All five participants recorded harvests in Tennessee’s fourth managed elk hunt held Oct. 15-19, at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
In addition, the first Tennessee Youth Elk Hunt was established this year with one permit going to a participant. 14-year-old Jessica Parkins harvested her elk on the opening morning of the two-day youth hunt.
A ninth grader at South Greene High School, Jessica was selected to participate after being chosen in a random drawing in August. Jessica’s harvested elk field dressed at 311 pounds and had a 5x5 rack size.
Two elk were harvested on the opening day of the hunt. Tony Fink of Crossville harvested a 7x6 elk that weighed 642 pounds. Rockwood resident Corbin Moore also harvested a 7x6 elk that had a weight of 580 pounds.
On the second day, Walk Kimberlin, of Kingston, took a 6x6 elk that weighed 569 pounds. Franklin resident Brian Rochelle harvested an 8x6 trophy that weighed 620 pounds. Dewayne Marbury, from the West Tennessee community of Stanton, harvested a 5x5 elk that came in at 424 pounds.
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 17 elk have been harvested, all by Tennessee residents. This year marks the first time since the inaugural hunt that all five participants recorded harvests.
Five elk hunting zones were selected on the Royal Blue Unit of the North Cumberland WMA, each about 8,000 acres. The division helps ensure the harvest was spread over the entire core of the elk zone. Each hunter was assigned a zone through a random hand-held drawing. Jessica was able to choose any of the zones for her hunt and recorded her harvest in the WMA’s Zone 1.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has worked to make habitat improvements at North Cumberland WMA. The first arrival of 50 animals came in December 2000, the first elk to be in Tennessee since they were last reported in Obion County in 1865. Studies have proven that the elk herd is seeing an annual growth rate of 13-15 percent.