Man Who Poached Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Receives Jail Time, Heavy Fine

A North Carolina man who poached one of the grandest bulls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park's elk herd has been handed jail time and ordered to pay more than $8,300 in restitution to the park.

According to the U.S. Attorney's for the Western District of North Carolina, Bruce Wayne Cromer, Jr., 35, of Stovall, North Carolina, was sentenced late last week following his guilty plea to a single charge of unlawfully shooting and killing a bull elk in the park last November.

“Elk No. 21" had been introduced into the park in 2001 as part of a program by the National Park Service to return an elk population to the park. Rangers discovered the bull's carcass last Nov. 13 lying along the edge of a pasture in the Cataloochee area of the park. An investigation involving park rangers as well as agents from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission produced a vehicle description that lead them to a suspect. When a Park Service special agent met with the suspect the next day, he confessed, according to a park news release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell last Thursday sentenced Mr. Cromer to 150 days imprisonment. In addition, the man’s firearm, a Browning .270 caliber rifle autographed by Richard Petty, was ordered by the court to be forfeited to the government and he was ordered to pay $8,384 in restitution to the park.

Furthermore, Mr. Cromer had to surrender his hunting license for two years, and he was banned from all national parks for two years.

"We are very satisfied with this verdict and the penalty meted out," said park spokesman Bob Miller.

Comments

What if we tie some antlers to his head and set him loose in the park?

@ Rap: I agree with you -- except set him loose OUTSIDE the park. We don't want to tempt any of his yahoo buddies to replicate his crime.

The two-year loss of his hunting license and park access should have been permanent!

Not enough!

His hunting license should be taken away for life, not just a few years !!!!

Good! I too think his hunting license should have been taken away for life, and the jail time is OK, but the fine is too little. Tie antlers to his head and let him roam outside the park is a good idea too!

I'm curious as to how the man would have gotten the elk out without anyone noticing. A bull elk is a big animal! Maybe he had a stretch Hummer to haul it out?

His hunting license should have been revoked permanently. But, he was already hunting illegally so I doubt the loss of a license will do much good. Losing is autographed rifle hurts a lot more.

That sentence is nothing more than hilarious, the poacher is probably sitting in jail laughing at the outcome of the case, knowing that he got off really easy. What he did was a lot worse than the sentence he recieved for it, and what is with the hunting license suspension for two years, he is a poacher, I repeat "A POACHER" THEY DO NOT USUALLY CARE ABOUT HUNTING LICENSES ANYWAY. His truck should have also been taken and sold and the money given back to the Elk restoration program and he should have had to spend at least 8 months in jail, if not more. I am extremely dissapointed in the outcome of this case.