At least 118 sandhill cranes taken in first hunt

At least 118 sandhill cranes taken in first hunt

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CHATTANOOGA (AP) - Tennessee officials say hunters took at least 118 sandhill cranes during the state's first season, which ended Jan. 1.

Biologists told WTVC-TV that a handful of additional harvest reports would likely filter in.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Chief of Wildlife Daryl Ratajczak said the state provided 1,200 harvest tags. He says that's roughly a 10 percent harvest rate.

Hunting was restricted to an area south of Interstate 40 and east of Tennessee Highway 56.

Opponents of the hunt had expressed fears that allowing the hunt might scare the birds away from the Hiawassee Refuge, where they winter, but Ratajczak said there's no evidence that occurred.

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