NASHVILLE --- All 400 permits were issued at a Saturday hand-held drawing to participate in Tennessee’s fourth sandhill crane hunt. The drawing was held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton County.

As a result of the drawing, there are no leftover permits to issue this week at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional offices.

The draw was conducted by TWRA staff members from the Nashville office and the TWRA Region III office in Crossville. The drawing had been held in October for the previous three hunts.

All persons issued a sandhill crane permit must pass an internet-based crane identification test before hunting. All permits issued are not valid until a verifiable “Sandhill Test” validation code is written on each permit. The purpose of this test is to improve hunter’s awareness and ability to distinguish between sandhill cranes and protected species which may be encountered while hunting. The test is available online.

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission established a limited sandhill crane hunting season for a designated zone in southeast Tennessee. At its April meeting, the TWFC voted to extend the season to 55 days and move it later in the season.  The 2016-17 season will be Dec. 3-Jan. 12, 2017 and Jan. 16-29, 2017 and includes a three day closure (Fri.-Sun., Jan. 13-15) for the Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.