Tennessee's Sandhill Crane population is estimated to be as high as 87,000. The crane's nationwide numbers rise as high as 650,000. File / The Tennessean
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A state commission has approved Tennessee's first-ever sandhill crane hunt.
At a meeting that concluded Friday in Knoxville, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a hunt from Nov. 28 - Jan. 1.
The commission will allow 400 permits, each allowing three birds. The permits will be allocated in a drawing and hunters must pass a crane identification exam before their permits are valid.
Commissioners heard comments both for a hunt and against one on Thursday. Member voted unanimously on Friday to allow what they termed a limited sandhill crane hunt.
Kentucky is the only other Southeastern state among now-16 states nationwide that allow it.
The migratory birds have wingspans up to 6 feet. Tens of thousands of them descend on southeastern Tennessee each winter.