Elk hunting and sport fishing were on the agenda at Thursday's meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, but those issues couldn't hold a candle to the controversy over whether the state will hold its first sandhill crane hunt in November.
The meeting room at the Holiday Inn on Cedar Bluff Road in West Knoxville was packed with residents who came to weigh in on the proposed crane hunt. The 14-member panel, which is responsible for setting Tennessee's game limits and hunting seasons, is expected to decide on the crane hunt today at the end of its two-day meeting.
This is the second time in three years that the issue of hunting sandhill cranes has come before commissioners. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency argued for the hunt in 2011, but the proposal raised such an outcry the vote was tabled to gather more information.