Five of the six participants in Tennessee’s fifth managed elk hunt, including a special youth-only hunt, at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area were successful this year.
In the second Tennessee youth elk hunt, Laurel Allen, a 13-year-old eighth-grade student from Jacksboro, Tenn., harvested a spike bull on the final day that field dressed 319 pounds. It was the second time in as many years that a female hunter took an elk.
The four elk taken during the regular hunt were harvested on consecutive days. Knoxville resident James McDonald harvested a 5-by-5 bull on opening day that field dressed at 500 pounds.
The hunter who purchased the 2013 permit at auction, Tommy Dail, took an elk on the second day. The Knoxville resident took a 5-by-4 elk that had a dressed weight of 399 pounds. He was the high bidder for the permit auctioned on eBay by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, the recipient of this year’s donated permit, with the fundraising proceeds going to benefit the elk program.
Lebanon resident Michael Graves recorded a 7-by-6 harvest on a bull that dressed out 590 pounds on the third day. Cookeville’s Timothy Collins had the final harvest, which came on Thursday, also a 7-by-6 elk that came in at 471 pounds. Ronnie Gibson from Soddy-Daisy did not take an elk.
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 22 elk have been taken.
Five elk hunting zones were selected on the Royal Blue Unit of the North Cumberland WMA, each about 8,000 acres. The division helped ensure the harvest was spread over the entire core of the elk zone. Each hunter was assigned a zone through a random handheld drawing. Laurel was able to choose any of the zones for her 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.
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