Hickman County Fishing Rodeo - Fun For All Ages!

Saturday June 10, 2017, Hickman County wildlife officers Evan Gaskin and Brenden Marlow held the annual Hickman county kids fishing day at Bill McDonald’s farm pond in Centerville, TN.  The event was made available to youth 16 years of age and under. There were a total of 23 kids registered on the morning of the event along with 24 adults to assist with them fishing. The event started at 8AM with a cooked breakfast provided. A lot of memories were made on this day as some kids actually caught there first fish. As the event came to an end each kid was awarded a fishing rod and reel of choice, 88 pieces tackle box, and a 2017 Hickman County kids fishing day decal. We would like to thank TWRA, TWOA, Bill McDonald, Sun Drop, along with a host of volunteers for making this day a memory that will last forever.

Jun 23, 2017 at 7:28 AM

5th Annual Benton County Fishing Rodeo

Did you take advantage of Free Fishing Day this year? Some 76 kids ranging from 2-15 years old sure did by participating in the 5th Annual Benton Co. Kids Fishing Rodeo located at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Eva, TN on Saturday, June 10, 2017. At 8am kids were pulling their moms, dads, grandparents, etc. from their vehicles and running up to the registration table eager to pick out their honey hole to catch a stringer full of fish! Once the clock struck 9am, the announcement was made to start fishing and/or keeping fish. It did not take long to see the bobbers bouncing, poles bending, and hearing the cheerful hollers from the kids, “I got one”. With the fish and weather cooperating this year, the 2 hours allotted for fishing quickly swam away from everyone and it was time for the weigh-in before everyone knew it. At weigh-in, the number of fish caught and the weight of the catch was recorded for each participant. Prizes were awarded for most fish caught and most weight in each age group. The winners in the 0-7 age group were: (Girls) Ashlyn Rhodes & Mari Beth Murphy (Boys) Weston Palmer & Tekoa Easley. Winners in the 8-12 age group were: (Girls) Laney Rhodes & Ashley Pearl (Boys) Mason Baker & Hayden Jennette. Winners in the 13-15 age group were: (Girls) Kelsey Bailey & Laura Pearl (Boys) Logan Carter & Matthew Baker. Special prizes were awarded to Laura Pearl, Matthew Baker, Mason Baker, and Hayden McCormick for each catching a coveted “white” catfish that was stocked into the area. A total of 129 fish were caught that tipped the scales at little over 120 lbs. After prizes were divvied out, all kids and family members were treated to a smoked chicken lunch.

Due to the growing success of the Benton Co. Fishing Rodeo, next year’s event is already in the works. Everyone lockdown June 9, 2018 for another great family fishing experience at the Benton Co Kids Fishing Rodeo at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park!! A special thanks goes out to all the sponsors because without the sponsors, this event could not take place. This year’s sponsors were Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park, Tennessee Wildlife Officers Association, NBFSP Friends Group, Tyson, Sundrop, Belisle Tool & Machine, AllGoods, Save-A-Lot, Open Season Sporting Goods, Mid-Way Materials, Wal-Mart, Ray Smith Chevrolet, Shooters Sporting Goods, Law Offices of Terry and Jack Leonard, Dilday-Carter Funeral Home, Joey Dale Pierce and Steve Davis.

Jun 21, 2017 at 1:45 PM

Town of Kimball 2017 Fishing Rodeo

The 10th annual TWRA/Town of Kimball Kids Fishing Rodeo was held at Kimball City Park on June 10, 2017.  Once again it was an overwhelming success.  There were 88 participants, most everyone caught at least one fish and everyone went home with at least one prize.  Six lucky fishermen and fisherwomen went home with a grand prize of either a kayak or a bicycle.  We would like to give special thanks to the Town of Kimball for allowing us the use of the facilities and snacks that they provided, TWRA for stocking several hundred pounds of catfish, and the TWOA for their monetary support for prizes.  Wildlife officers Russell Vandergriff, Marty Griffith, Shawn Edgmon and Prentice Cooper WMA technician Andy Lawson were all there to lend a hand in getting out knots and tying on hooks.

Jun 21, 2017 at 1:38 PM

Warren County Youth Turkey Hunt 2017

2017 Warren County Youth Turkey Hunt

On March 25, 2017, the 4th annual Warren County Youth Turkey Hunt took place at Outpost Outdoors in McMinnville, TN.  Kids ages 6-16 were encouraged to sign up for the event and guides were provided for kids who did not have someone to take them.  There were a total of 103 kids that signed up for the event and approximately 65 kids participated in the hunt. 

