Permitted hunter charged with illegal killing of elk

Special to the Claiborne Progress

LAFOLLETTE — A hunter who was successfully drawn to participate during this year’s elk hunt on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area has been charged with several violations related to illegally killing a bull elk.

Timothy C. Copeland, age 56 of Crossville, was one of the few privileged hunters drawn to participate in Tennessee’s eighth annual elk hunt and goes home as the first ever permitted hunter to be charged with violations.

Officers report that Copeland spotted a bull elk while driving a truck in the Adkins Mountain area of the NCWMA. He then exited the truck and shot the elk from the roadway. Copeland was drawn to hunt in Elk Zone 5 but harvested the animal in Elk Zone 2. The permit requires a hunter to stay within their drawn zone.

Copeland and two accompanying hunters took the elk to the NCWMA headquarters for analysis by TWRA and biologists became concerned when Mr. Copeland could not produce accurate GPS coordinates for the location of the kill. Afterward, TWRA wildlife officers were contacted and an investigation ensued. By then, the 5×6 bull weighing 580 lbs. had been taken to a meat processor in Crossville.

The elk carcass and a Browning 30-.06 rifle have been seized and Copeland has been charged with four violations including: Shooting from a public road, hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting in a closed area, and possession of illegally killed big game. The defendant faces potential fines of approximately $8,000 as well as the potential loss of his hunting privileges and his rifle.

Copeland is scheduled to appear in Campbell County General Sessions Court on Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. The two hunters accompanying him were not charged.

Special to the Claiborne Progress

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