• Two new state boating laws to go into effect

    By Larry Woody -

    Two new Tennessee boating laws go into effect July 1.

    The first of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s new regulations requires boaters to slow down to no-wake speed when they are within 100 feet of a TWRA vessel with flashing blue lights.

    The second requires renters of boats to abide by the same safety-course requirements as owners of boats. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1989 must complete a boating-safety class in order to operate a vessel powered by an 8.5-horsepower motor or larger.

    Details about these and other regulations – along with information about the mandatory boating education classes — is available in the Tennessee Boating Guide, available at most outdoors outlets.

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    Carp program: The TWRA’s incentive program to promote commercial harvesting of Asian carp is scheduled to start this fall.

    The TWRA has budged $500,000 over the next two years to encourage more commercial harvesting of the invasive species.

    Asian carp have spread rapidly in waters throughout the state, including the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and biologists are concerned about their impact on native species and other adverse effects.

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    Hunting seasons: the dates and bag limits for this year’s hunting seasons are posted on tnwildlife.org and will also be presented in greater detail in the Tennessee Hunting Guide which will soon be available out outdoors outlets.

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    Elk permits: raffle tickets for a tag for this fall’s elk hunt are now available on-line at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation website. In the past, the tag had been auctioned off online. Additional tags for the elk gun hunt, archery hunt and youth hunt will be issued by a random draw as done in the past.

    Each raffle ticket costs $10, and there is no limit on how many tickets an individual can purchase. In addition to receiving a tag for a bull elk, the winner of the raffle will also receive a big-game hunting rifle and scope, a package valued at $1,000.

    Proceeds go to support the state’s ongoing elk-restoration program.

    Meanwhile, applications for other elk permits can be made through the TWRA big-game quota process. Details are available on tnwildlife.org

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    OUTDOORS CALENDAR:

    June 20: WMA quota hunt applications

    July 1: private land raccoon, possum season

    PHOTOS WELCOME: Caught a big catfish, a first fish, or a prize bass? Share your favorite outdoors photos with readers of The Lebanon Democrat by emailing them to [email protected]

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