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Tennessee Wild Boar Wars Continues


TWRA BoarThe Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the state agency that oversees wildlife related issues in Tennessee, has found itself in the middle of what is being described by some as Hog Wars. As we reported here at Southeastern Outdoors back in April 2011, the TWRA is trying to use the unconventional approach of making hunting wild hogs illegal as a method of eradicating them from the state.

As we approach hunting season, and with the release of the 2011 Tennessee state hunting guide that outlines these new regulations, some people are in shock at the new eradication approach. A select few seem to have taken matters to an unacceptable level. 

According to Kirk Miles, TWRA Region 3 Wildlife Program Manager, after TWRA started it's feral hog eradication program at Catoosa in late June agency employees started finding nails, spikes and nail lined boards in fields and along secondary roads accessing wild hog trap sites. It is thought they were placed there with the intention of damaging TWRA vehicles. So far 13 tired have been damaged on TWRA trucks and 4 tires on TWRA tractors. One TWRA employee stepped on a large nail. 

These acts of vandalism are unacceptable and dangerous no matter who is doing them. Not only are they damaging property that essentially belongs to all of us, they have the real potential to injure someone. It's not just TWRA employees at risk of injury, children, hunters, hikers and horseback riders are all placed in danger.

I take my kids to Catoosa frequently to hike, fish and kayak. I would hate for my kids or anyone else's to be injured by some moron thinking he was getting even with the TWRA. If you want to get even with the TWRA for their ignorant actions call the governor and tell them to fire the men responsible for these horrible new regulations Ed Carter and Daryl Ratajczak. You can reach Gov. Haslam by e-mail at or by phone at (615) 741-2001.

TWRA's knee jerk reaction to the vandalism is like that of their new hog regulations. Instead of catching and prosecuting the actual criminal(s), they have instead decided to punish everyone by closing access to the entire 80,000 acre Catoosa Wildlife Management Area to the public effective starting August 8th.

Has anyone at the TWRA ever heard of a trail camera?

New Wild Hog Regulations

The theory behind this ill-conceived eradication method is that hunters, in order to provide increased hunting opportunities for themselves, have been translocating and releasing feral swine into the wild. However, the TWRA readily admitted to me, on more than one occasion, that they have only had two instances of such actions in the last 10 years. In other words all the hunters of the state will be punished for the actions of a handful of people.

Isn't this the same backwards logic we fight as gun owners when some say all guns should be outlawed because a few people use them for illegal activities?

What is really confusing to many, myself included, is that up until just a few short years ago the TWRA were themselves trapping wild hogs translocating them and releasing them onto wildlife management areas. That's right, the TWRA was using our money to trap and relocate feral hogs. Now they want to use additional funds and agency resources to trap and kill hogs and their off spring that they were responsible for translocating in the first place!

There are currently two meetings scheduled to discuss these new regulations

1) August 9th, State Rep Cameron Sexton is meeting with hunters at the Palace Theater in Crossville at 5:30 pm, central time. Palace Theater is located at 72 S. Main St. Crossville TN 38555. Exit 317 from I-40 go south about 4 miles the Palace is ob the right.

2) August 12th, TWRA has agreed to meet with hunters at Cumberland Mountain State Park near Crossville at 6:00 pm (central time)

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What Can Be Done About New Hog Regulations?


Even though the new hog hunting regulations went into full effect August 1st, it's not to late to contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commissioners and respectfully express your displeasure with the new regulations. I suggest both calling and e-mailing ALL of the commissioners below.

Commissioner Phone E-mail
William Brown (423) 785-8253
Jeffrey H. Griggs (731) 968-6191
Governor Bill Haslam (615) 741-2001
Robert Martineau (615) 532-0106
Dr. Jeff McMillin (423) 968-1933
Julius Johnson (615) 837-5202
Mitchell S. Parks (615) 876-3046
Julie Schuster
Todd A. Shelton (423) 639-5183
Danya L. Welch (901) 759-5100
Eric Wright (423) 474-3357
Jim Bledsoe (931) 265-7201
Harold Cannon (865) 670-8555
Trey Teague (731) 693-2900

What Can Be Done In The Long Run?

In my opinion there two things that need to be done to prevent these asinine laws from occurring in the future. 1) we need to inject some new blood into the TWRA and 2) we need to do away with the political appointments that form the majority of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (TWRC).

1) Current Executive Director Ed Carter and Wildlife Biologist Daryl Ratajczak don't seem to understand that the hunters and fishermen of this great state pay their salaries and they are supposed to be looking out for our best interests. Without us, there would be no TWRA. The TWRA is 100% funded by the sale of hunting and fishing license as well as taxes on related equipment.

The one person who can remove these two from their jobs immediately is Governor Bill Haslam so please give him a call AND drop him an e-mail to let him know we need new leadership at the TWRA.


Governor Bill Haslam, (615) 741-2001,




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