Elk killed in Oak Ridge Tennessee


New member
Nov 21, 2001
Some IDOT on a draw deer hunt on government land, saw and killed one of our very few bull elk :mad:

Here is the story;
Click Here

Crap can't get the link to work.....so here;Tennessee Hunter Charged With Illegal Elk Kill
by Richard Simms
posted October 19, 2002
Photo by Richard Simms (click photo to enlarge)
This TWRA display shows the significant difference between a whitetail deer buck and a bull elk that can weigh as much as 600 pounds.

Saturday was a historic day in Tennessee's wildlife legacy, albeit a sad day.

For the first time in modern-day history a Tennessee hunter shot and killed a Rocky Mountain Elk. Unfortunately it was illegal.

Wildlife officers say that 68-year old Billy F. Campbell from Jonesborough, Tenn. admitted he shot the bull elk Saturday morning on a regularly scheduled deer hunt on the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area in Roane County. In fact they say he notified officers of what he'd done. "When it happened he sent his hunting partner back to checking station to report the incident while he stayed there with the animal," said Tennessee Wildlife resources Agency Information Officer Dan Hicks. "Apparently he saw a big rack and some brown and shot."

The elk, carrying a 5x5 rack (5 points on each antler), was far away from the area where it was originally released. It was one of about 150 elk that have been released on the Royal Blue Wildlife Management as part of an ongoing restoration effort. Hicks said the straight-line distance from the release area to the Oak Ridge WMA is about 25 miles.

Campbell has been charged with killing an elk during closed season. Biologists hope that someday the elk population will grow large enough to allow limited hunting seasons, however there are no open seasons now. Under a new law passed specifically to help protect the elk during the restoration effort, the violation is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty is up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. In addition the court can mandate a $1,000 civil penalty to cover TWRA's restoration costs.

Hicks indicated that the court could show some leniency since Campbell didn't try to hide what he'd done and even went to notify wildlife officers. "He showed a lot of remorse," said Hicks. "The officer that was there told me the vegetation was so thick there that they feel like his story is pretty credible."

Hicks said this bull is not the only elk on the Oak Ridge WMA. A cow and a calf were sighted by wildlife officers the same morning Campbell killed the bull. Since Tennessee deer hunters have never had to concern themselves with deer look-a-likes, TWRA officers had feared the potential for such mistakes, especially in regard to young cow elk during either-sex deer hunts. They have conducted a public information campaign to try and educate deer hunters through posters and news releases in the area where the elk have been released.

The bull that was killed has been out of the original Royal Blue WMA release zone for quite a while. "We spent a lot of time last year trying to dart it (with a tranquilizer) and return it to the release zone," said Hicks. "But we've been unsuccessful. Every time we came close enough to make a dart shot he was out of there, including one time he swam across a reservoir, and believe me elk can swim swiftly! I reckon the reason he's a big old bull is because, until now, he's been able to move when human beings come around."

The animal weighed about 550 pounds when it was released two years ago. Hicks said hunters really should have no problem distinguishing an adult elk from a whitetail deer that will typically weigh about 150 pounds. ""No sir, it should not happen," he said. "We always teach that anytime you shoot you should be sure of your target and be able to identify the species."

The dead elk has been taken to the University of Tennessee Veterinarian School for necropsy. Hicks said there is a silver lining to this cloud. "We'll find out from it's stomach contents what it's been eating which is a big mystery to us. Most of the elk that have been found dead up to this point had decomposed to the point where we weren't able to determine a lot of things. We'll test him for disease, including chronic wasting disease. The animal has to be dead to do that. So we have the capability to do a lot of testing on this elk that we haven't had the chance to do until now."

Chronic wasting disease is a relatively new concern among deer and elk populations all across the country. It has never been detected in Tennessee although biologists have significantly increased their monitoring efforts just this year. Especially in areas of the Cumberland Plateau where there are several commercial, fenced hunting operations.

The dead elk was also checked for radiation, Every deer taken on the Oak Ridge WMA gets checked with a radiation monitor. And in fact a few deer that hunters kill every year have to be confiscated for that reason.

Campbell is scheduled to appear in Roane County General Sessions court on November 18.
It should never have happened. There is no excuse regarding the identity of your target. The man reporting and staying with it shows some responsibility for his actions though.

The link is fixed Flipper
That's too damn bad. We had a guy in KY a couple of years back who shot an elk cow and paraded around bragging about how big the doe he shot was. At least your guy was brighter than THAT.
I really can't see how any one can miss identify any elk from a deer...There is just no reason for it!!! :mad:

Don't tell all the guys out west about this!
Every time they see a southerner on the news its barefooted and in an old tee shirt tellin about the hurricane!
Well that............ or they hear du du dudu du duuuu (theme music from deliverence)

Isnt that WMA near the ocoee river? ;) ;)
There was apparently enough confusion in KY that KDFWR felt it necessary to publish this in the annual hunting guide (no, the stripes don't show in the printed version


:eek: :rolleyes:
Must be some REAL smart folks in Kentucky and Tennessee for the Fish and Game to have to put that in the regs :rolleyes:
One bull elk out of over 100 elk will have no impact at all. Elk in Tennessee should be considered feral anyway. All they will ever be is a herd so tightly managed and underhunted that they will be like cows on the open range. There are too many people east of the mississippi for there to ever be a truley wild elk herd.
They have all sorts of stuff on Griz out here..To make sure they don't lose any of their precious Griz. Matter of fact, you can't even hunt bear here until you have taken an ID test...LOL!!!
Yep, it's for real. I know it's hard to believe, but some people have never been far from home and thus have never seen an elk. As evidenced by the guy parading his "huge doe" around in the back of his truck. But believe me, KY and TN aren't the only places with dumb people. At least we come by ours honestly.

Kidney, that's somewhat true, but not entirely. The herd size versus "range" size in KY is very good; they really are wild. They live in the reclaimed mining areas (see the map on the pic). The herd is growing, but the theory is that enough hunting will be allowed to keep numbers down enough to prevent their being a domesticated nuisance. That also unfortunately means that the herd will never be very big, because there's just not that much room to roam.
I really like the looks of them with the stripes :D It still really bites that this has happened. It happens far to often everywhere. Cattle for elk, moose for elk, horses & mules for elk, deer for elk and elk for deer. There really is no excuse. :mad:

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