KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Applications are open for the annual Tennessee Elk Quota Hunt. Thousands of people across the nation enter the raffle every year in hopes of winning a spot.

The application period for the 2023 Tennessee Elk Quota Hunt is open now through Feb. 22.

In total, there are 14 total permits available. Seven for archery, six for the archery, gun, or muzzleloader hunt, and one youth permit. Each applicant will have four hunt zones to choice on the application. Elk hunting zones are located within the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

Applications can be found and submitted at any Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency regional office, TWRA license agent, online at or via the TWRA Mobile App. Applications will be accepted until midnight (CST) on Feb. 22.

For those with Annual Sportsman, Lifetime Sportsman or Annual Senior Citizen licenses, there is no application fee. For all others, there is a non-refundable $12 application fee plus a $1 agent fee. The TWRA adds that for those who apply online there is an additional $2 processing fee. Youth hunters (age 6 to 16) can apply but must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult 21 years or older. In addition, no priority points are available for this hunt.

This year’s application period is taking place earlier than previous years to allow hunters for more preparation.

This year’s archery hunt will run from September 30 to October 6. The gun hunt will go from Oct. 14 to Oct. 20. The youth hunt will be on Oct. 7 -13. For more information on the Elk Hunt, click here.

Tennessee began its elk hunt in 2009 with just five permits available. Since then, hunting opportunities have grown as the elk population grows. Elk were reintroduced to East Tennessee in the early 2000s. The current Elk population is estimated to be around 200 in the Cataloochee Valley, Oconaluftee Valley and areas around Cherokee, North Carolina.

Hunting on private lands is allowed only with landowner permission in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, and Scott counties.