2014 Elk Hunts Have Five Harvests
NASHVILLE --- For the second consecutive year, four of the five participants recorded harvests in the Tennessee Elk Hunt held Oct. 20-24 at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
In the Tennessee Youth Elk Hunt, held the weekend of Oct. 25-26, the participant had a harvest for the third in as many years since the hunt was established. Robert L. Goodner, a 14-year old from Cleveland was the first boy selected for the youth hunt. Robert had the biggest overall harvest this year with his take of a 6x8 bull elk that field dressed at 646 pounds and was taken on the morning of Oct. 26.
During the regular hunt, Jefferson City resident Jimmy Rogers had this year’s first harvest. It came in the evening on opening day and was a 6x6 that field dressed at 593 pounds.
On the second day of the hunt, two harvests were made both coming in the evening. Audie Schrimsher of Maryville took an elk that was a 5x5 that weighed 462 pounds. Hartsville resident Clay Oldham also took a 5x5 elk and it had a field dressed weight of 465 pounds.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation received the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), permit. The permit was auctioned on eBay with the proceeds going to benefit the Tennessee Elk Restoration Program Shane Alexander took a 6x6, 520 pound elk in the morning of Oct 23. He is a former Tennessee resident who now lives in Missoula, Mont. He received the permit as the successful bidder in the auction.
“It was good weather for the hunt, the temperatures were cool for the most past,” said Steve Bennett, TWRA Elk Restoration Program Coordinator. “It is near the end of the breeding season and some of the hunters heard bugling and some didn’t. It depended on the location.”
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 27 elk have been harvested. Tennessee residents have harvested all but one of the elk.
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. Robert was able to choose any of the zones for his hunt.
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.