Prior to 2009, the last documented kill of an elk in the state of Tennessee took place back in 1865. Shortly after that the animals were extirpated from the Tennessee landscape until the conversation surrounding reintroduction began in the late 1990’s.
It was December 2000 when the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency began conducting small releases of elk shipped in from Canada. Over the eight year period that followed, 201 elk in total were released into the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area in the northern region of Tennessee.
Since that first elk hunt back in 2009, the agency began a program which would see them donate one of the available elk permits to a non-governmental organization to auction off. This year’s donated special permit recipient was none other than the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation; a non-profit organization focused on habitat conservation and the preservation of the states hunting and fishing heritage.
As such, the foundation promptly put the permit up for auction on eBay and waited for the highest bidder.
At the end of the bidding process, Wade Roberts of Leoma, Tennessee paid $9,000 for the special NGO bull elk tag, relishing his opportunity to bag a beautiful bull in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area come this fall.
Nine other adults will be joining him this fall and one teen between the ages of 13 and 16 years of age, all of which are expected to be selected randomly through a computer drawing any day now.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation has stated that 100% of the proceeds from the donated bull elk tag will be placed back into the state’s elk restoration program.