Its call resembles a trumpet of sorts. It has one of the longest fossil histories of any bird still around today. Any guesses? If you guessed sandhill crane, you would be correct! Tennessee and the sandhill crane have quite the interesting history. Seven hundred thousand sandhill cranes call North America their home part of the year, many of them migrating to and through Tennessee.
Due to its large numbers of sandhills, Tennessee had the opportunity to become the first state east of the Mississippi to hunt sandhills in years. Unfortunately, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission passed on the opportunity, due to protests from birdwatchers. They threatened to sue the commission, if it allowed for sandhill hunting. Kentucky stepped in and replaced Tennessee as the first state east of the Mississippi to hunt sandhills. That was two years ago.
The venture has been a success in Kentucky, as officials constantly monitor the number of sandhills. If it hits a certain number, the sandhill hunting season is done. Tennessee has the opportunity to fix its mistake from two years ago. What would the plan look like?
The plan is similar to the one in Kentucky and has four parts. Bob Hodge of Knox News writes, “1) have no impact on the eastern population of sandhill cranes as a whole; 2) have as small an impact on birdwatchers as possible; 3) protect the experimental eastern population of whooping cranes; and 4) provide a new hunting opportunity.” Quite the structured plan, wouldn’t you say?
Such a plan not only protects and maintains sandhill numbers; it also appeases birdwatchers all while offering hunters new challenges. What do you think? Should the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission push through with the sandhill plan? This is a new opportunity sure to appeal to hunters nationwide. If you have any questions about sandhill hunting or other game hunting, including pheasant, quail or chukar please give Meadow Brook Game Farm a call today!
For more information on sandhills, you can find Hodge’s article here.