SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A recent investigation by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police has led to charges against a Lincoln County man for illegally possessing parts of several elk.

The man got the elk parts, which consisted of several shed antlers and a skull, from the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan and Mingo counties.

The elk were re-introduced to West Virginia in December 2016. When the elk were brought back to the Mountain State, laws were put into place to reduce stress on the animals, including making it illegal to collect antler sheds, according to the Natural Resources Police. The law was intended to prevent the types of large-scale shed hunting events that are common in elk habitats in the western United States, a DNR Facebook post said.

The sheds are also used by state biologists to help keep track of the animals in the state’s herd, officials said.

After receiving information that the man may have the elk parts, officers served a search warrant and found the parts, they said.

The man, who was not named, was cited with six counts of Illegal Possession of Elk or parts thereof. Each charge carries a possible penalty of $1,000 to $5,000 in fines or confined in jail for 30 to 100 days, or both, officers said.

The DNR’s Facebook post announcing the charges has garnered hundreds of comments.