Proper disposal of deer carcasses important


With the passing of each year, there appears to be an increas­ing number of deer carcasses appearing on roadsides and in streams or rivers. These dump­ing practices are not only illegal, but unsightly and unhealthy.

I am an avid hunter and spend most of my working days trying to further the sport of hunting and the conservation of the nat­ural resources of our state and our nation. But not everyone feels like I do. Some spend as much, or more, time trying to outlaw hunting as I do trying to further it. While I totally dis­agree with those in our society with such beliefs, we as a group of hunters, should not do things to further the cause of the anti-hunting public, or give those that are indifferent about hunt­ing, a reason to oppose it. In other words, we should not spread the byproduct, or the carcass, of a successful hunt in areas where other people have to view it or in areas that could cause a public health issue.

There is already a law prohibit­ing such activity. Section 97-15-29 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 prohibits the dumping of dead fish and wildlife, their parts, or waste on Mississippi’s roadways or their right-of-ways or on private prop­erty without the landowner’s consent. If caught, an offender can be charged with a misde­meanor and fined up to $250.00.

Dead deer on the side of the road can be a hazard to drivers. In some instances, they could cause some serious damage to a car, or injury to the driver. This dumping is happening when no one is around, therefore making it very hard to catch the culprits.

Deer carcasses dumped in streams and rivers can pose a human health risk. This risk comes from the drinking and/or swimming in waters contami­nated by decomposing deer car­casses.

Roadsides, streams, and rivers are not options. Two rec­ommended methods of disposal are digging a pit in which to place the car­cass or taking it to a deer processor who will prop­erly dispose of or compost it. This is legal and re­spectful to the sport. And if you can’t do that, place the carcass in an area where it cannot be viewed and it is not near any homes. It won’t take long for the coyotes and buz­zards to salvage the rest of it.

Anyone who finds a deer carcass on his property is obligated to clean it up and report it to law en­forcement agencies. Please take time for ap­propriate carcass disposal. To report a violation, call your local sheriff’s office or the Mississippi Depart­ment of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks at 1-800-BE-SMART (1.800.237.6278).

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