You are invited to the annual celebration of life

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is put my sportsman license on automatic renewal. With it, I can hunt and fish almost anything and almost anywhere in Tennessee. Of course, there are exceptions to pay attention to, but the bottom line is: with automatic renewal I don’t have to miss a single day of hunting or fishing.

I don’t have to remember to make my February pilgrimage to the sporting goods department. This quality of life improvement was the result of a near disaster. I had to use my “smart” phone to renew my license on the way to the lake for an evening of bass fishing. That’s when I discovered the auto-renewal option. Finally, a good use for technology.

If you haven’t already, get your license. As the water temperatures in the lakes rise so do the activity levels of bass, bream, catfish and crappie. This is the time of year to get new line on your reels and do whatever else it takes to get ready to go fishing.

Trout are busy in the mountains, picking up the first bugs of spring. Basically, if you fish, this is a good time of year to wet a hook.
Fish are busy fattening back up after a lean winter and getting big for the spring spawn. Fish aren’t the only creatures fattening up after winter. All animals are.

Whitetail Deer and other creatures that are normally very shy in the fall are bold for good forage in the spring. If you like shooting wildlife with a high-powered camera, this is perfect weather for spending much of your day trying to get a little closer without spooking them. If your camera or binoculars tend to aim at smaller targets, birds are starting to nest and young squirrels are learning the ropes of treetop gymnastics.

For those who like hunting for meat, there’s still time to bag a wild turkey. The spring turkey season doesn’t end until May 12. There are few creatures more intelligent and hard to fool than a mature turkey.

The winter born squirrels might seem to be on the other end of the intelligence spectrum. They will be young adults when that season starts on May 11. The season only lasts until June 9, and it will be tough. The spring and summer leaves make it very challenging to even see a squirrel. They breed twice a year, so they’ll be busy chasing each other through the branches and making a racket, but don’t expect to see them.

If you don’t hunt or fish, this is still a great time. Hiking, camping, and just hanging out in the great outdoors is hard to beat with perfect temperatures and green everywhere. For people lucky enough to live here, this time of year has the added bonus of much smaller crowds. Millions of tourists and sightseers visit here every summer.

Get a jump on the crowds and get out there, now.

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