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Tennessee Elk Permit eBay auction goes live

Until their reintroduction into Tennessee beginning in 2000, it had been 150 years since elk had roamed wild in the Volunteer State. (Photo: Richard Simms)

It is that time of year when hunters have the opportunity to buy an exclusive permit for a Tennessee elk hunt via an eBay auction.

This year seven rifle hunting permits for a bull elk were allotted. Six of those permits will be handed out following a lottery-style drawing later this month. But one permit is always sold at auction by an NGO (non-governmental agency). This year the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation was again chosen as the NGO. The eBay auction for the hunting permit began at 9:30 pm (CST) Sunday night. The auction ends at 9:30 pm (CST) August 6.

As of this Monday morning writing, there have already been 41 bids. The highest current bid as of Monday morning at 9 a.m. is $7,300.

In 2009 the very first NGO permit sold for $17,000. Last year Wade Roberts from Leoma, Tenn. paid $9,000 for the permit. Roberts did not take an elk.

Since the historic first Tennessee elk hunt in 2009, 33 bull elk have been legally harvested. Last year only three of eleven hunters (5 rifle, 5 archery, 1 juvenile) took an elk. Hunters faced unusual conditions last season due to an abundant acorn crop and unusually high temperatures and drought resulting in poor hunting conditions. Bryan White from Harrison (Tenn.) was one of the few successful hunters last season. His 5x5 elk weighed 648 lbs (dressed weight), one of the largest Tennessee elk taken since the hunts began in 2009. The first elk were released in 2000.

So far in this year's auction 18 bidders have submitted 41 bids. The majority of bids are automatic. That means bidders establish a maximum price they are willing to pay and their bids are increased automatically as others bid. The popular auction site hides the identities of bidders.

Proceeds from the sale of this special bull elk tag will go to the elk restoration program. The hunting season dates are October 14 - 20, 2017 on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

The Tennessee Fish & Wildlife Commission increased the number of elk hunting permits to be allotted this season - 15 total bull elk tags will be handed out, up from 11 in previous seasons. They also increased the length of hunts from five days to seven days.

Click to watch the eBay auction for the 2017 NGO Permit.

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