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Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Sandhill Crane Hunting Regulations in Tennessee

Overview of Sandhill Crane Tag Requirements

In Tennessee, specific regulations govern the hunting of sandhill cranes, focusing on sustainable management and species protection.

Tag Acquisition:

  • Eligibility: Only individuals possessing a Tennessee Sandhill Crane Tag are authorized to hunt sandhill cranes.
  • Identification Caution: Hunters must positively identify their target as a sandhill crane. Mistakenly shooting a whooping crane, a protected species, results in severe penalties under state and federal laws.

Sandhill Crane Tag Drawing Process

The process for obtaining a sandhill crane tag is structured to ensure fair access and compliance with wildlife management principles.

Drawing Eligibility and Application:

  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 13 years old to participate in the tag drawing.
  • Handling Fee: Each application requires a non-refundable handling fee, except for certain license holders like Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman, and Annual Senior Citizen Sportsman License holders.
  • Non-Transferable Tags: Issued tags are strictly non-transferable.

Computerized Tag Distribution

A computerized system is employed to distribute a limited number of sandhill crane tags.

Application and Validity:

  • Tag Limit: A total of 2,500 tags (2 tags per hunter) will be issued through a computer draw.
  • Application Period: The statewide drawing application period is from September 6 to September 20.
  • Statewide Validity: These tags are valid statewide, including the Southeast (SE) Crane Zone.
  • Application Process: Hunters can apply through any TWRA license agent or online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com.

Sandhill Crane Identification Test

An essential requirement for sandhill crane hunters is to pass an identification test, emphasizing species differentiation.

Test Details:

  • Annual Requirement: Hunters must pass an internet-based crane identification test each year.
  • Tag Validation: Issued tags are invalid until the "Sandhill Crane Test" validation code is written on the tag.
  • Purpose: This test enhances hunters' ability to distinguish sandhill cranes from other protected species.
  • Test Availability: The test can be taken online at twra.state.tn.us/SandhillCraneTest.

Harvest Reporting and Post-Season Survey

Compliance with harvest reporting and survey requirements is crucial for continued eligibility in future hunts.

Reporting and Survey Obligations:

  • Kill Tag and Check-In: Each harvested crane must be accompanied by a completed kill tag and checked in on the day of harvest.
  • Mandatory Survey: Tag recipients must complete and submit a post-season survey at GoOutdoorsTN.com by February 10, regardless of hunting activity or harvest.
  • Future Eligibility: Failure to submit the survey disqualifies hunters from future tag drawings.

Hunting Hours and Federal Regulations

Specific hunting hours and federal regulations are in place to ensure ethical hunting practices.

Time and Equipment Regulations:

  • Hunting Hours: Sandhill crane hunting is permitted from sunrise until 3:00 pm local time.
  • Shotgun and Ammunition Restrictions: Hunters cannot use shotguns larger than 10-gauge or capable of holding more than three shells. Federally approved non-toxic shot is required.

Identification Guide for Bird Species in Tennessee

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Sandhill Crane

Description:

  • Plumage: Predominantly gray and white.
  • Distinctive Markings: A red patch on the forehead.
  • Body Structure: Characterized by a long neck and legs.
  • Wingspan: Approximately 77 inches.
  • Length: Around 46 inches.
  • Juvenile Features: Juveniles display brown and gray coloring and lack the red forehead patch.

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Canada Goose

Description:

  • Plumage: Gray and white body and wings.
  • Distinctive Markings: Black head and neck, adorned with a white chin strap.
  • Wingspan: Roughly 60 inches.
  • Length: About 45 inches.
Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Snow Goose

Description:

  • Plumage: Primarily white, with black wing tips.
  • Body Structure: Notable for its short neck.
  • Wingspan: Around 53 inches.
  • Length: Approximately 28 inches.

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Tundra Swan (Protected)

Description:

  • Plumage: Exhibits all-white plumage.
  • Body Structure: Recognizable for its long neck.
  • Wingspan: Approximately 66 inches.
  • Length: Around 52 inches.
  • Juvenile Features: Juveniles have gray-brown coloring.

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Trumpeter Swan (Protected)

Description:

  • Plumage: All-white plumage.
  • Body Structure: Notable for its long neck.
  • Wingspan: Roughly 80 inches.
  • Length: About 60 inches.
  • Juvenile Features: Juveniles display gray-brown coloring.

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Whooping Crane (Protected)

Description:

  • Plumage: White body with black wing tips.
  • Body Structure: Known for its long neck and legs that trail the body during flight.
  • Wingspan: Approximately 87 inches.
  • Length: Around 52 inches.
  • Juvenile Features: Juveniles show a mix of white and brown.

Tennessee Sandhill Crane Hunting Laws & Regulations

Great Blue Heron (Protected)

Description:

  • Plumage: Gray and white plumage.
  • Body Structure: Recognized for its “S” shaped neck.
  • Wingspan: About 60 inches.
  • Flight Characteristics: Flies with its neck folded inward and legs extended.
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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.