Kids and their guides headed out to the woods before daylight. The kids returned to Outpost Outdoors around noon. They enjoyed sharing stories of their hunts and memories that were made that morning with other hunters and friends.  A total of 15 turkeys were checked in for the event.  First place went to Alyssa Carter who killed the largest turkey weighing in at 26 pounds 14 ounces, 9 ¼ inch beard, and 1 inch spurs.  Coming in second place was Braxton Carter with a 22 pound 14 ounce turkey, with a 10 ¼ inch beard, and 1 ¼ inch spurs.  Third place went to Jaylen Watson with a 22 pound 3 ounce turkey, with a 10 inch beard, and 1 inch spurs.  Fourth place was awarded to Stephen Milligan with a 21 pound 13 ounce turkey, with a 10 inch beard, and 7/8 inch spurs. 

Thanks to our sponsors, our local NWTF Chapter, Ben Lomand Longbeards, the Tennessee Wildlife Officers Association, Cumberland Valley Nursery, Carter’s Backhoe-Trenching,   Blackburn Masonry,   David Milstead Logging, Terry Grissom Nursery, Iron Works Gym, and Feet- Down Waterfowl.  All kids that participated in the youth hunt were able to take home prizes that included a shotgun, muzzleloader, crossbow, tree stand, turkey calls, safety harness, trail cameras, turkey decoys,  tackle boxes, lanterns, shooting targets, hats and many more items. 


Jun 21, 2017 at 1:24 PM

Ohio Commercial Fisherman Caught In Tennessee

Wildlife Officers for TWRA are always working to catch people doing bad things when it comes to the Resources we have in Tennessee. This past winter, Officer Ricky Lyle and Nick Luper were able to catch a Commercial Fisherman from Ohio taking more than his share of Skipjack Herring at the Cumberland City Steam Plant. He was up to 567 fish, when the limit is only 100 per day. He would catch the fish in TN an take them back to sell in OH for profit. Good job guys!

May 09, 2017 at 7:03 PM

Chaplain Conference Held at Stones River Hunter Education Center

Recently, the Tennessee Wildlife Officer's Association helped out by cooking lunch for the Chaplain's Conference that was recently held at Stones River Hunter Education Center. This was a two day conference that provided basic training for Law Enforcement Chaplains and networking opportunities. Chaplains support the LE officer and their families by providing spiritual and emotional guidance, and prayer, which helps build resiliency in the force. 

Several states were represented including Tennessee, Maryland, Alabama, South Carolina, Indiana, and Pennsylvania as well as one officer of TWRA.

A lot of citiznes do not know about TWRA's newly formed Chaplain Program:

In 2014, the TWRA formed a chaplain program with primary focus on its commissioned law enforcement officers.  While the program focuses on TWRA officers, it also provides services to other TWRA employees, as well as other law enforcement agencies and the public.  The chaplains provide spiritual leadership, guidance and support for TWRA officers and others.

Chaplains have been a part of military history since 1775 when they were recognized by the U.S. government and have served in every U.S. war since the American Revolution. Similar to the U.S. military, the TWRA chaplain program is based on three basic tenets: Nurture the living. Care for the wounded. Honor the dead.

This voluntary, faith-based, peer-supported program is designed to provide wildlife officers with an additional option for meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. Wildlife officers are called on to respond to incidents that involve death, victim rescue, victim recovery, or notification of next of kin. They also respond to natural or manmade disasters, which puts them on the front line to see and experience additional stress.

TWRA chaplains build resiliency by preparing the officer for his/her job and by strengthening the officer and his/her family. The chaplains are trained to bring hope and strength to those who have been wounded or traumatized in body, mind or spirit by assisting the healing process. They also participate in memorial ceremonies, services and funerals which place emphasis on the worth and value of the individual. The TWRA chaplain program is another tool to keep our officers safe and fit for duty.

Jan 24, 2017 at 2:38 PM

19th Annual Dale Hollow Kids Fishing Rodeo

The following write-up is from Sgt. Bill Moulton out of Clay County. The Dale Hollow Kids Fishing Rodeo has grown to be one of the larger events in the state and all of the kids have a blast!

Bill Moulton: We were able to make certain that each child that fished at the 19th Annual Dale Hollow Kids Fishing Rodeo was able to wear a smile , get hands wet n dirty with bait, those that wanted to could meet n get licked by K9 Chip (The Wonderdog!) and leave with a door prize designed to keep them doing something outside.  We had well over 400 attendees with nearly 300 kids.  With the generous donation from the Tennessee Wildlife Officers Association, we gave out rod/reel combos, tackle boxes, tons of lures,soccer balls , sleeping bags, Lanterns, bait, stringers and more...  the two local banks gave out big fish savings bonds, and the Friends of Dale Hollow Fish Hatchery had hot dogs n drinks.  The Corp of Engineers had a boating safety booth , the local EMS was on site for snagged fingers and other first aid needs and the Dale Hollow Fish Hatchery workers helped in numerous ways..Andy Currie (Hatchery Manager) and Angie Roach (without whom this wouldnt happen each year),  WO Travis Cowan (Clay Co) talked fishing to numerous folks, Sgt Bill Moulton ( Clay Co) drew short straw and had to MC. Numerous Volunteers including Jennifer Cowan, Beth Moulton,Megan Copas (Celina PD) , Pat and Roger Roberts , and too many more to list helped make this years rodeo run smoothly.

