Below is a news release from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The 14 persons who will participate in the 2021 Tennessee Elk Hunts and the grand prize winners of the Tennessee Conservation Raffle were announced Friday during the August meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held at the Cookeville Holiday Inn.
In addition, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency presented proposed changes to the 2022-24 bait, sport fish, and commercial fishing proclamations. The commercial fishing proclamation will be presented for vote at the September commission meeting and the bait and sport fish proclamation will be voted on at the October meeting.
A total of 11,146 persons registered for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s elk quota hunts. The total is an increase of 1,543 applications from 2020. The Tennessee began its elk hunt in 2009 with the participants randomly selected from a computer draw.
TWRA Elk Program Leader Brad Miller announced the 2021 winners. Selected to participate in the archery-only hunt Sept. 25-Oct. 1 are Sam Neely (Crossville), Kevin Howe (Humboldt), William Kittredge (Indian Mound), Richard Lee Cox (Madison), Charles Douglas Evans (Greeneville), Jeremy Flynn Gideon (Tullahoma), and Ronnie Vinson (Englewood).
The gun, muzzleloader, or archery equipment hunt will be held Oct. 9-15. Selected to participate are Ryan Payne Richards (Jackson), Johnny Dale Collingsworth (Tazewell), Brian Keith Wright (Knoxville), Steven Devaughn Weaver (Clinton), Matthew Hubbard (Brentwood), and Grant Wilson Guinn (Springville).
The youth tag permit winner is Kolton Lee Casson (Ocoee). This will be the 10th year for the tag which is designated for youth ages 13-16, Oct. 2-8.
All hunt permits are valid on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and can also be used on private lands (with landowner permission) within the Elk Restoration Zone in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, and Scott counties.
The 2021 Tennessee Conservation Raffle features 10 prizes, one which includes a permit to participate in the elk quota hunt. In the order which drawn, the winners have their choice. This year’s raffle is also highlighted by a $50,000 voucher which can be applied to a new vehicle from any Mid-South Ford dealership. Other packages include an elk tag for the Tennessee Premier Elk Zone, a deer hunt on Presidents Island; a Tracker boat, a UTV, turkey hunting package; waterfowl hunting package, a $5,000 Academy + Sports Outdoor gift card, a precision long-range shooting package, a Tennessee Henry rifle, plus 100 additional winners will receive a knife.
Joey Woodard, executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, reported on this year’s raffle and announced the winners. The first person drawn was Donald McBroom (Mammoth Cave, Ky), followed by James Jackson (Harrison), Travis Hale (Soddy Daisy), Ted Williams (Dickson), Sam Malone (Memphis), Sheila Watson (Charleston), Steven Henderson (Livingston), Darrell Wardlaw (Smyrna), Don O’Dell (Corryton), and Mark Hyjek (Spring Hill).
The commercial fishing proclamation preview included changes to allow a 600-yard net to whip-set for carp fishing, increase access to Camden and White Oak wildlife management areas, allow the use of hoop nets that have a wire frame, and changes to the paddlefish regulations. All were supported by the Commercial Fishing Advisory Committee.
The sport fish proclamation features several changes to size and creel limits on various areas of the state. The full proposals for both the commercial and sport fish, and bait proclamations will be available early next week. The public will have a comment period on the proposals through Sept. 14.
Dr. Lisa Muller, from the University of Tennessee, gave an update on the ongoing elk project. A total of 29 elk have been collared and DNA has been obtained. Preliminary winter elk diet has been examined. A duck blind update was given. A total of 16,098 persons registered for this year’s Tier 1 drawing. Participation was up 11 percent over last year.
An overview of the fiscal 2022-23 Agency budget was presented by TWRA Deputy Director Chris Richardson. The commission approved the budget.
(Photo source: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)