The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency told WATE News that a Tennessee man has been charged with violations related to illegally killing an elk on the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area.

According to officials, 33-year-old Sean Doney was charged with five violations after he admitted to illegally killing a cow elk. 

The elk was found lying dead in a food plot on December 23rd. It had been wearing a GPS collar as part of a three-year elk study with the University of Tennessee Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries.  After a necropsy, it was concluded that the animal had been shot and killed. 

Doney was identified as a suspect with help from the public, the TWRA said. 

The charges against Doney include hunting big game in closed season, hunting without a license, and illegal take of big game, among others. 

Wildlife officers also seized a high-powered rifle from Doney.