Andy Miller, a businessman from Franklin, Tenn., made the winning bid last week on the final Tennessee Special Elk Take Permit. Miller conquered some 31 bidders for the final tag on eBAy with an offer of $17,700. This permit is one of five bull elk tags issued to sportsmen for Tennessee's 2009 Season. So look elsewhere, unless you have very deep pockets.
Gray believes calf deaths as a result of oppressive heat are the primary culprit for calf/cow ratios that have hovered around 30/100 for the past several years. These numbers are sufficient to maintain the state’s elk numbers, but don’t allow for increases. However, there does seem to be some herd expansion westward. Conflicts with agriculture are negatively affecting landowners’ tolerance for elk. Thus, one management objective is to nudge elk expansion in the direction of the Ozark National Forest.
For 2009, the state will offer 26 tags for elk on public land: eight bull permits, 16 antlerless permits and two any-sex youth tags. Two bull tags are auctioned, offering the only opportunity for nonresidents to hunt elk on public land. Private land tags may be sold to nonresidents.
As the recently named head of the elk program, Gray is excited about the future of elk and elk hunting in Arkansas. He looks forward to conducting research on calf recruitment and developing stronger relationships with private landowners.
Oct. 19-23 will see five lucky hunters afield with elk tags in separate hunting zones. Issued through a drawing, one of four publicly allotted tags may be claimed by a nonresident. A fifth tag will be auctioned on Ebay by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. No matter how the hunt unfolds, this is truly history in the making.
Check out our interactive elk map for state-by-state populations, tag costs, bull-to-cow ratios and more.
Courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.