Rhea County High School

The main entrance to Rhea County High School is pictured above.

A hand-held permit drawing for the eighth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Rhea County High School in Evensville. Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone.

Any leftover tags from the draw will be included in the computerized draw to issue tags for statewide use. A total of 1,539 tags will be available at the handheld draw for 513 successful applicants.

Successful applicants in the computer draw will receive two tags for statewide use and the tag is valid in the Southeast Crane zone as well. The application period for the computerized draw is Sept. 4-25.

A total of 1,420 tags, plus any tags not issued at the handheld drawing will be issued for statewide use through the computerized draw. Applicants must be at least 13-years-old.

Registration for the drawing begins at 8 a.m. The drawing will begin at approximately 10 a.m. Tags are non-transferable and individuals must be present to obtain tags.

Tags are not valid until a 2019 “Sandhill Crane ID Test” validation code is written on the tag.

The purpose of the test is to improve hunter’s awareness of and ability to distinguish between sandhill cranes and protected species which may be encountered while hunting.

The TWRA will provide computers for persons wishing to take the identification test on the day of the drawing. However, the test is available on the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org and will remain available until the end of the season.

Applicants must have a current Tennessee hunting/fishing license (Type 001) and a waterfowl license (Type 005) or equivalent.

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission established a statewide sandhill crane hunting season two years ago, expanding the hunt beyond southeast Tennessee. The 2019-20 season is Dec. 7-Jan. 31, 2020.  However, there is a three-day closure (Friday-Sunday, Jan. 17-19) in the Southeast Crane Zone for the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.