We waited for months for the alleged elk poacher 35 year old Bruce Wayne Cromer Jr. of Stovall North Carolina to be charged, and to the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of North Carolina has finaly filed charges.
Bull Elk #21 was shot and killed on November 13, 2009 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Parks Cataloochee Valley in a field across from the Palmer house. Allegedly, Bruce Wayne Cromer Jr. fired at least 3 shots from his Browning .270 caliber rifle killing bull elk 21 and then fled the crime scene in his blue 2002 Chevy Avalanche truck.
If convicted of this cowardly crime against a helpless animal, Bruce Wayne Cromer Jr. of Stovall North Carolina can be made to forfeit both his vehicle and the firearm, serve as much as 6 months in jail and face fines listed in the charges as a whopping $500.
National park regulations call for fines as much as $5,000 so I am hoping that the US Attorney's office made a typographical error in their press release of the charges being filed against Bruce Wayne Cromer Jr. of Stovall North Carolina and they are not settling for such a low figure. This is certainly not the way to discourage other poachers.
Civil charges may also be pending to attempt to collect some of the expenses invested in Bull Elk #21 by donations from individuals and organizations such as Friends of the Smokies and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Poaching a national park treasure such as bull elk #21 is a crime against all the people who owned this majestic creature the citizens of the United States.
$500 fine? That's an outrage as far as I am concerned.
A memorial fund has been set up by Friends of the Smokies to raise money to help properly equip the more than 80 unpaid park volunteers in the Elk Bugle Corp who generously give their time: 16,472 hours in the past 3 years!
The Elk Bugle Corp teaches visitors about the elk restoration project, other park inhabitants and ongoing projects, the history of the Cataloochee area, promotes responsible wildlife viewing, and helps with traffic management which is rut season is a handful.
The presence of members of the Elk Bugle Corp acting as the eyes and ears of the park along with some very dedicated visitors, has been instrumental in protecting our beloved elk from undue human contact and poaching.
Help the Elk Bugle Corp and help us keep this from happening again.
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Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowable by law.
Related Elk in the GSMNP Stories
- Alleged Poacher of Bull Elk 21 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park charged, but is it enough?
- Memorial Fund For Slain Bull Elk #21 to Support the Elk Bugle Corps Volunteer Program
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park Elk Poaching Suspect Confesses and Arrest will be made
- Elk poaching takes place in Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains national park.
- Elk Reintroduction in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park needs more Volunteers for Elk Bugle Corp Program