CLAIRFIELD, Tenn. — Update (Jan. 6): Wildlife agencies have doubled the reward in a poaching investigation to $5,000 to find out who illegally killed an elk in Claiborne County and bring them to justice.
A local hunter found the elk carcass Thursday morning on the Ed Carter Unit of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area in the Clairfield area and contacted Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Wildlife officers discovered parts of the elk had been removed, including its head, which makes them believe it was an antlered bull. They believe it was shot in late December.
If anyone has any information that can lead to those responsible for killing the elk, please contact Wildlife Officer Brenden Marlow at (615) 571-4792.
The Pine Mountain Long Beards Chapter of the NWTF and the Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association offered the initial $2,500 reward, and it was later matched by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to bring it up to $5,000.
Elk were reintroduced in East Tennessee in 2000. TWRA holds a lottery every year for hunters to participate in a managed hunt in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
Elk were also brought back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of them live on the North Carolina side of the park near Ocunaluftee, though they occasionally wander over to East Tennessee.