Tennessee’s 2017 elk hunts have concluded with eight elk harvested during three segments.
Hunts were allowed on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and surrounding private lands, though no hunters this year chose to hunt on private lands.
The first segment, held Sept. 30–Oct. 6, was an archery hunt, with three of the seven participants recording harvests. The first person to check in an elk during the archery hunt was Dickson resident Larry Rosenbaum. He harvested an elk weighing 378 pounds on the first day in Zone 2. This was also the first elk taken by archery since the launch of the hunt in 2009.
Later the same day, Johnny Delaney of Chattanooga checked an elk that weighed 486 pounds, taken from Massengale Mountain in Zone 4.
Knoxville’s Matthew Meyer harvested the third and final bull elk of the archery segment on the second day, which weighed 397 pounds and was taken in Zone 1.
Reed Johnson from Manchester was this year’s tag permit winner to participate in the young sportsman elk hunt. The youth hunt this year was a full week rather than a two-day weekend, as in previous years. But Reed only needed the first day, Oct. 7, to harvest an elk that field-dressed at 316 pounds.
Six of the seven hunters selected participated in the Oct. 14–20 hunt, with the option of using gun, muzzleloader or archery equipment.
Alabama resident Tim Fisk had the first harvest in the gun hunt, taking an elk in Zone 4 that weighed 702 pounds. He held the permit that is annually presented to a nongovernmental organization, with proceeds from the auctioned tag being designated for the elk restoration program.
The second elk taken by gun was harvested by Gary Ownby of Clinton Oct. 16 in Zone 7. This was the first elk taken from the Tackett Creek area, but no weight was measured.
An elk weighing 510 pounds was also taken Oct. 16 in Zone 1 by Floyd Road of Knoxville.
The final harvest was an elk with a field-dressed weight of 625 pounds, taken by Kimberly Mayfield of Etowah on the last day of the 2017 hunt.
Since managed hunts began in 2009, 41 elk have been legally harvested. Fifty elk were released in 2000, the first wild elk to be in Tennessee since last being reported in Obion County in 1865. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has since been working to make habitat improvements at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
Young sportsman deer hunt Oct. 28–29
The first of the Tennessee 2017–18 season’s two young sportsman deer hunts will be held Oct. 28–29.
Participating youth ages 6–16 may use gun, muzzleloader and archery equipment. Young sportsmen must be accompanied by a nonhunting adult, 21 or older, who must remain in a position to take immediate control of the hunting device. Multiple youth may be accompanied by a single qualifying adult. The adult must also comply with the fluorescent orange regulations as specified for legal hunters.
Tennessee archery season began Sept. 23, and the first segment ends Oct. 27, the day before the opening of the young sportsman hunt. The second segment of archery season runs Oct. 30 through Nov. 3.
TWRA recommends that all hunters obtain a 2017–18 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, which lists license requirements and the counties and bag limits for each of the deer management units. The guides can be found where hunting and fishing licenses are sold and on the TWRA website, www.tnwildlife.org.