View Full Version : Hogs & Deer in Tennessee?
07-13-2007, 12:53 PM
Anyone from the Tn area, I have a question for you -
How's the hog and Deer hunting in Tennessee?
I'm giving some thought to moving to the eastern portion of the state, somewhere around the Knoxville/Maryville or outlying areas.
Is the hunting good up there?
07-13-2007, 06:20 PM
Populations of hogs exist in the smokies, in and around Big South Fork National Park (one of the few parks that allow hunting), Catoosa Wildlife Management area, My back yard last week and of course the "hunting preserves".
It is more limited in east TN, but I think we can harvest about a hundred deer a year in all the different seasons here in Middle Tennessee. Not as liberal as Alabama's bag limit but few people harvest their quota.
Land is becoming more of an issue as the timber companies sell off or lease LARGE blocks to "clubs".
07-14-2007, 06:06 AM
There are good places to hunt in the cherokee and pisgah forests in NE TN. I live in Kingsport about 1.5 hours north of Maryville and the hunting up here is pretty good. We do have boar and deer and loads of turkey. I had a flock of turkey and three deer in my backyard last week and I live in a subdivision on a 1 acre lot. Trying to figure out if I can bow hunt from the deck once the season comes in ;)
P.S. if you look around a bit you can find bear too.
07-14-2007, 08:41 AM
Heck, wait around and the bears will come to you. We've had bears in our neighborhood in Bristol a good bit the last couple of years. They pulled my bird feeders down twice before I started bringing them inside at night. I walked up on one while walking at night last winter. He cocked his head and looked at me like I was crazy (I was grinning, walking towards him saying "Hey, bear!" wearing a Santa Claus hat) and took off running. He or his brother jostled the trash can at the end of our deck a week later, and my little wife jumped up, stomped her feet and yelled at him, running him off. Some of the neighbors got terribly upset over the bear, told stories about how it was a monster bear 15 feet tall, one was out burning steaks on his grill with a rifle on his lap saying "I've got to protect my family!," and one bozo got it put on the front page of the paper. The TWRA had to come set up a trap in a backyard to try to catch him becuase they'd made such a ruckus, but they never did.
Lately we've had a mountain lion here. In mid-May I was out walking the lonely loop up on the hill on Cloudland Drive late at night, when my inner alarm went off that I was being watched or stalked. Seriously spooked me. Didn't see anything, but that feeling means something. I knew the bear wouldn't be doing that (though I had the alarm a few seconds before the bear came out of the bushes in front of me), and thought about a mountain lion. We've had scattered sightings of them around here that I've known of for 35 years, though the TWRA officially denies them, and a friend of mine near Bluefield, WV walked up on one while looking for his lost dog a few months ago. I kept my head on a swivel and sped up a bit but kept a controlled pace till I got back to a denser, well lighted area where the feeling went away till I got back to the hollow below Cloudland and felt it again. Didn't say anything to anyone till a couple of weeks later a managerial lady I work with quietly took me aside and told me she'd clearly seen a mountain lion on her place 2 miles from my house, and had heard it several times. She'd called a TWRA agent and gotten the standard line about how it was impossible, they don't exist here. She asked him "What was it I saw, then?" He told her "A groundhog, most likely." She thought that quite hilarious. I told my wife about it then, and she told me that several times she'd heard from the top of the wooded ridge behind our house a terrible scream, like a woman being murdered, very loud. She'd thought about calling the police. She'd heard the lion. Well, this cut seriously into my nighttime walking, but I went out one evening a few weeks back before dark. Interrupted a line of deer crossing the street, headed out of the woods into the suburbs before dark. Stopped to talk to a neighbor who'd been hospitalized and stayed till it was dark. Coming back over the hill where the bear's used to crossing, I started down into the hollow between ridges. The houses were dark, some empty, some with occupants who go to bed early. Suddenly up on the ridge to my right came a huge ruckus headed toward me, a fast, silent chase zigzagging across a 30-50 yard baseline as it approached me. A terrified doe came out of the woods crashing down the bank straight at me, running for her life. I spoke to her and she momentarily froze looking at me, then scrambled by me up the opposite bank, leaving me alone with her pursuer in the darkness, and every hair on my body stood up again. I kept talking to the woods, kept my head on a swivel and walked on, feeling like I was walking through The Valley of the Shadow of Death. Wasn't happy for a few minutes till I came out of there. The lion obviously was afraid of me and stopped, when it would've caught the doe as soon as she came out of the dense woods onto the open street where I was. It couldn't have been pleased with that.
