Moore County coyote sightings on the rise

Parents of small children and small pet owners should be alert to more coyote movement in Moore County during mating season. (File Photo)

OUTDOOR NEWS — If you happen to run across a coyote in the next couple of months, relax … it’s normal for this time of year.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, coyote mating season happens January through March in southern, middle Tennessee and that means as the weather continues to warm sightings may be on the rise. Typically, coyotes are nocturnal animals but when they breed daytime activity can increase. They can also become more aggressive during breeding season.

Coyotes began showing up in Tennessee in 1960 and their numbers have been growing ever since because of ample food sources as well as habitat, and lack of any natural predators other than humans. It’s perfectly legal for local farmers to kill coyotes to protect their livestock and coyotes can be hunted and trapped year round with no limit in Tennessee.

State wildlife officials say there are some things you can do to avoid an untimely run in with a love struck coyote. Eliminate outdoor water sources that can attract rodents, birds, and other small animals. Also, do not place trash cans out the night before pick up day. This can invite a scavenger. Small pet owners should be especially vigilant. Don’t allow small dogs and cats to run free and don’t leave them unattended outdoors … especially at night.

Local vet Dr. Bryant Morton says the dogs most at risk would be smaller dogs or ones less able to defend themselves like geriatric dogs or very young puppies. He also added that coyotes tend to be more aggressive and problematic when they are in packs as compared to ones hunting by themselves.

If you do run into a coyote, pick up any smaller dogs or children immediately. Make noise and throw things at the coyote in an effort to scare it off. You should never run or turn your back. •

{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.}

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 TWRA.HuntingComments@tn.gov or visit their website and click on the contact link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

As spring approaches, skunk mating season arrives

Striped skunks exist as the most common skunks in Moore County. Keep your eye peeled on local roadways as the native mammals enter mating season and become more active. (File Photo)

Something’s in the air around Lynchburg and we guess you could call it love. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource agency, official skunk mating season doesn’t arrive until late February but as Moore County temperatures continue their above average trend, the little critters seem to be celebrating Valentine’s Day early.

You need only sniff the air or look along local roadways to know it’s true. The problem with this love fest is that if they decide to honeymoon under your crawl space or in your HVAC system, then you’ve got a problem that often require professional help.

Wildlife experts says there are a couple of things you can do to avoid attracting Pepe Le Pew and his stinky Juliette. One, remove bowls of dry pet food and bird feeders from outside your home and barns. If you temp skunks with a ready food source, they’ll happily set up camp. Two, make sure your HVAC units are sealed and not easy for a skunk to enter. It’s also important to make sure that all crawl space entries are securely closed.

Skunk couples breed once a year typically and mom gives birth to a single litter with four to six young. They tend to become more active during mating season, so you’re more likely to encounter one and he or she might be pre-occupied. When threatened, a skunk can spray its scent up to 15 feet and the pungent odor can spread up to a mile away. If you or a pet gets sprayed, the folks at the Lynchburg Vet Hospital say they’ve loaded up on Skunk Off Shampoo.

“The trick is to leave the shampoo on the pet for about five minutes before rinsing, then use the spray,” says Lynchburg Vet Hospital’s Wendy Morton. “Add a little bit of the shampoo to the washing machine when you wash the towels you use to dry the pet after the bath.”

Female skunks who aren’t interested in mating will spray the males to let them know to get away. Based of the smells of late, there’s a lot of skunk rejection happening in Lynchburg. •

{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.}

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.}

TWRA: Dove season opens September 1

Dove season is a favorite among Moore County hunters. The season kicks off on September 1. {File Photo}

September means many things to many people … cooler nights, the kick off to college football, county fairs, and to area hunters, the beginning of dove season – one of the state of Tennessee’s long-standing outdoor sports traditions. The first segment of Tennessee dove season open on Tuesday, September 1 and closes on Monday, September 28.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), mourning doves are a popular game bird and one of the most widely distributed and abundant birds in North America. More mourning doves are harvested than all other migratory bird species combined in 39 of the continental states. In Tennessee, an estimated 15,500 hunters harvested approximately 277,000 mourning doves last year.

Moore County exists in Region 2 with wildlife managed dove fields located at Pickett Farm in Franklin County and the William’s Farm in Lincoln County. For a complete list of TRWA managed fields, click here.

The TWRA reminds dove hunters that it’s illegal to hunt on a baited field – meaning no additional grain, salt, or other feed has been added to the field to attract doves. To learn more about baited field regulations, click here. Hunter will also need need a state permit to harvest birds.

