Sandhill cranes in flight. (Photo: Robert Burton/USFWS)

A hand-held permit drawing for the sixth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Rhea County High School in Evensville.

Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone.

This will mark the first time that the draw will be held at Rhea County High. The previous draws were held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton County.


Any leftover tags from the draw will be included in the computerized draw to issue tags for statewide use.  A total of 1,274 tags, plus any tags not issued at the handheld drawing, will be issued.  Successful applicants in the computer draw will receive two tags for statewide use and the tag is valid in the Southeast Crane zone as well. The application period for the computerized draw is Sept. 5-26, 2018.

A total of 1,437 tags are available at the handheld draw for 479 successful applicants. Applicants must be at least 13-years-old. Registration for the drawing begins at 8 a.m. (EDT). The drawing will begin at approximately 10 a.m. Tags are non-transferable and individuals must be present to obtain tags.

Tags are not valid until a 2018 “Sandhill Crane ID Test” validation code is written on the tag. The purpose of the test is to improve hunter’s awareness of and ability to distinguish between sandhill cranes and protected species which may be encountered while hunting.

The TWRA will provide computers for persons wishing to take the identification test on the day of the drawing. However, the test is available here and will remain available until the end of the season.

Applicants must have a current Tennessee hunting/fishing license (Type 001) and a waterfowl license (Type 005) or equivalent.

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission established a statewide sandhill crane hunting season last year, expanding the hunt beyond southeast Tennessee. The 2018-19 season will be Dec. 1-Jan. 27, 2019. However, there is a three-day closure (Friday-Sunday,  Jan. 18-20) in the Southeast Crane Zone for the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.

Waterfowl permit drawing
Tennessee’s long-standing tradition of hand-drawn duck blind drawings will be held at the regular sites across the state on Saturday, Aug. 4. Registration for the 2018 drawings will be held from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. and the drawings will begin at 10 a.m. at most locations.

Interactive maps with specific location information, including GPS coordinates, can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website at

While hand drawings will be held for the majority of the locations, a computerized drawing system will be used for blind sites on several wildlife management areas, including four units on the Chickamauga WMA (Candies Creek, Johnson Bottoms, Rogers Creek, and Yellow Creek). For these, hunters can apply through any TWRA license agent or at, from Sept. 5-26, 2018.

Learn more about Chickamauga waterfowl blind drawings here.

Hunters that are successful in drawing a blind site on Chickamauga  (Candies Creek, Johnson Bottoms, Rogers Creek and Yellow Creek), Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, White Oak and Natural Area must by Nov. 2, 2018 return to TWRA a “Notice of Intent” which states they do intend to hunt their assigned blind pool. If the “Notice of Intent” is not received by TWRA by the specified deadline, the blind/pool will become vacant. Any vacant blinds/pools will be reallocated by a hand-held drawing.

Candies Creek, Johnson Bottoms, Rogers Creek and Yellow Creek Units of Chickamauga hand-held drawings for vacant blind sites will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 at 6 p.m. (EST) at the Hiwassee Refuge, 525 Priddy Lane, Birchwood, TN 37308.   Information concerning the availability of vacant blind sites can be obtained by contacting the Region III Office at 1-833-402-4698.

Click here for more information about waterfowl permit drawings.