Reward Offered for Elk Poaching Information

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is investigating the illegal shooting of one of the 167 elk released in the state's reintroduction project.

On March 24, TWRA received information from a landowner in the Ditney Trail area of Scott County that an elk had been found dead on his property. Wildlife officers recovered the elk from the site located about eight miles north of Oneida and 15 miles from the elk release site at the Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area.

The 610-pound, 6' x 5', bull was transported to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital and on March 25, a necropsy was preformed where a bullet was recovered.

"Elk in Tennessee are protected because we are still in the reintroduction mode and there is no hunting season. It is a misdemeanor to kill an elk in Tennessee and persons convicted of illegally killing a wild elk are subject to $2,500 in fines and/or up to 11 months and 29 days in jail," said Steve Bennett, TWRA Elk Biologist.

The four-year old elk was one of the animals released at the Royal Blue WMA at the second release in 2001 and still within the designated elk release zone.

The $2,000 reward is offered to anyone with information and/or testimony leading to the arrest and conviction of persons illegally killing a wild elk in Tennessee.

Anyone with information should call 1-800-241-0767 or the Region III office at 931-484-9571 and ask for Officer Shannon Young.

The reward is comprised of $500 each from TWRA, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.