In the Tennessee Youth Elk Hunt, held the weekend of Oct. 24-25, the participant had a harvest for the fourth time in as many years since the hunt was established. Jacob Parker, a 15-year old from Sparta, harvested a 5×6 bull elk that field dressed at 547 pounds. It marked the second straight year that the heaviest elk came from the youth hunt participant.
During the regular hunt, Knoxville resident Trevor Childs had this year’s first harvest. It came in the evening on opening day and was a 4×5 elk that field dressed at 350 pounds.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation received this year’s Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) permit. The permit was auctioned on eBay with the proceeds going to benefit the Tennessee Elk Restoration Program. Successful bidder Nichols Nelson of Fayetteville, N.C. had the next harvest which came on the third day as he took a 6×6, 474-pound elk.
The final harvest of the regular hunt was by Roy Bivens of Tellico Plains. He harvested a 3×5 elk weighing 266 pounds.
Since the historic first managed hunt in 2009, 31 elk have been harvested. The second harvest by an out-of-state resident came this year.
Each hunter was assigned a hunting zone through a random hand-held drawing. As the winner of the youth permit, Jacob Parker was able to choose any of the open zones for this year’s hunt.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has worked to make elk habitat improvements at North Cumberland WMA. The first arrival of 50 animals came in December 2000, the first wild elk to be in Tennessee since they were last reported in Obion County in 1865.