Sep 15, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Benton County Fishing Rodeo

4th Annual Benton Co. Kids Fishing Rodeo

At Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park


On Saturday the 11th day of June 2016, the temperatures heated up quickly but the fish bite was action packed at the 4th Annual Benton Co. Kids Fishing Rodeo located in Eva, TN at the Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park (NBFSP).  Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) teamed up with the NBFSP again this year to provide a fun fishing experience for anyone age 15 and under and the heat didn’t seem to deter the fun!  As 8 o’clock rolled around, families with kids smiling ear to ear, eager to start fishing, surrounded the registration tent.  From 8 am to 9 am, all kids planning to fish were registered in an appropriate age group to be eligible for prizes.  The prize tables were located directly behind the registration tent so many kids strolled by to “ooh” and “ah” before picking out a spot to fish.  Once 9 o’clock hit, the rodeo was on and it didn’t take long for the kids to start reeling in fish.  After several bottles of cold water, a good shade tree, a decent KY Lake breeze and the distant smell of smoked chicken for lunch the two hours of fishing came to an end.  The kids were anxious to find out who caught the most fish so they stood in line as their fish were counted and weighed. With a total of 65 kids registered, 37 kids caught 94 fish weighing a combined 64.05 lbs.  Once the numbers were tallied in each age group, the winners were announced in the following order: Biggest Fish of Rodeo- Corey Painter 2.14 lbs; Girls 0-7 Most Fish- Addi Beth Merrell & Anniston Hedge 2 fish, Most Weight- Addi Beth Merrell 3.02 lbs; Girls 8-12 Most Fish- Kelsey Bailey 5 fish, Most Weight-Lauren Flowers 4.08 lbs; Girls 13-15 Most Fish & Most Weight-Amber Shepherd 2 fish & 2lbs; Boys 0-7 Most Fish- Sawyer Noles 8 fish, Most Weight- Aiden Smith 2.07 lbs;  Boys 8-12 Most Fish- Barrett Shepard & Dakota Wilkes 3 fish, Most Weight Tristan Hedge 3.13 lbs; Boys 13-15 Most Fish- Ryan Baker 8 fish, Most Weight- Cory Painter 5.04lbs.  After winners selected their prizes, door prizes were given out by drawing tickets handed out during registration.  Thanks to all of the sponsors, all kids were able to leave with at least one prize of their choice.  Finally, to wrap up the Fishing Rodeo, with bellies growling, everyone lined up to fill their plate with the mouth-watering smoked chicken that Mr. Joey Dale Peirce volunteered to slave over while everyone else was enjoying the fishing rodeo.  

It was a great day of fishing and fun made possible by TWRA, NBFSP, Tennessee Wildlife Officers’ Association, Friends of NBFSP,  Wal-Mart, Save-A-Lot, Open Season Sporting Goods, Shooter’s Sporting Goods, Tyson, Waste Management, Sundrop, Midway Materials, Belisle Tool & Machine Inc., Ray Smith Chevrolet, Terry & Jack Leonard Law Firm and Joey Dale Pierce. 

Aug 26, 2016 at 11:35 AM

Tipton County Fishing Rodeo is a SUCCESS

Normally, when a small lake is drained and all of the fish die, there is not a great chance that a fishing rodeo can take place......Unless you are a Tennessee Game Warden! After the lake, where a fishing rodeo was supposed to take place, was drained  and all of the fish died, there was little to no hope that the event could take place, however, Tipton County Wildlife Officer Jake Yoes was able to get over 120lbs of catfish stocked in the lake once water was back in there! The event was a success! There were over 130 kids is attendance to show off their fishing skills and every kid was able to walk away with a prize. Officer Yoes said, " I can't thank the Tennessee Wildlife Officer's Association enough for the donation that made tons of kids smile!" To us, folks, that is what it is all about! Seeing kids smile while enjoying the outdoors! Great job Officer Yoes!!

Aug 26, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Scholarship for Fish and Wildlife Major

The TWOA is offering a scholarship up to $1000 to an individual that is accepted to or is currently enrolled in an institution of higher learning in pursuit of a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries at the time of the application.  Deadline is April 30, 2016.

Application is available online here:


Apr 11, 2016 at 10:36 AM