Sandhill Crane Hunt in TN Approved

On Friday, August 23 a 14-member Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously in favor of a limited Sandhill crane hunt in their state, which will begin November 28 and run through to January 1, 2014.

On August 13, former President Jimmy Carter and world-renowned animal researcher Dr. Jane Goodall publicly announced their opposition to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s (TWRA) proposal to allow Sandhill Crane hunting in Tennessee. In a previous public survey, an overwhelming majority opposed the hunt by a vote of 888 comments against vs. 188 in favor.

400 permits, each allowing for 3 birds, will be available and will be allocated in a lottery style drawing. Hunters receiving a permit will be required to pass an online crane identification test before their permits become valid.

The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, which is a temporary home to about 23,000 migrating sandhill cranes each Autumn will be off limits to hunters.

Share Button


  1. Greg August 28, 2013 7:41 pm

    The eastern population of whoopers has always been a splinter population that has been documented as a niche specie with perpetual low numbers. Hunting the Sandhills will be of no consequence to the population. Hunters have earned ( and payed ) for the right to have a chance to harvest these birds. They have hunted sandhillsfor years in the Midwest. Get over it

  2. Margie Tomlinson August 27, 2013 9:48 pm

    Can we get together and appeal this decision??? File a class-action suit against TNFWC because of the unfair number of 8-1 against? Seems like we ought to be able to do something to reverse this! Sandies are “good buddies” with the Whoopers and share a lot in bio-background. What say you all? Let’s make some noise in peaceful protests against this decision!

  3. Jamin August 27, 2013 7:05 pm

    Typical H. ‘sapiens’ thoughtlessness

  4. Lee Curd August 26, 2013 9:20 pm

    I was one of the 888 that voiced my opinion but apparently our opinions were not considered worthy. Oh, but they do require the hunters to take and pass an identification class. What a joke – its online and they can take it over and over until they pass it or their kid or someone else passes it for them. I can already hear it now…”hey look at that big albino one.” A sad day.

  5. Sherry August 26, 2013 11:46 am

    Is there any way at all that this decision could be reversed? This is beyond disturbing.

  6. Deanna Uphoff August 26, 2013 11:46 am

    This breaks my heart. I can’t believe they allowed it to pass when the majority vote was against this. They can eat chicken. They don’t need to eat crane. We will see what happens. If one whooper is hurt in all this there will be an outcry!

  7. Donald Huffman August 26, 2013 10:36 am

    Let’s be realistic. Without natural predators a species can get too numerous for its habitat. And for other reasons a species needs to be controlled.

    • Norton Baum August 26, 2013 5:06 pm

      400 permits of three birds each= 1200 cranes maybe, if all tags are filled. 23,000 in the preserve protected. does not seem like much especially when you consider its the hunters through their taxes on guns and ammuntion that are paying for most of the conservation in this country.

  8. Lori Verhagen August 26, 2013 10:00 am

    Many of us have written to CNN with hopes of bringing this to more of the public eye. Very disappointing decision – especially considering the Sandhills bring in over $230,000 each year in tourism.

  9. Frederick Wasti August 26, 2013 8:41 am



  10. Maryann Stork August 26, 2013 8:24 am

    Is this “hunt” just for sport? Will these hunters essentially use these birds as target practice like shooting at clay disks or will these cranes provide a source of food? I have read the article about the increased numbers and have also read about how it is probably too soon to take such action.

    • Heather Ray August 26, 2013 9:09 am

      Some hunt for sport and others do consume what they shoot.

  11. Carole Lee August 26, 2013 7:19 am

    Very disturbing- how is OM going lead a safe migration through this war zone?!

    • Heather Ray August 26, 2013 7:57 am

      Carole, the hunt is limited to the SE corner of TN. South of I40 and east of Hwy 56. We travel the western portion of the State.

  12. Bobbie August 26, 2013 7:03 am

    To hear this just breaks my heart.

    • Madeline August 26, 2013 11:26 am

      Bobbie, mine too. It just seems inconceivable to allow a a Sandhill Crane hunt given how many Whooping Cranes have been shot.