It was a most unusual elk hunt in Tennessee this year. Five new archery tags were introduced to the standard mix of five gun hunters and one youth hunter. Of these 11 contenders only two bulls were legally harvested, and one bull was illegally taken by a licensed participant (as reported earlier).
Archery elk season was Oct. 3-7. Three bowhunters had shots and missed their mark; one hit his bull but it was not recovered. The youth hunt was Oct. 22-23 and there was no animal taken; two of the five rifle hunters scored elk in their season of Oct. 17-21, a 5x5 bull on opening day that field dressed at 648 pounds, and a 4x3 bull on the third day that dressed at 256 pounds.
In retrospect the 2016 elk season was handicapped in ways that the previous seven hunts never experienced – those seven hunts accounted for 31 elk. This year the hunters had to contend with an extended heatwave, an abundant acorn crop, and a severe drought that prevented the TWRA from establishing fall and winter food plots.