Wildlife Commission Convenes in Dayton This Week

Outdoor radio show host, financial professional for Unum and former Hamilton County Republican Party leader Tony Sanders has been appointed to serve on the Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission, completing the term of David Watson with Mountain View Ford who resigned for health reasons. (Photos Contributed)

The state’s 2017-18 hunting seasons will be set when the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission holds its next meeting, May 23-24 on the campus of Bryan College in Dayton. TFWC is the 13-member appointed body that governs the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and is responsible for all wildlife, fisheries and boating laws in Tennessee. The meeting will begin on Tuesday, May 23 at 1 p.m. with the committee sessions. The formal meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24. The location is in the Rhea County room.

It will be the first meeting for incoming Commissioner Tony Sanders who was recently appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to represent TFWC District 4, which includes Rhea County. Sanders is the radio show host of Tony Sanders Outdoors on WGOW, a financial professional for Unum and former Hamilton County Republican Party leader.

At the TFWC’s April meeting, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency staff presented recommendations for the 2017-18 hunting seasons, offering few changes to its regulations.  After hearing the agency’s proposals in April, the TFWC discussed turkey harvest and bag limits, possibilities of minor changes in bear hunting days and establishing a consistent opening day.

There is also expected to be discussion of the definition of what constitutes an antlered buck. For decades a deer wasn’t legally defined as a buck – counting against a hunter’s bag limit – unless it had antlers a minimum of three inches long. But commissioners changed that definition last year, defining a buck as any deer that had any hard antler protruding through the hairline.

Many deer hunters all across the state have objected to the new rule and had hoped TWRA staff biologists would recommend going back to the old “3-inch” definition. They did not.

The full commission vote on the new hunting seasons and regulations is Thursday morning.

Former Dist. 4 Commissioner David Watson will be recognized at the meeting. The Lookout Mountain resident was elected as the TFWC vice chairman in February, but stepped away from the commission due to health reasons.

Members of the Birchwood Area Society Improvement Council will be recognized. The TWRA and the council have worked together the past 26 years to host the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.

Brandt Information Services representatives will present details for a digital marketing proposal. Brandt became the agency’s new license vendor last Oct. 31.

Jennifer Wisniewski, the Georgia Department of marketing and communication director, will share her Email marketing experience in her state.

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