Courtesy Norm Steelman, Audrain County conservation agent
Every year with deer hunting season, I get the question asked of where to dispose of carcasses after they have been cleaned of their meat. The best answers are either take it to the field where it was shot or place it into the trash. The worst answer a person can come up with for that question is a bridge or roadway ditch. Some sportsmen like to place the carcasses out in a field and coyote hunt over them. That is fine as well and a good use of the carcass. If you are unable to place the carcass back at the field where the harvest occurred, then the best course of action is to place the carcass into the trash. Without much work, a carcass can fit into a couple of
kitchen trash bags and then be put into the trash for pickup. Placing the carcass into the trash, or the field where it was harvested also plays a role in disease prevention. Many diseases, such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and parasites can be transmitted to other deer through improper disposal of carcasses. Carcasses in waterways can degrade water quality for the fishery and animal use.
Proper disposal of carcasses is in everyone’s best interest. It keeps the hunting tradition alive and well through promoting good practices. Improper disposal places an eyesore on the ground and an eyesore with the non-hunting public’s view on hunting. Please make the correct choice when disposing of a carcass, your hunting future could depend on it. As well as being in bad taste, improper disposal of carcasses can be either littering or the unlawful disposition of a dead animal. The penalty for the unlawful disposition of a dead animal or littering is a class C misdemeanor. Fingerprinting can be required which involves a visit to the county jail. In short, dispose of carcasses properly.
Please remember while hunting this season, stay safe, legal, and have a great season. If you have any wildlife related questions or information, please call me, Norman Steelman Audrain County Conservation Agent at 573-473-8000. You may also call the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-392-1111 if you have information regarding a violation of the Missouri Wildlife Code. You may remain anonymous, and you may ask to be considered for a reward if you wish.