Hunting seasons opened up this last weekend, with the velvet deer hunt beginning on last Friday and ending on Sunday.  The totals for the state were 540, with Humphreys Co. harvesting 6 antlered deer. This was an antlered only hunt and was implemented a few years ago, to allow hunters in Tennessee to harvest velvet bucks with archery equipment, except in the CWD areas, where firearms were allowed in specific hunt areas.  Squirrel season also opened this past Saturday, and will continue into next year, ending on the last day of February.  Saturday was ‘free hunting day’, where hunters were encouraged to try hunting .  Dove season will also be opening this Wednesday, September 1st.  The opening day always opens at noon, and thereafter will open 30 minutes before sunrise and end at sunset each day.  Limit for doves are 15/day.  As always, I encourage hunters to consult the most current hunting guide before hunting.  Many area WMS’s have dove fields planted, including Camden WMA, Harmon’s Creek and others.  Remember a WMA hunting permit is required by all hunters hunting on a WMA,  not possessing a sportsman license.

Fishing has continued to be tough in this hot weather, with a few fishermen heading out early before the heat gets too bad, and a few are coming up with some fish, but the overall bite has been poor.  Expect the bite to improve as cooler weather sets in, causing the water temps to start dropping.  Bass continue to be found shallow, especially near the cooler creeks.  Crappie fishermen have been absent for the fishing scene of late, but  indications show we’ve had a good spawn over the last few years. Expect the catch rate to improve over the next few years, as it takes about 3 years for a crappie to reach the 10 inch size limit.  Catfish mostly are being caught early in the morning. Most fishermen are finding fish near or on top of the river ledges using nightcrawler and chicken liver presentations.

TVA is predicting the water levels to rise this week, with current levels at New Johnsonville at 357 ft, but predicted to rise to the 359 ft level sometime next weekend.  Water temps continue to be hovering around the 90degree mark, with strong flow rates.  Expect TVA to move a lot of water through our area as the hurricane delivers rain to the Tn river valley.