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Ongoing problem with deer

Not even a week into deer hunting season, Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas has already had reports of an ongoing local problem—misplaced deer carcasses.

“We get a lot of calls from the beginning of November to January,” Thomas said. “We have already responded to some in a creek and in a ditch.”

Thomas said dumping unwanted deer carcasses in Pike County is illegal, though it is something that happens annually.

Pike County Commissioner Jimmy Barron said the commission has been working for years to try to prevent illegal dumping.

“What I’m trying to do is ask the hunters to be responsible and not throw their deer on the sides of the road,” Barron said. “It’s been an ongoing problem we’ve had for years.”

Barron said often hunters will use some of the deer, but they will leave the rest on the sides of county roads, down in ditches or in creeks and rivers.

“If you kill a deer, dispose of it properly,” Barron said.

In past years, Barron said the problem has been so bad that at times, the Pike County Road Department has had to bring in equipment to remove them from the roads on their off days.

“This is costing the county having to work, and we don’t need any additional costs,” Barron said.

And while county officials don’t want deer carcasses, there is someone who does.

“I’m very interested in deer carcasses,” said Mike McClelland, owner of McClelland’s Critters, a petting zoo with several wild cats.

McClelland said his 27 cats consume several pounds of meat every day, and unwanted deer carcasses will both save him money and give his pets quite the feast.

McClelland said he will take almost any deer leftovers, but guts and deer head won’t feed his animals.

And, if someone does not want to bring their deer carcasses to McClelland’s zoo in Banks, he said he’d be willing to pick them up.

If someone needs to contact McClelland, they can call (334) 268-6053.

To assist law enforcement in stopping illegal dumping, Thomas said residents should report incidents to the Sheriff’s department.