TWRA: Crossville man pleads guilty after illegal hunt of elk

JACKSBORO (WATE) – A hunter pleaded guilty after after a bull elk was illegally killed on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says Timothy C. Copeland, 56, participated in the state’s elk hunt. The Crossville resident was a permitted hunter and the first to be charged with violations.

Copeland saw a bull elk while he was driving in the Adkins Mountain area, according to the report. TWRA says he got out of his vehicle and shot the 580-pound animal from the road. Copeland was only permitted to hunt in Elk Zone 5, but shot the animal in Elk Zone 2.

Copeland and two other hunters brought the animal to NCWMA headquarters for analysis. TWRA says it became concerned, along with biologists, after Copeland was not able to give clear GPS coordinates of where the elk was shot.

The elk was taken to a meat processor in Crossville before TWRA wildlife officers were able to start the investigation.

Investigators seized the elk carcass and a Browning 30-.06 rifle from the suspect.

Copeland was charged with hunting from a motor vehicle, shooting from a public road, hunting in a closed area and possession of illegally killed big game. He was ordered to pay court fees of $325 and $9,750 in restitution. Copeland’s hunting privileges in the state were revoked for one year.

The two other others are not facing charges.

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