NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s 2009-10 deer hunting seasons are in their final stage. The statewide season for gun, muzzleloader and archery will conclude Jan. 10 while the Young Sportsman Hunt will be held the weekend of Jan. 16-17.
The second segment of gun season deer began Dec. 19. A total of 26,179 deer have been harvested in the second segment with Hardeman County leading the way with 1,288 deer reported. Franklin County’s 1,178 deer harvested holds a slight lead for second over Giles County (1,167) and Fayette County (1,159).
Since archery season launched the 2009-10 seasons in late September, 151,600 deer have been harvested statewide. The top five overall counties heading down the stretch and their harvest are Giles County (4,834), Hardeman County (4,759), Henry County (4,669), Fayette County (4,486) and Lincoln County (3,985).
For the Young Sportsman Hunt, only youth ages 6-16 may participate regardless of whether they possess a junior or adult license. Each youth must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 21 years or older, who does not need a license but must also wear 500-square inches of fluorescent orange.
Youth hunters, ages 10-16 need a hunter education card along with the appropriate license. Those hunters, ages 6-9, are not required to possess a hunter education card or license. For those youth hunters, ages 10 and older, who have not taken the hunter education course, the Apprentice License is available.
The Apprentice License exempts a hunter, age 10 or older who falls within the hunter education requirement, from having to complete the mandatory Hunter Education Course for one year.
Bag limits allow for antlerless hunting in all units during the Young Sportsman Hunt. In Unit A, the antlerless limit is two for the hunt while in Unit L the antlerless limit is three per day. In Unit B, the bag limit is one antlerless deer.
The young hunters need to remember that antlered deer taken during the Young Sportsman Hunt count toward the statewide antlered deer bag limit. The antlered bag limit for all 2009-10 seasons combined is one per day up to a total of three antlered deer. If a youth has already taken three antlered deer, only antlerless deer would be allowed to be harvested on this hunt.
For more information about Tennessee’s deer hunting seasons, refer to the 2009 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide available at all license agents or on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org.