Three Elk Found Shot by Poachers
Rewards are being offered for information about three animals from Tennessee's new elk herd which have been found dead, after being shot by poachers, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Two bull elk, the largest being a 5X5 and weighing almost 800 pounds, have been found dead within a mile of the release site on Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area. The third elk was a cow that was found dead in Morgan County.
Rewards of up to $2,000.00 are being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the poachers responsible for the death of these animals. Anyone having any information that would be helpful to the investigation is urged to call the TWRA poaching hotline 1-800-831-1174. That line will be answered 7:00 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. All information received will be held in strictest confidence.
The first elk was located by a mortality signal given off by the animal's transmitter, after researchers, tracking the elk by airplane, picked up the mortality signal. After recording a general location, the animal was found on November 14, by tracking with a handheld receiver. This animal, a 4X4 bull, was found less than a mile southeast of the original release site.
The second elk found was a cow located in Morgan County. This animal was also located by a mortality signal. This elk was located just before Thanksgiving by a University of Tennessee graduate student conducting research on the elk herd. On December 2nd, the largest of the three animals, a 5X5 bull, was recovered. It had been found dead by a hunter near the Hatmaker Cemetery. The cemetery is on the ridge just above where the first bull elk was found.
All three of these elk were taken to the University of Tennessee for necropsy.