I've been keeping quiet about the lion because I don't have hard proof of it and don't want to be labeled a crackpot, I don't want to get my crazy neighbors in an unneccessary uproar, and certainly don't want anyone trying to kill it. But I have quietly told neighbors with kids living on the edge of the woods to be cautious.
All sorts of wild critters are making a comeback. When I was a boy, nobody had seen a deer around here. Now they're semitame yard pets. Raccoons are a nuisance or pets, depending on one's outlook. (I think they're a nuisance.) Turkeys, foxes, hawks, all sorts of wildlife show up here regularly. The 'possums have disappeared, perhaps because the coyotes have eaten them. And now we've got suburban bears and mountain lions.
07-14-2007, 11:09 AM
I lived in Tennessee for ten years, one year in Nashville and 9 years in Knoxville. There is an abundance of game in eastern Tennessee. I wish I was still there!! If you like fishing that is fantastic also. Very abundant Rainbow trout and huge Browns, ( 38 pounds plus), in the Clinch River System. You will not go without game unless you sit on the couch!! Art
07-14-2007, 02:12 PM
I live in West Tn -- and there are a number of public lands all over TN-- as far as I know there are no hogs in Middle and certainly none in west. Deer hunting in Tenn has improved greatly since I lived in K town--Knoxville -- Seiverville area just get a Tn public hunting guide and it will tell you all
07-14-2007, 05:30 PM
Ricochet, that was a compelling story about he Mountain Lion. Around here, they're called Panthers, and there's no doubt that they still exist, though they are very very shy and try to stay out of sight...
I'm probably in the middle of Pig Town, but haven't been hunting for them in years. Don't know anyone with land anymore, and they weren't very many around on the public lands where I used to hunt. But, perhaps this year...
Thanks for the feedback; I appreciate it.
To relate it to castboolits, ya'll think one of those Ranch Dog .44 boolits would do the trick on a Hog? (hehe, just kidding...)
07-14-2007, 07:40 PM
The story of the "invisible" (to the TWRA authorities in TN) mountain lions reminds me of a family story. My godfather was from Germany, and one evening in the late 1930's he had brought along a visiting cousin from the Vaterland for cocktails and dinner. One of the Californians present mentioned seeing a pod of whales migrating through the Catalina Channel on their way South, and several other So Cal guests chimed in with Catalina Channel whale sightings. When conversation lagged, our new guest arose and pronounced: "Zhere are NO vhales in der Katalina Channel". Everyone broke in with stories of whale sightings from the Avalon Ferry, etc. The guest repeated, firmly: "Zhere ARE NO VHALES in der Katalina Channel! I am reading this on a book in Chermany!!"
Ever since, "Zhere are NO VHALES in der Katalina Channel" was a byword for denial in our family.
PS: Zhere are NO Mountain Lions in Tennessee; I am reading this on a book....
07-15-2007, 08:49 PM
Yeah, you can read it in the books that they only live in the Okeefenokee Swamp in Florida.
I think the TWRA deny them (though some agents, if they know you, will privately acknowledge that they're occasionally sighted) for pretty much the same reasons I'm keeping quiet about it. Don't want to stir up public panic, and don't want crazies out trying to hunt them down.
It's also possible that they might be saddled with extra work keeping track of and protecting an endangered species if they were acknowledged, and certainly they'd have their hands full trying to deal with one that had reportedly killed livestock. Catching and moving trash can raiding bears is one thing; catching a healthy, wily big cat is another. Easier to say "You saw a groundhog, and stray dogs got your calf."
