right away. They often need several days to get their legs under them. In the meantime, their spotted pelts look like dappled sunlight on the forest floor and offer great camouflage. Fawns don’t carry a natural scent, so predators won’t be drawn to them unless humans interfere.

Even if you can’t see her, Mama Deer isn’t far away. She’s likely feeding out of sight, so as not to unnecessary alert a predator to her newborn. She’ll come back, usually around dusk, but certainly not if her fawn has been moved or humans are hovering nearby.

It’s also not a good idea to take the fawn to keep as a pet because it’s illegal. In Tennessee, deer (as well as American black bears and wild turkeys) can only be kept by bona fide zoos and TWRA authorized wildlife rehabilitators.

There are some case when a Good Samaritan should intervene. For example, if the fawn is clearly injured or there’s a dead doe nearby. In that case, you should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitators. For a list of rehabilitators in this area, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

TWRA: Two new counties test positive for deer disease

Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) seem to be clustered in southwest counties but hunters state wide should still be on alert for deer with symptoms. {Art Provided}

{Editor’s Note: This article includes updated details and was originally published on Sept. 9. and Sept. 25}

STATE NEWS — According to recent reports from the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), deer in two new Tennessee counties have now tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and another county is now classified as high risk.

Deer tested positive in both Haywood and Chester counties and Lauderdale County is now classified as high risk. All three are located in southwest Tennessee about four hours from Moore County.

According to the TWRA, approximately 400 deer tested positive for CWD in southwest Tennessee during the 2019-20 deer season with the vast majority being from Hardeman and Fayette counties. Chester, Haywood, Madison, Shelby, and Tipton counties are CWD-positive as well. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency tested more than 13,000 deer for CWD during the 2019-20 deer season.

Reports of infected deer are on the rise in middle Tennessee, according to Tennessee Wildlife Resource Association (TWRA) officials. The timing and details of these reports imply that HD deer reports are above average this year. Citizens and hunters have reported dead (or sick) deer in 20 counties, according to the TWRA.

“Reports are coming in daily as TWRA continues to monitor the situation,” said James Kelly, Deer Management Program Leader for TWRA. “If hunters or the public find sick or dead deer they are encouraged to report these animals to their local TWRA regional office.”

The last outbreak happened in 2017 but mainly in East Tennessee. The last statewide outbreak happened in 2007.

“Although some of the clinical symptoms are similar, it is important to not confuse HD with CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease),” said University of Tennessee Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. Dan Grove. “Unlike CWD, HD is a virus and deer can survive infection and populations will eventually rebound following an outbreak. Incidence of HD tends to cycle up and down as the environmental conditions are right for the biting midge to breed. CWD, on the other hand, is actually a much greater concern because the causative agent known as prions persist in the environment for decades and in deer populations indefinitely.”

But you shouldn’t panic. HD diseases like Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and Blue Tongue Virus (BTV) can’t be transmitted to humans. It’s not even transmitted from deer-to-deer. Deer are only infected by small midges, or biting two-winged flies. Once bitten by an infected midge, a deer can die as quickly as 36 hours.

Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, respiratory distress, and swelling of the head. If hunters or landowners see deer on their property with any of these symptoms, they are encouraged to call the Tennessee Wildlife Resource local office at 615-781-6622.

Deer can survive the disease but will often be left with breaks in their hooves. If you harvest a deer with breaks of rings in hooves, you should also contact wildlife officials. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Wildlife officials remind hunters of import ban

STATE NEWS — The beginning of deer season is right around the corner and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) officials reminds hunters, especially those who hunt in both Tennessee and Alabama, of an import ban, enacted to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

The ban makes it illegal to import whole carcasses and certain body parts of any species of deer into either state.

According to a press release, the import ban on deer in Alabama and Tennessee is part of a larger effort throughout the country to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) – a fatal neurological disease of white-tailed deer and other deer species, including mule deer, elk and moose.

The import ban in Tennessee and Alabama is a part of a larger effort throughout the U.S. to stop the spread of the disease. Wildlife agencies in other southern states have enacted similar bans. CWD has been detected in 26 states, with the closest cases found in free-ranging populations in West Tennessee.

CWD is a slowly progressing disease and is harbored in an infected animal long before the animal shows signs.  Signs typically are not seen until the animal is 12-18 months old and may take as long as 3 years or more. CWD attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions, become weak and eventually die. Signs include excessive salivation, loss of appetite, weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, listlessness, teeth grinding, lowering of the head and drooping ears.

Wildlife officials ask Moore County hunters to report deer or elk that either look sick, act strange, or are found dead to the District 22 office at 615-781-6622 or 800-624-7406. To learn more about Chronic Wasting Disease, visit the TWRA website. •