AMARILLO, TEXAS -- Some hunters in the Texas Panhandle are illegally
dumping the carcasses of hogs and deer onto the side of the road and
onto people's property.
Invasive feral hogs can be shot as long as the hunter has a hunting
license and permission from the landowner. However, hunters are required
to either leave the carcass where it lay after being shot or they must
dispose of it properly. That is, not place it in public right-of-ways or
dump it onto other property.
"What those people are doing is they're skinning the front half and
taking the head to get a shoulder mount done," Wildlife Damage
Management Technician David Pipkin said, "and take it to a taxidermist
so they can hang it on their wall."
According to Game Warden Frank Niemiec, carcasses can be placed in
public dumpsters as long as they are bagged and are not accessible by
bugs and other animals.
"This whole situation is a misunderstanding of disposing of game as
any other waste," he said.
The guidelines for hunting deer are the same, with the addition that
meat from the forequarters, hindquarters and back straps must be taken
so as not to fall under the waste of game category. Shooting a deer
simply to take the antlers is not acceptable in Texas Parks & Wildlife's
Waste of game is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to
Those with one or more prior convictions will face a state jail felony.
Illegally dumping a carcass is considered littering and is punishable
by a fine of up to $500 per item tossed.
State Game Warden Shane Lewis says this is not a new problem and that
he has been receiving calls on this issue for a while now.
"That shows me signs of unethical hunters," he said. "The only thing
I could think is there's maybe some possible illegal activity connected
with those pigs- maybe they're shooting in areas they shouldn't be,
maybe trespassing, something like that and they're trying to take them
out of these areas."
Though there are hunters who are breaking the law, Lewis says the
majority of hunters abide by the rules and respect the sport they
"It's not a good practice and, in fact, it looks bad on the hunters
that are trying to do the right thing."
Lewis asks anyone who witnesses someone dumping a carcass illegally
to record the license plate number and any details they can. Contacting
Texas Parks & Wildlife with this information will help the game wardens
to enforce the laws.
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