Three hunters recorded harvests during Tennessee’s third managed elk hunt held Oct. 17-21 at North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
It marks the second straight year that three of the five participants harvested an elk during the hunt. All five participants were Tennessee residents.
Richard Rutherford of Walland was the first person to harvest an elk in this year’s hunt. The weight was unavailable for the elk with a 5x4 rack size that was harvested on the first day.
The other two elk were taken on the third day of the hunt. Arthur Moreland of LaVernge, who was the successful bidder in the EBay permit offered by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, harvested a 5x5 elk that weighed 532 pounds dressed. The third and final elk and the largest harvest this year was taken by Loudon resident Jody Moore. He harvested a 7x6 elk that field dressed at 620 pounds.
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 11 elk have been harvested. All five participants recorded harvests in the inaugural hunt.
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.
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 reported in Obion County in 1865. Studies have proven that the elk herd is seeing an annual growth rate of 13-15 percent.