Four of the five participants recorded harvests in Tennessee’s fifth managed elk hunt held Oct. 21-25 at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
In the second Tennessee Youth Elk Hunt, held on Oct. 26-27, the participant had a harvest. Laurel Allen, a 13-year old eighth grade student from Jacksboro, harvested a spike bull on the final day that field dressed 319 pounds. It was the second time in as many years of the year hunt that a female participant had a harvest.
The four elk harvested during the regular hunt were harvested on consecutive days. Knoxville resident James McDonald harvested a 5×5 bull on opening day that field dressed at 500 pounds.
The participant, who had the permit donated to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Tommy Dail had his harvest on the second day. The Knoxville resident took a 5×4 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 fund-raising proceeds going to benefit the elk program.
Lebanon resident Michael Graves recorded a 7×6 harvest on bull that dressed out 590 pounds on the third day. Cookeville’s Timothy Collins had the final harvest which came on Thursday, also a 7×6 elk that came in at 471 pounds.
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 22 elk have been harvested, all by Tennessee residents.
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. 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.