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ShaggyRS6

Vermin Control On Private Land

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After knocking on doors for the last 2 months ( or rather by sending emails these days) I have been lucky enough to have been asked to get rid of a few pests on a couple of pieces of land for the land owner! I want to make sure I am all above board before I go out and deal with their issues so wanted to get some advice.  First things first, I do have a hunters ed course under my belt, it's from NJ, is is reciprocal down here and I carry the permit and I also double checked with TWRA.  I also asked them what I could and could not so in terms of vermin control on someone's land.  I just wanted to confirm with you fine folks if what they told me is correct, cos, well you never know!

They said, I cant be paid, and I assured them I was not looking to get paid nor would except payment.  They then went on to say that I had to follow the normal hunting rules in terms of what I could shoot, when I could shoot, and how much I could shoot! I also asked, once again on private land if the rules were different in the caliber I could use, now this part of the conversation I dont fully recall, but I put in brackets what I think she said. The issues I have been asked to deal with right now are:

  • Coyotes (Shoot them with anything?)
  • Squirrels (Shotgun or .22 or Air rifle? I mean if I am out shooting a Coyote and I see one and I have my AR can I shoot them, of course as long as the shot is safe)
  • Turkey (Shotgun?)

Both land owners have an abundance that have been pushed their way throughout the year as a result in hunting nearby.  Both land owners also have deer and have said I can take these per the normal hunting rules and regs.

I went on to ask TWRA about not being able to thin the squirrels and Turkey out, out of hunting season and the answer was no.  Only the landowner could do that and only if they were causing direct damage to their property, which the squirrels are, but the landowner, for their own reasons does not want to do it.  The Turkey's, well they are just nuisance and are spooking her horses etc.

 

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The land owner needs a permit from TWRA for game animals if they need to be shot out of season. They have to be causing damage.  They also need a permit for predators at night. Again, they have to be causing damage. You can be put on the permit. 

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I am sure they told you but turkeys are considered the same as deer in TN, ie. big game. Not only do you have to have a fishing/small game license but you also have to have a big game turkey license. You can also get a Sportsman License which covers everything except trout. I would not recommend shooting turkeys out of season or with a rifle. They are bow/shotgun only. 

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I am not sure Turkey ever come into the "vermin/nuisance" category. I would definitely want clarification on that point.

Also, I don't think it is ever ok to shoot small game with a centerfire weapon, i.e. squirrel with an AR. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but if yo ran into the wrong TWRA agent on the wrong day you would be in the wrong. The regulations on "Means and methods" can be a bit confusing in the small game/fur bearer section. That is the difference you have to understand, small game vs. fur bearer. 

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3 hours ago, KahrMan said:

I am sure they told you but turkeys are considered the same as deer in TN, ie. big game. Not only do you have to have a fishing/small game license but you also have to have a big game turkey license. You can also get a Sportsman License which covers everything except trout. I would not recommend shooting turkeys out of season or with a rifle. They are bow/shotgun only. 

Just a point of information, Sportsman's covers the trout stamp.  It does not cover the duck stamp.  

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With a permit from TWRA all bets are off. The rules are clearly stated on the permit. We hunt deer at night with suppressed rifles equipped with thermal and night vision. We can keep the meat but not any horns. Any bucks shot and the game warden has to be called so he can collect the horns. I've been on permits where the horns must be cut off and left in the field. It's up to the TWRA agent that issues the permit. You have to prove the animal in question is doing damage. If coyotes are killing chickens and you get a permit, it's any means necessary. You are also liable for everything you do. Kill someone's dog and you're toast. 

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2 hours ago, 10-Ring said:

Just a point of information, Sportsman's covers the trout stamp.  It does not cover the duck stamp.  

I didn’t think either were covered. Thanks. 

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Ok thanks , this is some good info here, the clarifications are most welcome. I do have a Sportmans Licence, I should have clarified that in my initial post. 

So it seems that I need to get myself a cheap shotgun and some sort of rimfire wepon, I  had an awesome Ruger 17 HMR in the UK so that may be back on the list!

Thanks for all the comments. Very helpful.

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