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Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Considered in Tennessee

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a 60-day sandhill crane hunting season in Tennessee, and public comments are being considered.

7/23/2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a 60-day sandhill crane hunting season in Tennessee, according to a report from NRA-ILA.  This is the second time in three years the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider a sandhill crane hunting season.  If approved, Tennessee would be the second state east of the Mississippi River to allow sandhill cranes to be hunted.  In 2011, Kentucky considered and adopted a similar proposal and sportsmen have been able to hunt two years, of the three season experiment.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed:

• A 60-day season concurrent with the state’s late waterfowl season starting in November.

• A hunting zone east of state Highway 56 and south of Interstate 40 in southeast Tennessee.

• 775 crane-hunting permits, with each permit allowed to take up to three birds.
A quota and check-in system.  Hunters would be required to report and tag any killed birds.

• The Hiwasee Wildlife Refuge, north of Chattanooga, would be off limits to hunting.  This refuge is home to the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.

• A halt to hunting immediately before and during the crane festival.

• A requirement that all permit holders undergo a course proving they can tell the difference between a sandhill crane and a whooping crane.  Whooping cranes are a federally endangered species with a nationwide population estimated at less than 600.

•  The TWRA is accepting public comments on the proposal until Aug. 10, 2013.

Comments may be sent to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov with “Sandhill Crane” in the subject line.

For more information, read the complete report on NRAILA.org.

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