The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will present its proposal for changes to public land duck hunting to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission for consideration at its Feb. 18-19 meeting. The meeting will be held in Franklin at the Marriott of Cool Springs.

This proposal is a significant effort to increase the number of duck hunters who get drawn to hunt TWRA public wildlife management areas (WMA)s each season. To increase access and retain tradition, the TWRA will continue to issue some of the current season-long permits while changing other sites into quota hunt locations. Quota hunts will be for 3, 4, or 7-day periods at a marked location or an Agency-built blind. Based on hunter input, these changes will meet the Agency’s objective of providing increased access to public land duck hunters, increasing fairness of the draw, and honoring the traditions of duck hunting in Tennessee. There are no changes proposed to privately-owned/permanent registered blinds.

The TWRA has received public comments through the years about how the current public land duck hunting system operates. The comments mostly fall into two categories to include the need for increased duck hunting opportunities on public lands (i.e. more access) and concerns over the fairness of the hand-held duck blind draw system. A scientific survey of duck hunters done in partnership with the University of Tennessee validated these comments as well as other issues with in-person hand-held draws and desire for opportunities to hunt for shorter time periods.

In 2019, the TWRA made changes to make the in-person drawings more equal for everyone. In 2020, due to COVID-19, all hand-held duck blind drawings were computerized and online, which made the process fair and equitable for hunters across Tennessee. This year’s efforts are a continuation of an effort to meet the Agency goals.

More information on the proposals can be found at https://www.tn.gov/twra/proposed-duck-hunting-changes.html. Public comments may be emailed to TWRA.HuntingComments@tn.gov.