Tom Long a Pennsylvania hunter who hunts in Disease Management Area 2 on State Game Lands 113 in Mifflin, County, PA, complained to the PA Game Commission about smelly dead deer odors coming from a …
Tom Long a Pennsylvania hunter who hunts in Disease Management Area 2 on State Game Lands 113 in Mifflin, County, PA, complained to the PA Game Commission about smelly dead deer odors coming from a dumpster in that area. Tom said the odor was so strong he could smell it from 50 yards away.
After further inspection he noticed a dumpster filled with the remains of about a dozen deer, a bear and some sort of raptor in varying stages of decay. He found out that this dumpster was not for hunters to use, it was behind a locked gate for the PA Game Commission’s exclusive use, and it looked like it hadn’t been emptied in months.
When he checked the dumpster again in early April and the carcasses had not been disposed of, he called the Game Commission and also emailed them. As of late May the dumpster still hadn’t been touched and to make matters worse the dumpster was filling up with trash. It wasn’t until sometime after June 5 that he found it had finally been emptied.
Long being concerned that in a disease management area, carcasses potentially harboring prions, a misshapen protein that spreads chronic wasting disease (CWD), would be left to rot and smell instead of being disposed of more quickly. He said, “They’re (Game Commission officials) are always on hunters to be careful about CWD, so it doesn’t seem right that they are letting deer rot for so long.”
As unpleasant as it might have been to see, Game Warden Amy Nabozny, the game commission’s southcentral information and education supervisor said, “The dumpster Long described isn’t out of the ordinary and likely contained some combination of roadkill, euthanized wildlife and other animal parts from the game commission’s sampling. It posed no environmental hazard. Dumpsters are lined with heavy plastic to protect prions from leaking into the ground and carcasses will not expel prions into the air. Lime is added by wardens to help control odors, but not much can be done about that when the weather gets warm.”
Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau said, “As CWD continues to spread and disease management areas expand, disposing of dead deer in these areas will become an increasing challenge . Roadkill in those areas are handled strictly by contractors who remove heads for testing before hauling carcasses away, and the rise in CWD cases is having greater impacts on the game commission in contractor fees. The southcentral region spent almost $38,000 on dumpsters for deer collection last year, and the cost is expected to rise significantly this year since two new sites in Area 2 will have to be created at a cost of $15,000 each.”
Pennsylvania certainly has their problems trying to cope with CWD, hopefully it will work out.
Jack Danchak is a longtime sportsmen and spent 30 years as the President of the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs of Sullivan County, Inc.