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Young sportsman hunt deer numbers up slightly

From Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

-- The preliminary numbers for the young sportsman hunt show an increase of 13 deer as of the same reporting date of a year ago. Youth hunters ages 6 to 16 took a total of 8,831 deer.

It is also an increase of 629 over the 2009 totals as reported by the Wildlife Resources Agency.

For the second year, Giles County was the top county for the youth hunt with 284, also an increase of 13 from its 271 total of last year. Weakley County was again second with 234 and Fayette County moved to third from fourth from a year ago with 226. Henry County was close behind in fourth. Lawrence and Hardeman County each surpassed the 200-harvest number with 202 and 201, respectively.

Rounding out the top 10 harvest counties were Carroll and Montgomery 177, Maury 171, and Madison 161.

The second designated young sportsman hunt will be Jan. 7 and 8. 

The muzzleloader deer season opens Nov. 5 through Nov. 18 in all three of deer hunting units, according to the TWRA.

For Unit B, East Tennessee counties, the dates for antlerless deer hunting depend on the county.Blount, Campbell, Carter, Cocke, Hamblen, Jefferson, Loudon, Sevier, Unicoi, Union, and Washington counties are Nov. 5 to 9.Anderson, Claiborne, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Knox, Monroe, Morgan, Pickett, Polk, Scott, and Sullivan counties are Nov. 5 to 18. Only one antlerless deer may be taken during this season, however, any of the three antlered deer not already taken may be harvested during this season as well.

The statewide bag limit for antlered bucks is three. No more than one antlered deer may be taken per day.Hunters are allowed the following antlerless bag limit during this segment of muzzleloader season: Unit A -4 antlerless deer; Unit L-3 antlerless deer per day and Unit B-1 antlerless deer.

For the exact boundaries of deer units, hunters can refer to the 2011 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, online at www.tnwildlife.org.

Muzzleloading firearms of .40 caliber minimum plus long bows, compound bows and crossbows are legal hunting equipment for this season.

Resident hunters, ages 16 through 64, must possess an annual big game license for the equipment used.Lifetime Sportsman license, Junior Hunt/Trap/Fish, Adult Sportsman license and Permanent Senior Citizens license holders are not required to purchase supplemental big game licenses.

In addition to private lands, including public hunting areas, several wildlife management areas will be open to hunters during muzzleloader season.

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