CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A reward is being offered after an elk was found poached on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area in Claiborne County.

A local hunter found the 5×5 bull elk that had been shot in the Valley Creek area of the Ed Carter Unit of NCWMA, formerly known as the Tackett Creek Unit, on Friday, Dec. 31, according to the TWRA.

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Claiborne County elk
Elk poached on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area in the Valley Creek area of Claiborne County. (Courtesy: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

The TWRA reported the elk was found dead just north of the graveyard off Valley Creek Road, which runs through the eastern portion of the WMA.

TWRA Wildlife Officer Brenden Marlow and Elk Program Coordinator Brad Miller responded to the scene and located the dead elk lying in an old coal mine road, according to a release.

Claiborne County elk
(Courtesy: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)

The carcass was taken to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine where the TWRA reported a necropsy confirmed the animal had been shot and a bullet was recovered.

A $4,000 reward was initially offered by the Pine Mountain Long Beards Chapter of the NWTF, Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for information that leads to the conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of the poached elk. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation then offered $1,000 and K-N-K Metal Sales Inc. in Harrogate donated $500, bringing the current total reward amount to $5,500.

If anyone has information about the case, please contact Wildlife Officers Brenden Marlow 615-571-4792 or Michael Cavins 865-318-3349, or the TWRA poaching hotline at 1-800-831-1174.