Tennessee Elk Hunt Closes After Just 2 Days

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The first-ever managed elk hunt in Tennessee has come to a close on just its second day as the fifth and final elk was harvested by Franklin resident Tami Miller late Tuesday afternoon at the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

Miller etched her name into the record book with four other sportsmen who had harvests on the opening day, Monday. Miller's elk was a 5x6 (5 antler points on one side, 6 on the other) with an estimated weight of 700 pounds.

Charles "Chuck" Flynn from the Rockford community in Blount County was confirmed as the first person to legally harvest an elk in Tennessee in almost 150 years. The life-long sportsman made his second shot attempt from about 100 yards shortly after 7:30 a.m. (EDT) as the elk stood on the edge of an open field. The elk field dressed at 520 pounds. Two other hunters, Craig Gardner of Parrottsville, and Ronald Woodard of Oak Ridge quickly followed with their harvests in an approximate span of 30 minutes.

The fourth elk was taken at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday as Jeff Moses of Cleveland brought down his elk from about 120 yards standing in a field, 25 yards from the woods.

The five hunters were participating in the hunt, the first since elk were reintroduced to the state in December 2000. The hunters were allowed to harvest one bull elk apiece from within the time frame of Oct. 19-23. The last documentation of an elk harvest in Tennessee came from Obion County in 1865.

Four of the permits were drawn from almost 13,000 entries to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in a computer drawing in early June. Miller's permit was purchased by her husband, Andy, for $17,700 as the high bidder in an auction to benefit the state's elk restoration program.

A drawing was held in July for one of the five 8,000-arce elk hunting zones. Flynn was the first name to be drawn and made his selection, holding permit number 0001.

TWRA partnered with other conservation organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Tennessee Wildlife Federation, the Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation to reintroduce elk to the state. This effort began with the first elk release held on December 19, 2000, that put 50 free ranging elk from Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada on the Royal Blue Wildlife Management area. Since then, additional animals have been supplied from Land Between The Lakes and Elk Island. The estimated population now stands at more than 300.