Tennessee WildCasts are weekly podcasts brought to you in both video and audio formats. These podcasts provide information on the mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, outdoor events and activities from hunting, fishing, boating and just about anything Outdoors. You can listen right here or subscribe and follow on iTunes or Soundcloud. You can watch at TWRA.tv. Come back each week and thanks for tuning in!
Roger Bitz is the manager of Springfield Hatchery in Robertson County and every now and again he actually gets to take a day off to go fishing. When he gets out, he is very good at catching bass. If you want to catch lots of bass and even large bass, you need to understand summertime patterns and certainly learn how to read your electronics. Roger will give us all a lesson on both, plus discuss Florida largemouth bass that he is helping raise in Springfield. While this video was shot on Kentucky Lake near Paris Landing State Park, the summer pattern is common on all Tennessee lakes. Take notes!
Managing deer has come a long way since the earliest days of restoration decades ago. While deer populations are healthy statewide, there are always concerns about the best way to manage deer populations in such a way that a variety of interests are taken into consideration. Deer Project Management Leader James Kelly discusses deer management in 2017, which includes the current definition of antlered versus antler-less deer. Deer Hunters WILL NOT face big changes this coming season, but will continue to be important in providing data and input needed to determine the best possible scenario for Tennessee’s whitetail population and hunting interests.
Mike Bramlett has seen a lot of fish in his days caught by somebody else. That is because he is the main person in charge of helping certify state record fish, making sure trophy fish are recognized through our TARP program, and helping determine the age of bass and other fish that are caught—with really good gear—by TWRA staff. Mike will discuss how to get a potential state record fish certified, talk about some of the great state and WORLD record fish Tennessee has (Do you know the world record walleye comes from Tennessee?), and let you know the best way to determine the age of fish. Hint: it’s not by looking at their teeth. Mike will also discuss this year’s Free Fishing Day and the dozens of catfish-filled events scheduled for kids. And you adults, check out those events, because after the kids leave most of the areas that were stocked with catfish will be open for you to fish. Also, we think you can find the TARP information very interesting to your fishing pursuits and you might want to earn a few certificates and patches.
The agency has cold and warm-water hatcheries across the state and is constantly working to raise fish to help supplement Mother Nature and improve your opportunities of catching fish in your favorite lake or river. Statewide Hatchery Coordinator David Roddy is one busy person as he coordinates hatchery managers across the state to determine the various needs of various lakes and rivers. David will also discuss Florida largemouth bass and the recent addition to one of our West Tennessee hatcheries that eventually should help TWRA raise and distribute more than 1 million of these popular fish to designated bodies of water.
Bobby Wilson is our assistant executive director, but he spent most of his 30-plus year career trying to improve fish numbers and fishing opportunities as an agency biologist. We cover a lot of topics that Tennessee fishermen should know about, from the big take away from this year's meeting of fish managers from across Tennessee, to the results of a study that might surprise catch and release anglers fishing deep water. It's a quick half-hour with Bobby.
This week we sit down with Region 1 Information and Education Coordinator Dave Gabbard. He has been with the TWRA for 34 years and has seen it all! Dave will tell us about fishing opportunities on our Family fishing lakes, a radio show he does each week, reflect on a few stories of how the times have changed and so much more this week on Tennessee WildCast.
Each year TWRA studies our reservoirs very carefully and then comes up with a strategic plan on the number and what species of fish our waters need. Once a plan is made our hatchery across the state make sure demands are met. This week, Springfield Hatchery Manager, Roger Bitz walks us through the hatchery process from egg to stocking. We also have special guest, Lebanon High Senior, Zach “The General” Patton with is running the board and getting an inside look at a TN WildCast.
We welcome return guest, Fisheries Assistant Chief Jason Henegar, we are talking all things fish. Spring is here and the fishing is good. Jason will fill us in on what is biting. We will hear about the Florida Largemouth Bass program successes and what our hatcheries are doing to provide more Florida Bass for Tennessee waters and talk a little about a swimming dinosaur. Jason is also a pretty good cook, and when it comes to fish you may be surprised about what he is cooking up. All this and more this week on Tennessee WildCast.
The Swan family is no stranger to the outdoors or Tennessee WildCast and this week Billy Swan will teach us about trapping in Tennessee. We will talk technique, nuisance animals, potential profit and some history. The art of trapping has not disappeared totally and is actually becoming more popular with Tennesseans as we see more and more outreach event popping up around the state.
Julie Schuster is fun to listen to and has a heart of gold when it comes to creating programs and raising funds that benefit us--the sportsmen and women of Tennessee? She is the executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation and this organization has many functions from fun fund-raisers, to the best outdoors camp in the world for teens, to identifying to purchase lands beneficial to hunters and anglers. Enjoy Julie and learn the difference between the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Jarod Woodard and his partner Kevin Weaver have an excellent and laid back podcast called Hunt Nashville where they primarily interview music industry professionals who also have a passion for the outdoors. After all, we are the Music City and we are surrounded by fantastic fishing and hunting opportunities across Tennessee. You will enjoy Jarod (Kevin was out of town this day as a traveling drummer) whose interest in the outdoors, in music, and in interviewing makes for an excellent podcast. Plus, Jarod is an excellent hunter and loves to talk about turkeys. Hint: Is he is a run and gunner!
