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Bear Mountain Hollow WMA Now Open Hunters, Hikers, and Horse riders

October 28, 2005

On one of the coolest days of the fall Oct. 25-with the wind reminding about 100 onlookers just how chilling mountain air can be-Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen cut a ceremonial ribbon and symbolically opened 9,000 acres of rugged Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area to the general public.

"Watching that ribbon be cut was the exclamation point behind a lot of mental and physical labor over many months among many different groups and people," noted Steve Patrick of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. "Bear Hollow Mountain is a very special place that we think will attract millions of visitors over time with interests that vary from hunting to hiking and horseback riding."

Bear Hollow Mountain is in Franklin County, not far from Winchester, and is formerly a part of Carter Mountain that is named after the family that has owned it for decades. This particular 9,000-acre tract, however, will soon become the property of the state of Tennessee.

"With the purchasing power of the Nature Conservancy (a nationwide non-profit conservation organization), the state was able to obtain this land, and in a few months it will be officially turned over to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, " noted Patrick.

Already, the TWRA is working to build walking trails, improve horse trails, build parking lots near the trials, improve hunter access, and create better wildlife habitat, said Patrick.

"We want everyone to enjoy the resources this mountain has to offer," said Patrick. "The game on this land should provide excellent hunting opportunities, but the diversity of watchable species of wildlife is huge and a great place to see a lot of different animals, including birds of prey and songbirds."

Black and white line maps of can be obtained from TWRA at (615) 781-6624. The area is open with statewide hunting seasons, although deer season will close December 18. Bear Hollow Mountain is not listed in this year's Tennessee Hunting and Trapping guide published by the TWRA.

The area is posted and can be easily reached by Highway 16, not far from Interstate 24 and the Winchester Exit.


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