Tennessee Elk Hunting Permit Raffle Raises $77K to Date

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In this photo from 2009, TWRA Executive Director Ed Carter (left) poses with Chuck Flynn of Blount County, the man who took the first Tennessee elk killed in modern-day history the first year elk hunting permits were released to hunters. (Photo: Richard Simms)

The raffle ticket sale for a rare permit to hunt elk in Tennessee has raised $77,800 so far and tickets will remain on sale for almost six more weeks (until Aug. 15, 2018).

Previously the “Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)” hunting permit was always sold at auction. The highest amount ever raised at auction was $17,000 the first year it was ever offered – a mere 20 percent of what’s already been raised so far this year. The money raised is designated specifically to aid the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with elk management efforts.

Each ticket in the raffle cost $10. Many people complained that the high-priced auction scenario was only feasible for the rich and prevented most Tennessee sportsmen from being able to take part in the process. It is clear that in this first year, the raffle is extremely popular and will ultimately result in far more money available for Tennessee elk management efforts.

The raffle is being handled by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation (TWRF), an organization created specifically to support and work jointly with TWRA. However it operates as a self-regulating, non-profit organization. Dan Sigmund with TWRF says they will hold the funds raised in a special account and TWRA wildlife managers must request money for any special projects above and beyond the Agency’s normal wildlife management efforts.

There is no restriction on how many tickets any individual can buy. Sigmund said that one person has purchased one hundred $10 tickets and three individuals have purchased 50 tickets.

Again, tickets are available for purchase online until Aug. 15 here. In addition to the hunting permit, Bass Pro Shops will award the winner a Tikka T3X Lite Stainless bolt-action rifle in 7mm Rem Mag topped with an Oculus Pro Team HD 3x9x40mm rifle scope.

TWRA also “sweetened the pot” for the NGO permit by designating it specifically for Elk Hunting Zone #1, the zone that has become well-known as the most prized area in the elk hunting area on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area north of Knoxville. In addition, if the lucky recipient does not take an elk during the seven days designated for the regular elk hunt, they will be allowed to hunt for an additional seven days in any other elk hunt zone of his or her choosing.

Meanwhile the application period for a “free” elk hunting permit closes on July 25, 2018. TWRA provides a total of 15 elk hunting permits. Beside the NGO permit being raffled, 14 of those hunting permits are issued via a lottery-style random computer drawing.

This year hunters who apply for the 14 random computer drawn permits will be required to designate specifically which Elk Hunt Zones they prefer. That change could potentially increase, or lessen, each individual’s chances of being successful in the random draw depending upon the hunt zone(s) they designate.

The same July 25 deadline applies to applications for other fall big game hunts in Tennessee. Entries must be submitted before midnight (CDT) July 25. There is no fee for current Annual Sportsman License holders, Lifetime Sportsman License holders, or seniors possessing a Type 167 Annual Senior Citizen Sportsman License. For all other applicants, there is a non-refundable $12 permit fee for each drawing entered, as well as Internet usage fees.

Apply for those hunts here

Buy raffle tickets for the NGO permit here

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