07-16-2007, 04:10 AM
My camp is 15 miles from the "Hooch water way, in south Ga. We spotted a "Long tailed cat" a few times, and one fella had saucer sized pug marks follow him to his stand , before dawn one morning.
I asked the Ga DNR guy about it and was told "There are no Fla. Panthers in Georgia". "But if you shoot a long tailed cat, I'll take your gun, your truck and fine you $10,000."
Heavy fine for shooting something that don't exist, Huh??
BTW: I did kill a Huge Bob cat on the lease , that from out streched paws was over 5 ft long. Rear feet over my sholder, his front paws hit the tops of my boots. His Feet were about 1/2 the size of the pug marks we saw.
John A. Lutz
07-21-2007, 07:09 AM
Although just registering at this site, I am very familar with the cougar or panther subjects across the eastern U.S, having collected evidence of their presence since 1963 and having recorded over 7,500 credible incidents by trained observers....
There has been multiple good, credible sightings in north Georgia, western North Carolina, southern New York and Pennsylvania in last 3 months.
Here are a few examples of recent confirmed cougar/mountain lion/black panther activity....
Tracks of at least 2 cougars have been confirmed in Bedford Co, Pa since Winter of 2005.
A deer kill site was confirmed as that of a cougar in southern New York State on July 16th....
2 sub-adult cougars attacked, but failed to bring down a 3 year old, 1700 pound heifer in NW Tioga County, Pa in late May, 2007.
A black panther was caught on film in Montour Co, Pa in October, 1978..
Now who would like to discuss this subject further????
John A. Lutz
07-21-2007, 07:19 AM
Confirmed reports of cougars, mountain lions or pumas have been documented in almost every state east of the Mississippi River since the late 1800s. Do NOT be intimidated by comments of state game or wildlife conservation officers, since the vast majority of them, lack proper training in animal or track identification skills.
We recently ran an article on this matter in the Eastern Puma Network Newsletter published in January, 2007.....We have over 25,000 files & 2 dozen videotapes of confirmed big cats caught on tape by eye-witnesses.
Although some reports are of bobcats, lynx or domestic dogs, a vast number continue to be the actual feline, despite comments of the opposite by game & wildlife agency officials across all the eastern States.
Anyone wanting more data on the subject, can view my website at: www.easternpumaresearch.com or lets discuss the subject here....
07-21-2007, 09:12 AM
I don't have any hard evidence to submit to your page; my story's above. I'm quite certain we've had one here, though.
I know of several other encounters including sightings since the early '70s.
07-21-2007, 10:07 PM
I believe if I wanted to know if cougars were around, I would find who the local coon hunters were and ask if they have treed anything out of the ordinary. They would be the ones to know.
I know out west a lot of cougars are treed by accident by Coon Hunters.
I am sure there are a few around, pets turned loose or escaping, animal rights nuts turning a few loose.
A fellow moved in down the road a few years back, he had a full grown Male African lion, when that sucker would cut loose (ROAR ) it would rattle the windows, I guess they could hear it at the school as well because the county told him to get rid of it or move, he moved.
As for Black cougars I have never seen a credible picture, I have a picture of a Male albino killed in 1906 near Berwick, California, it was displayed at the 1915 Worlds fair in San Francisco.
Like the cougar screaming I believe the Black cougar is a myth! Black Leopard, Black Jaguar yes.
07-22-2007, 06:54 AM
Ricochet said he was worried the crazies would start hunting lions with guns,he also stated that he had been stalked by mountain lions while out walking.I would think he carries a gun or is very fast on foot.Bob B
07-23-2007, 09:59 PM
I first heard of a cougar around here when I was 'coon hunting with an older friend up around Butler in the early '70s. He had heard the cougar scream, had seen the outsized cat tracks and scratch marks high up on trees. He was quite familiar with bobcats, and we had bobcats follow us all the time when 'coon hunting. Cats are very curious. I did NOT run when I felt I was being watched/followed, as that's a sure way to trigger a charge. I did speed up my walk, but kept a controlled steady pace, and made sure I was looking all around. The events did encourage me to finally go ahead and get my handgun carry permit, something I've been meaning to do for 11 years.
