Deer carcasses found dumped in local creek

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December 15, 2010 - 12:00 AM

It has become as much a part of local Decembers as Christmas and cold weather.
With the conclusion of the firearm season for deer hunters comes the tradition — illegal, mind you — of dumping deer carcasses along roadsides.
Ben Womelsdorf, a game warden with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, found the grisly remains of six deer carcasses dumped in Deer Creek north of Iola.
Three were put in trash bags and buckets and dumped off a low water bridge, at the intersection of 1600 Street and South Dakota Road. Three others were simply dumped in the water.
“The problem is that the carcasses do not decompose nearly as quickly if they’re underwater,” Womelsdorf said. “And that’s not even thinking about the bacteria and the litter.”
Just as troublesome is the fact that Deer Creek empties into the Neosho River upstream from Iola’s water treatment plant.
“We drink this stuff,” Womelsdorf said.
Deer hunters have two options when it comes to ridding themselves of the deer remains.
“You can take the remains to the Allen County Landfill,” Womelsdorf said. “It’s free to anybody from Allen County who hunts in Allen County.”
Or, the hunters should deposit the carcasses on the land in which the deer was killed, provided they have permission by the landowner, Womelsdorf said.
Womelsdorf said violators would be cited for littering, which sounds like a relatively minor offense, but still one punishable by a fine of up to $500.
“And if it’s in a trash bag, there’s a chance we can find other evidence that tells me who left it there,” Womelsdorf said.
When he finds remains, Womelsdorf also investigates whether the animal may have been poached, which carries a much stiffer penalty.

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