A hand-held permit drawing for the fifth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Birchwood Community Center (formerly the Birchwood School) in north Hamilton County. Tags at this draw are only valid for use in the Southeast Crane Zone.
Any leftover tags will be included in the first computerized draw to issue tags for statewide use. This is the first year Tennessee hunters will be able to harvest a sandhill crane statewide.
More than 1,100 tags will be issued, but hunters can only receive one tag for statewide use and the tag is valid in the Southeast Crane zone as well. The application period for the computerized draw is Sept. 6-27.
A total of 1,200 tags are available at the handheld draw for 400 successful applicants 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 2017 “Sandhill Crane ID Test” validation code is written on the tag. The purpose of this 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 currently available on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org 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 expanding the hunt beyond southeast Tennessee. The 2017-18 season will be Dec. 2-Jan. 28, 2018; however, there is a three-day closure (Friday-Sunday, Jan. 12-14) in the Southeast Crane Zone for the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.