07-24-2007, 01:23 PM
FYI unlike Bears Cougars don't mark tree's, they leave there markers on the ground. If there is some ground duff they will rake it up in a small (8" to 20" diameter) mound urinate on it and as they leave they will kick out with one or both hind feet, if the ground is hard or bare you will only see the kick the marks.
Sometimes if you dig around in these markers you will find feces but not always, they will always smell of cat urine.
They freshen up these markers ever time they make there rounds, I have seen as high as eight of these markers with in a 30 ft X 30 ft area, some were very old, I believe it meant that there was a high turn over rate of cougars in that area.
Ye old bobcat does the same thing only on a smaller scale.
Our Missouri conservation department finaly admitted to the presence of mountain lions a few years ago. They always dismissed them as "unconfirmed reports", but the sighting by a department employee, combined with two hit and killed by cars sorta "let the cat outa the bag" so to speak. At least one cat has been shown to be an "exotic pet" that escaped, but the wild population has been officially aknowledged. Not large in number, but there. Our news reports this week have had bear sightings, and even a cub. Missouri now has confirmed bears, and not just down on the AR border. Conservation is trying to figure out if these are wandering up from AR, or just indiginous population that is now growing..........
07-24-2007, 08:54 PM
Someone told me today that TWRA agents have recently been spotted up on my ridge. I didn't call them.
07-28-2007, 04:31 PM
Well now, the plot is thickening. A neighbor told me his "adopted grandkid" has been seeing TWRA agents snooping around up on the ridge behind the house (and up behind the dairy farm behind the house), and a donkey has just been moved in on the dairy farm. Someone just told me that's often done when something's been killing calves. I need to get over there and find out what's been going on.
07-28-2007, 06:17 PM
If they brought a burro in to stop predation, then any loss they have experienced has been due to canine's.
Burro's and horses rank right up there with deer as table fare for cougars.
In the spring of 2003 I visited a farm between Rustburg and Lynchburg VA, they raise cattle and sheep, we were cruising around the pastures in a Gator and I kept seeing these dog collars scattered around in the pastures I inquired about them and the old boy that owned the place pointed to his Burro's.
I had a neighbor back in Aridzona that raised mules, seems everytime I went over there he had a different dog.
You ever notice how a burro or mule can scratch the back of it's ear real delicate like with a hind foot.
07-29-2007, 06:05 PM
If they brought a burro in to stop predation, then any loss they have experienced has been due to canine's.
Or has been ascribed to canines. Cougars/mountain lions don't exist around here, remember? That big, longtailed brown catlike thing that screams like a woman and runs like a rocket sled is a groundhog according to the TWRA.
It is true there are some coyotes in here. They could have grabbed a calf here and there. I don't know what's happened. Though I live on the back border of the farm, it's physically difficult to get around to the front. I've got to make a pretty determined effort. Don't often have the time and determination at the same time.
If nothing else, the donkey can sure sound an alarm.
07-29-2007, 06:33 PM
Ricochet said, "If nothing else, the donkey can sure sound an alarm."
Not if it's in the death grip. Too late by then.
07-30-2007, 11:29 AM
Yep. That's it.
08-04-2007, 12:44 PM
Went up and visited my noisy new neighbor, Martine the mule. She's a sweetheart. Not bought because of a predation problem, but I was told how she'd keep dogs and coyotes away. My farmer neighbor told me how he'd sold off all the cattle except 13 heifers. He's getting old. (Just took a brief pause to take out a tiny inchworm I saw on my thumb while typing. Might have a tick on me somewhere, too, wouldn't surprise me.) Took Joe and a friend of his back up to visit Martine, with some carrots. She tried to butter us up for more carrots, then finally gave up and went back in the barn when she was sure we didn't have any more.
The farmer was interested in the stories about the mountain lion. Thought it was possible one might pass through or hang around a while, maybe not a permanent resident. Said he'd like to hear it yell.
