Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TENNESSEE NEWS: Harvest Up 11% Overall

The deer harvest during Tennessee's 2006 opening weekend of regular gun season was down substantially from 2005. Opening weekend in 2005 gun hunters took 26,559 deer. Opening weekend this year gun hunters took 22,969 deer... a 14% decrease.

However TWRA Big Game Biologist Daryl Ratajczak points out a very good reason for the decline in gun harvest. It all comes down to the success of folks who took part in the earlier muzzleloader hunts.

Due to extremely hot, dry weather conditions the opening weekend of the 2005 muzzleloader season yielded only 11,732 deer. This year however, muzzleloader hunters took 19,634 deer... a huge 67% increase.

Ratajczak says, "there were simply more deer available to the regular gun hunters last year because there were so few killed during the muzzleloader season." He points out that "if you combine the two openers (muzzleloader and gun) our harvest is actually up." Between the two openers in 2005 hunters took a combined 38,291 deer. In 2006 the two openers add up to 42,603 ... an 11% increase.

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