New Youth Elk Hunt Tag Approved at February Tennessee WRC Meeting

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission approved the 2012 special elk hunting season and the addition of a permit for one state resident youth to participate in the elk hunt among its business at its February meeting that concluded Friday.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency had made its recommendations for the 2012 elk hunt at the January TWRC meeting. The TWRC asked the agency to explore the possibility of adding a permit for a special youth hunt.
 
After a public comment period regarding the possibility of adding the youth elk hunt tag and discussion among TWRA staff, the agency recommended having the hunt for the youth the weekend following the Oct. 15-19 hunt. Four participants will again be randomly drawn while the fifth will be the recipient of a permit that is donated to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), which this year is the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. This will be the fourth year of the management elk hunt in the state.
 
After completing the regular elk hunt draw, one additional tag will be drawn from the resident pool of applicants who will be between the ages of 13-16 on the opening day of the elk hunt. The lucky recipient will be awarded the special youth elk tag. The dates of the youth hunt will be Oct. 20-21 and the participant would be able to hunt on any five of the elk hunting zones designated at the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
 
The application process for the 2012 elk hunt will be held April 1-May 31.
 
The commission received a presentation regarding the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) issues at Cummings Cove Wildlife Management Area (Aetna Mountain) which is located in portions of Marion and Hamilton counties. The TWRA has been asked to address the situation at the area by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) due to environmental concerns at the area. OHVs are prohibited at WMA.
 
The TWRA plans to initiate a public comment period regarding the Cummings Cove WMA. Details for the comment period will be announced soon.
 
A presentation highlighting recent engineering construction projects was made. Engineering Division staff from the TWRA regions was recognized, including Jim Elkins, who is in his 62nd year with the agency.
 
The TWRC voted to keep its current officers through June 30, 2012. William Brown (Chattanooga) remains as chairman, Mitchell Parks (Nashville) will continue serving as vice-chairman and Dr. Jeff McMillin (Bristol) as secretary.
 
The TWRC will next meet in Nashville on March 15-16 at the TWRA Ray Bell Region II Building.