12-15-2007, 05:39 PM
Just a followup to this: Two days ago I talked to a young lady who lives three houses up from me. (I rarely see these people and hadn't had any meaningful conversations with them until quite recently.) She told me that the mailman had told her last summer that he saw a mountain lion run across her front yard from the vicinity of the garage! I'm guessing big kitties like Meow Mix, too. She said that other neighbors had also told her about the lion, I think probably because I'd told them.
12-28-2007, 11:17 AM
Richochet, you'd better move the still. Them revenooers are real slick at hiding their true identity. I know what you mean about the TWRA agents who deny sometimes. I was hunting along the Tennessee/Virginia border in 73 near Damascus and ran across a really big cat track high up along a ridge line near some bluffs that had caves in them. I didn't venture into the caves but that was sure way too big of a cat print to be a house cat or a bobcat for that matter. I asked one of the game wardens about the track and he stated that "no mountain lions have been seen in this part of the state in close to 100 years" but he asked for detailed instructions on when I saw it where I was when I saw this "animal" track.
12-28-2007, 12:55 PM
Some of them will privately acknowledge the big kitties to folks they know. But publicly, never.
Yeah, you're right about the revenooers.
01-14-2008, 12:02 PM
I live in Chapmansboro,TN, near Nashville. Late one night, was almost asleep and heard what I could have sworn was a woman screaming. Asked my wife if she heard it but she had not. I just could not get it out of my head that I heard a woman scream and decided to make sure that noone was hurt nearby. Stomped into my boots, grabbed my cell phone and 1911 and tromped off outside after telling my wife that if I did not come back within a certian amount of time and she had not heard from me, call the Sheriff. Went down the driveway (I live in the country, so it is about a 150 m driveway) and hollered out if anyone needed help to holler out and I would come and help. After waiting around and not hearing anything further, went back inside and went back to bed. Glad I did not encounter either a wounded woman or a cougar. Both can be a passel of trouble and for the latter, a 1911 probably is not going to tip the scales in my favor! Have not really heard about any cat sightings in my neck of the woods but we do have quite a bit of "free range" dogs and cattle around, as well as coyotes. My neighbors are great folks, told me if I caught coyotes or wild dogs harrassing his cattle, he had no problem with me crossing onto his kand and dispatching them. He has been a great neighbor and I would have no problem helping him out! I ahve never seen any large cat tracks around but I have not really given much thought to looking for them either. Maybe when I get home I can cast about.
01-14-2008, 12:04 PM
I live in Chapmansboro,TN, near Nashville. Late one night, was almost asleep and heard what I could have sworn was a woman screaming. Asked my wife if she heard it but she had not. I just could not get it out of my head that I heard a woman scream and decided to make sure that noone was hurt nearby. Stomped into my boots, grabbed my cell phone and 1911 and tromped off outside after telling my wife that if I did not come back within a certian amount of time and she had not heard from me, call the Sheriff. Went down the driveway (I live in the country, so it is about a 150 m driveway) and hollered out if anyone needed help to holler out and I would come and help. After waiting around and not hearing anything further, went back inside and went back to bed. Glad I did not encounter either a wounded woman or a cougar. Both can be a passel of trouble and for the latter, a 1911 probably is not going to tip the scales in my favor! Have not really heard about any cat sightings in my neck of the woods but we do have quite a bit of "free range" dogs and cattle around, as well as coyotes. My neighbors are great folks, told me if I caught coyotes or wild dogs harrassing his cattle, he had no problem with me crossing onto his kand and dispatching them. He has been a great neighbor and I would have no problem helping him out! I ahve never seen any large cat tracks around but I have not really given much thought to looking for them either. Maybe when I get home I can cast about, pun intended!
01-14-2008, 04:01 PM
Last Sunday when I was walking to church I saw a couple of does who wagged their white flags around and started up the hill as I approached, not hurriedly, up the same trail the lion was chasing the doe down last June. I spoke to them and they quit climbing. One of them turned around and looked at me, right friendly-like, from about 20 yards as I passed and talked to her. Wondered if it was the same doe I saved from the lion. When I walked back home after dark I could barely see her lying there in the edge of the woods, about where the lion stopped. I could just make her out with all the leaves off. Couldn't see in there in June, of course.
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