Friday, November 18, 2005


This trip is going right smack through the middle of the Yanahli Wildlife Management Area, which was created from the land that would have been flooded by the Columbia Dam. The dam was razed in 1999, even though it was 90% complete, when the birdwing pearlymussel dragged itself out of the water with its one little bi-valve foot and laid down in front of the bulldozers in the name of the Endangered Species Act.

Traveling through public land is a good thing for us for lots of reasons, but everyone should understand that "management area" is just a nice way of saying "killing fields" and tomorrow is the first day of hunting season. We're not too worried about it, but there are some things you should and shouldn't wear in a wildlife management area.

If you want, you will have no trouble buying some bright orange University of Tennessee hunting cap at just about any gas station in Marshall County and you can look like Ignatuis Reilly all the way down the river. They may even be on sale this year. But at the RRCC we'd rather be shot through the heart with a high powered deer rifle than wear orange during the Vandy -UT game. So for about three hours starting at 11:30 Saturday morning we will be vulnerable to some perverse natural selection process where only Tennessee fans survive. Maybe we will bring something bright yellow.

Shots, far back from the river . . . Deer season, and a Saturday, which would likely make for hell on the hills . . . I guessed that not even the normal quota of whisky-head sports would probably shoot a boat for a buck, but decided to wear a bandanna if I went rambling ashore….


The only other consequence of paddling through the WMA is we need to fall the rules more or less. Canoe owners make sure there is an adult life jacket for each person. If you fish, you need a fishing license. Or at least you have now been told that you need a fishing license.

Here are some other regs of interest. Our lawyers say that a technical reading suggests this only applies "while hunting"…

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