Protect Tennessee waterway for years to come by doing three simple steps. Clean, Drain, and Dry! FLW Pro Michael Neal and TWRA’s David Roddy sit down with Jason Harmon and special co host Mime Barnes to talk about the spread of aquatic nuisance species and how boaters can help prevent this problem from getting worse. Michael’s passion for fishing and protecting our waters led him to be a spokesman for TWRA’s ANS Program. We will also learn how he was introduced into fishing and about his FLW Tour experiences.
Join us this week for a chat with SCI and Cabela's Young Hunter Award winner Parker Swan and his father Billy. Parker has had the opportunity to go on many exotic hunts as well as hunt and guide here in Tennessee. We will learn about his passion for the outdoors, some of his adventures and the hard work that goes into applying for this prestigious award.
It is belief at Tennessee WildCast that Tennesseans love watching other Tennesseans learn to fish, hunt, boat, and just have a good time outside. Your name doesn’t have to be “Dance” to teach about how you are successful in the outdoors. You don’t have to be a certified movie director and editor to put together great work either. Check out this week’s Tennessee WildCast and learn about catching trout (winter, spring summer, and fall) and how with just a cell phone you can produce interesting and excellent video to make us all better sportsmen. Our guests this week are Scott Scrip of TWRA’s online network, and Shane Stewart, a local trout guide with qualities that would make him an excellent outdoors host.
With spring upon us, the WildCast crew invites TWRA’s Region II information and video expert (and a very good sportsman, too) Barry Cross to have a roundtable discussion about what you need to do to get ready for the coming spring. Turkey season is so very close, and many boats are already on the water. We want you to be safe when you get outside, and we want your kids to have a lifetime of safety, so we discuss some of the safety needs, but we also just have a good time talking outdoors.
Join us for show number 52 as we invite back Director Ed Carter back on air to discuss his 40 plus years of TWRA experience and talk about a new book that was a dream of his and shows the beauty of Tennessee’s outdoors through the photographic artistry of retired TWRA Major Tom Wood. Director Carter is always enjoyable to listen to and we are proud he shared our 1 year anniversary with us and with you.
Okay, that sounds a bit odd, but Joy Sweaney understands it all. Joy is the agency’s program manager for wild turkey and cougars (what few there are). She will explain and important study underway to understand turkey populations in the post-restoration era, give you an update on the upcoming spring season. She will also discuss the recent confirmation of cougars in Tennessee and how the agency is working to keep an eye on the expansion of cougars back into a state they once inhabited.
You know that TWRA wildlife officers work the woods and the water, and we will discuss that a bit with the agency's Colonel Darren Rider. But, we will also discuss those many things they do that you weren't likely aware of, and we'll discuss what it takes to become an officer in an agency with its "multipurpose" enforcement staff. Did you know for instance, that some of our officer's have K-9 partners?
Harold Cannon will soon chair his last meeting and wrap up his 6-year tenure as a Tennessee Fish Wildlife Commissioner, what he has to say about successes, the state of today’s TWRA, and the future of fish and wildlife management is something all should hear. In a nutshell, we are in good shape in the chairman’s eyes, but there are challenges looming and the state’s fish and wildlife agency and its commission needs the continued support of our hunters and anglers.
What is It like to hunt sandhill cranes one week a measure a world record Tennessee buck another week? We will ask that and much more as we speak with TWRA Commissioner Bill Swan from Dunlap, TN. Commissioner Swan has traveled the world hunting, but whitetail deer is a passion and so is hunting Sandhill Crane. A Master Scorer for Safari Club International, Commissioner Swan put his hands on the Tennessee Tucker Buck and helped deem it SCI’s top whitetail of all time. He also has been crane hunting in Tennessee and as our state prepares to offer additional crane permits next year, you will enjoy picking up a few tips from a seasoned sportsman.
Join Dr. Brad Miller, TWRA’s elk biologist, as he describes what it is like to be an elk biologist, where elk can be found in Tennessee,and a special “tower” built just so you can watch or photograph them. For hunters, there is also a fall season if you are lucky enough to be among the few names drawn for this highly sought after adventure.
Tune into this week's Tennessee WildCast to see the world record rack and hear Mr. Tucker discuss the "Tennessee Tucker Buck". Also joining us will be Harold Thompson with a #1 buck of his own taken 20 minutes away from the Tucker Buck.
We still have quite a few days left to get out and hunt, including excellent days to chase deer. Learn from TWRA’s Chief of Wildlife and Forestry Mark Gudlin about a an antlerless only season taking place next week and then enjoy his conversation about big and small game seasons this past year pertaining changes that were made in deer seasons, but also opportunities available, and work being done, for small game hunters.