It has been about 150 years since elk wandered throughout Tennessee. Early records indicated that elk were abundant in the state prior to being settled by European explores and colonists. As these settlers moved westward the elk population declined.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) decided to reintroduce elk to the state in the late 1990’s. Part of the agency’s mission is to restore extirpated wildlife when and where it is biologically and sociologically feasible. Beginning in December 2000, the agency began conducting small releases of elk from Elk Island National Park (AL, Canada) into the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. There were 201 elk in total that were released over a period of eight years.
It is currently estimated that the Tennessee elk herd numbers a little over 300 head strong. With this estimate, in 2009, Tennessee announced their first ever elk hunt in almost 150 years. For more information on Tennessee’s elk hunts visit www.tnelkhunt.org
Several partners have been involved with the project and contributed by doing the things they do best. The partners include the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation, Parks Canada, Campbell County Outdoor Recreation Association, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, University of Tennessee and the U.S. Forest Service and TWRA. Recently, the Safari Club International (SCI) and the Chattanooga Chapter of SCI have also assisted with funding.
|Season Type||Season Dates||Permits||Bag Limit|
|Oct. 20 - 24, 2014||5||1 antlered
(Young Sportsman Hunt,
|Oct. 25-26, 2014||1*||1 antlered
Tennessee’s sixth elk hunt is scheduled to be held Oct. 20 - 24, 2014 at the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, located off I-75, north of Knoxville. Five Elk Hunting Zones (EHZs) have been designated on the North Cumberland WMA. Each of the five hunters is assigned a separate EHZ.
*The Young Sportsman elk hunt is scheduled to be held Oct. 25-26, 2014. The youth hunter is allowed to use all 5 EHZs. A youth entering the draw must select the regular elk hunt or youth elk hunt.
Get more information at www.tnelkhunt.org.
The application period for the 2014 Elk Hunt has ended.
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Height 4-5 ft. (122-152 cm). Wt.: males, 700-1000 lbs. (315-450 kgs); females, 500-600 lbs. (225-270 kgs). Beam length of antlers to 64 3/8 in. (164 cm); record spread 75 in. (188 cm). A large deer with pale yellowish rump patch, small white tail, general reddish-brown body (chestnut-brown neck with a mane in males), and huge spreading antlers on males in late summer and autumn. Skull (Plate 32) has 34 teeth. There are 4 mammae.
The Dwarf, or Tule Elk, now confined to a reserve in Kern Co., California, is considered a distinct species (C. nannodes) by some authors. Some would place the N. American Elk in the Old World species elaphus.
Semiopen forest, mt. meadows (in summer), foothills, pains, and valleys.
Most active mornings and evenings. Usually seen in groups of 25 or more; both sexes together in winter, old bulls in separate groups during summer. Feeds on grasses, herbs, twigs, bark. Migrates up mts. In spring, down in fall; males shed antlers Feb.– March; velvet shed in Aug. Attains adult dentition at 2 1/2-3years. Calf has high-pitched squeal when in danger; cow has similar squeal, also sharp bark when traveling with herd; males have high-pitched bugling call that stars with a low note and ends with a few low-toned grunts, heard during rutting season, especially at night. Lives 14 years (25 in captivity). Females breed at 2 1/2 years. Rut starts in Sept.; old males round up harems.
Born May-June; normally 1, rarely 2; gestation period about 8 1/2 months. Spotted. Able to walk a few minutes after birth.
Can do considerable damage to vegetables, pastures, grainfields, and haystacks; a prize game mammal for meat and trophies; formerly ranged over much of continent, now restricted. There have been numerous attempts to reestablish them, some successful, others not. May be seen commonly in following national parks: Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Olympic, Glacier, Rocky Mt., Banff, and Jasper; also other places where they have been introduced. Apparently established on Afognak I., Alaska (not on map).
Source: Peterson’s Field Guide, Third Edition. 1976.