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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, 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 with “Sandhill Crane” in the subject line.

For more information, read the complete report on

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