County battles illegal dumping issues

Published 8:48 am Friday, January 13, 2012

There are reports coming in from all over the county. Dead deer are being found by the sides of roads, and they aren’t the victims of automobiles.

Some are beheaded. Some have sections of “desirable” meat missing. All are discarded – illegally – by hunters.

“Last year was the worst we’d seen,” said Attrice Elder, construction supervisor for the Pike County Road Department. “But we aren’t even in the height of hunting season, so we will continue to get calls.”

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Elder said the areas where callers have reported discarded deer recently have been Banks, and the Pronto and Pocosin areas. Earlier this week, one deer was even tossed inside the Troy city limits along U.S. Highway 231.

“Normally it is scattered,” Elder said, adding that last years worst offenses were seen near Burnout Bridge.

“We usually find the animals near bridges and waterways because it is easier to hide them,” Elder said. “But that’s the worst place to put them, environmentally and health wise.”

Some days the road department has to deal with one discarded carcass. Other days, there are piles of dead animals. Scavenger birds are often nearby.

Elder said the illegal dumping is frustrating because it adds to the county’s already-hefty work load. It also means more funds needed from tax payers, in some cases, he said.

“We’re encouraging people to take the carcasses to the (McClelland’s Critters) zoo,” Elder said. “Hopefully hunters will work with us on that. The zoo can use the deer for their animals and the carcasses won’t be dumped illegally.”

Elder said he can’t point the finger at out-of-state hunters because no one has been caught or prosecuted. However, if anyone has information on illegal dumping activities, they should call the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

Whoever the illegal dumpers are, Elder said he didn’t believe they were “true hunters” because in many cases they only removed “trophy” and prime pieces of meat from the deer.

“The rest of it they don’t really care about it,” Elder said. “Those aren’t true hunters to me.”