NASHVILLE --- A hand-held permit drawing for the sixth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Rhea County High School in Evensville. Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone.

This will mark the first time that the draw will be held at Rhea County High. The previous draws were held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton County.

Any leftover tags from the draw will be included in the computerized draw to issue tags for statewide use.  A total of 1,274 tags, plus any tags not issued at the handheld drawing, will be issued.  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. 5-26, 2018.

 A total of 1,437 tags are available at the handheld draw for 479 successful applicants. Applicants must be at least 13-years-old. Registration for the drawing begins at 8 a.m. (EDT). 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 2018 “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 at https://twra.state.tn.us/SandhillCraneTest/  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 last year, expanding the hunt beyond southeast Tennessee. The 2018-19 season will be Dec. 1-Jan. 27, 2019. However, there is a three-day closure (Friday-Sunday,  Jan. 18-20) in the Southeast Crane Zone for the annual Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival.