An East Tennessee man has been charged with illegally killing an elk on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.
The dead cow elk was discovered last week, and officials determined that it had died from a gunshot wound.
Compounding the seriousness of the act was the fact that the elk was part of a three-year research study. A photo provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency shows a collar on the animal that was used to track its movements.
After a $2,000 reward was offered for information about the incident, a 33-year-old Carryville, Tennessee, man was charged with the shooting. He faces a Feb. 20 court appearance.
Illegally killing an elk can result in substantial fines, confiscation of hunting gear, loss of hunting rights and potential jail time.
Photo contest: The TWRA is accepting photo entries for its annual wildlife calendar contest. Subjects much be of native Tennessee fauna or flora, or outdoors scenes around the state.
For details about how to submit photos, visit tnwildlife.org.
Deer season ending: Deer season concluded with a Jan. 11-12 Juvenile Hunt, and shortly afterwards final data will be announced concerning the 2019 season harvest and an update on Chronic Wasting Disease.
At last count more than 8,700 deer had been inspected for CWD, with 148 positives. All those positives have been in five West Tennessee counties. Over 700 harvested deer had been tested in Middle Tennessee, with no positives.
So far the deadly disease has been contained to the West Tennessee "CWD Zone" but biologists fear it will gradually spread across the state.
Chasing rainbows: Stocking of 85,000 rainbow trout is underway in several area streams and impoundments, and will continue through the winter.
Stocking dates and locations are listed in the Tennessee Fishing Guide and at tnwildlife.org
The trout start biting and can be caught as soon as they are released. There is a seven-fish creel limit, no size limit.
In addition to a fishing license, a trout license is required, except for holders of Lifetime Licenses and Sportsman's Licenses.
Venison donations: With deer season winding down the Tennessee Wildlife Federation appeals to hunters to donate some of their harvested venison to Hunters for the Hungry.
The donated venison must be processed by a licensed deer processor. Some processors do it for free, while others offer a discount. The individual processor can be contacted to see what the policy is.
The processed venison is distributed to the needy around the state through Second Harvest and church and community organizations.
Details are available on the TWF website.
PHOTOS WELCOME: Caught a big bass or bagged a buck? Share your favorite outdoors photos with readers of The Lebanon Democrat by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Woody is The Democrat's outdoors writer. Email him at email@example.com.