The second dove hunting segment will take place October 10 through November 1 and the third and final will happen December 8 through January 15. For more dove hunting info, visit the state’s migratory bird page but clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. 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.}

State offers Free Fishing Day on June 6

Kiddos who snag their first fish during Free Fishing Day or Free Fishing Week can get a free First Fish Certificate at www.tnwildlife.com. {Photo Courtesy of TWRA}

Get those rods and reels ready kiddos. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency announced this week that its annual Free Fishing Day will take place on Saturday, June 6 this year.

On June 6, anyone (both Tennessee resident and non-residents) of any age can fish any Tennessee public waters free without a license. Free Fishing Week follows Free Fishing Day. From June 6 – 20, children ages 15 and under can fish for free in Tennessee’s public waters, agency owned and operated lakes, and Tennessee State Parks.

In southern, middle Tennessee, fishing is available at Tims Ford State Park in Franklin County, Old Stone Fort in Coffee County, and South Cumberland in Grundy County. Also be sure to check lake and water bodies levels before heading out. Many TVA dams are currently releasing water. For more information about Free Fish Day and Free Fish Week, visit the TWRA website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. 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.}

Public Library will offer boat safety exams … by appointment

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County Public Library (MCPL) announced today that they will offer the TWRA Boating Exam test by appointment beginning on May 18.

Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show a TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam to drive a boat on public waters. The certification is not required if there is an adult (18 years old or older) on board to take immediate control of the vessel.  However this adult, if born after January 1, 1989, must have the boating education certification. 

According to the library, the test takes around two hours to complete and appointments will be available on on Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in either a 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. time slot.

By law, all boating students must pass a proctored exam administered by an approved TWRA representative. Boating study guides are available at MCPL or online by clicking here and go to the Tennessee section.

For more information, visit the TWRA’s Boating Education website. To set up an appointment to take the exam, call the public library at 931-759-7285. •

{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 says boating, fishing, and hunting okay during Stay at Home order

STATE NEWS — Feeling antsy and wanna get out there and fish, Hunt, and boat? Go ahead, state wildlife officials say.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), boating, fishing, and hunting are “essential” outdoor activities in alignment with Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order 23 … as long a social distancing rules are observed.

“Governor Lee’s Executive Orders 22 and 23 identify outdoor activity as an essential activity provided that individuals follow health guidelines. As the Chairman of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, I want to assure all hunters and fishers that Tennessee’s turkey hunting season will open Saturday as scheduled and public lands controlled by the TWRA will remain open. Likewise, Tennessee’s lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by the TWRA will remain open to anglers and recreational boaters,” Chairman Kurt Holbert stated.

Readers should note that a “prank” story from a fictional Channel 22 News circulated on social media on Thursday stating that the “TWRA would be issuing $500 fines and possible jail time for anyone caught fishing ot using a recreational watercraft.” The headline on the false story was, “TWRA closes waterways to all recreational boating.”

The TWRA offices are closed to the public but continue to be available by email, ask.TWRA@tn.gov. Several TWRA ranges are also closed, so you should call before you go. Hatcheries are also closed to the public and WNA Check Stations are closed. Report your harvest on the TWRA On the Go app.•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}

Turkey season kicks off on April 4

STATE NEWS — You see them in empty corn fields off Highway 50 or along the Mulberry Creek. Lynchburg may be Jack Daniel territory but wild turkey season will soon be upon us.

They’re the largest native nesting bird in Tennessee and were once a vital source of food for the Native Americans that originally roamed southern, middle Tennessee. By the early 1900s, over-hunting nearly eliminated them, Today, and thanks in part to Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) reintroduction efforts, they are once again native in all 95 Tennessee counties.

The TWRA reminds hunters that spring turkey hunting season is just a couple weeks away. The 2020 season opens for hunters in all 95 counties, including Moore County, on Saturday, April 4. The season will open to young hunters 6-16 years of age on March 28-29. All young sportsmen must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult over the age of 21. For complete guidelines, click here.

Hunters may hunt 30 minutes prior to sunrise until sunset, according to TWRA officials. State hunting laws limit hunters to one bearded turkey per day, and up to four total per season. To turkey hunt in Tennessee, hunters must possess a state hunting and fishing license (Type 001) plus a supplemental big game license. Hunters must check in all harvested gobblers and they can do so online at the Go Outdoors Tennessee website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, 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.}