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Tennessee: Fish and Wildlife Commission to Consider Sandhill Crane Hunting Season this Thursday and Friday

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Please contact Commission members TODAY and urge them to support the proposed sandhill crane hunting season

This Thursday and Friday, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) will consider a sandhill crane hunting season proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This is the second time in three years the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider a sandhill crane hunting season.  If approved, Tennessee would be the second state east of the Mississippi River to allow sandhill cranes to be hunted.  In 2011, Kentucky considered and adopted a similar proposal and sportsmen have been able to hunt for two years of the three season experiment.

If approved by the TFWC, sandhill crane hunting could begin with the 2013-2014 waterfowl season.   Over the last three decades, their population has grown more than 300% to the point where hunters in 15 states (AK, AZ, CO, ID, KS, KY, MN, MT, ND, NM, OK, SD, TX, UT, WY) currently enjoy being able to participate in the hunting and proper management of this abundant species.  It is time that Tennesseans are allowed the same opportunity.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the following:

  • A 60-day season concurrent with the state’s late waterfowl season starting in November.
  • A hunting zone east of state Highway 56 and south of Interstate 40 in southeast Tennessee.
  • 775 crane-hunting permits, with each permit allowed to take up to three birds.
  • A quota and check-in system.  Hunters would be required to report and tag any killed birds.
  • The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, north of Chattanooga, would be off limits to hunting.  This refuge is home to the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.
  • A halt to hunting immediately before and during the crane festival.
  • A requirement that all permit holders undergo a course proving they can tell the difference between a sandhill crane and a whooping crane.

Please attend a public hearing on Thursday or Friday.  If you cannot attend, please contact members of the TFWC, using the information provided below, and respectfully urge them to SUPPORT the proposed sandhill crane hunting season.

Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission Meetings
Thursday, August 22 - 1:00 p.m.
Friday, August 23 - 9:00 a.m.
Holiday Inn Knoxville West at Cedar Bluff
304 North Cedar Bluff Road
Knoxville, Tennessee 37923

Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission:

Dr. Jeff McMillin, Chairman
Cell: (423) 534-2494
E-mail: jeff.mcmillin@tn.gov

Jeffrey H. Griggs, Vice-Chairman
Business: (731) 968-6191
Cell: (731) 614-0623
E-mail: jeff.griggs@tn.gov

Franklin J. “Jim” Bledsoe (District-3)
Business: (931) 879-1224
Cell: (931) 265-7201
E-mail: jim.bledsoe@tn.gov

Clayton Stout (District-1)
Business:(423) 257-9941
Cell:(423) 360-4114
E-mail: stout.clay@tn.gov

William H. “Harold” Cannon Jr. (District-2)
Business: (865) 670-8555
Cell: (865) 389-4525
E-mail: harold.cannon@tn.gov

David N. Watson (District-4)
Business: (423) 762-0350
Cell: (423) 802-1761
E-mail: david.watson@tn.gov

Jamie Woodson (District-5)
Business: (615) 727-1545
Cell: (865) 385-1930
E-mail: jamie.woodson@tn.gov

Julie Schuster (District-6)
Cell: (615) 477-6430
E-mail: julie.schuster@tn.gov

Fred E. “Trey” Teague III (District-8)
Cell: (731) 616-1470
E-mail: trey.teague@tn.gov

William W. “Bill” Cox (District-9)
Business: (901) 853-2264
Cell: (901) 828-7500
E-mail: bill.cox@tn.gov

James H. “Jim” Ripley (Statewide)
Business: (865) 453-2877
Cell: (865) 804-4357
E-mail: jim.ripley@tn.gov

Thomas A. “Tom” Rice (Statewide)
Business: (615) 385-4422
Cell: (615) 347-7761
E-mail: tom.rice@tn.gov   

Robert Martineau (Ex-Officio Member)
Business: (615) 532-0106

Julius Johnson (Ex-Officio Member)
Business: (615) 837-5202 

Governor Bill Haslam (Ex-Officio Member)
Business: (615) 741-2001
E-mail:  bill.haslam@tn.gov

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.