‘Celebrity’ Elk Poached On Protected Tahlequah Land

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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KOTV) — Oklahoma game wardens are hunting a poacher after a beloved 8.5-year-old elk was killed and decapitated on protected land.

The elk at the J.T. Nickel preserve are typically elusive, staying hidden away in timber, but the elk that was killed wasn’t like that — he liked open spaces and he like people.

He’s the bull elk known by most everyone who has ever visited the J.T. Nickel Preserve, according to manager Jeremy Tubbs.

“He’s been around for a while,” he said. “This elk was born on the preserve…He was a local celebrity to me.”

Tubbs saw the elk almost every day – always on the same corner.

“It wasn’t uncommon to drive by and he might just be laying off the side of the road, 30 feet, sunning,” he said.

Unlike the other 50 or so wild elk in the herd, people didn’t scare this one. His accessibility and trust made him famous around these parts.

Visitors always stopped for pictures or videos, which is why Tubbs called him Hollywood.

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