Alabama hunter caught violating the state’s new carcass ban law.
A 51-year-old Alabama hunter has been hit with charges after officials say he violated the state’s carcass ban when he brought a deer back from Illinois illegally.
Like many states, Alabama has recently enacted new regulations in the fight against the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Heart of Dixie. In order to be legal, the meat from a deer from a CWD-positive state must be deboned and brain and spinal tissue must be removed completely from a skull plate, capes and hides.
CWD is a deadly neurological disorder spread by prions that can spread into soil and into other deer long after an infected animal is already dead.
Officials say Larry Durham, of Jackson County was reported on anonymous tip from another Alabama resident before he left Illinois.
“The caller, who knew about the CWD ban, stated they were behind a truck travelling south with Alabama plates that was loaded with hunting gear and a recently harvested buck,” Senior Conservation Enforcement Officer with Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries’ Chris Champion said in a press release.
The WFF attempted to intercept Durham before his return to Alabama in Tennessee with the help of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, but didn’t find him in time.
Durham was charged on November 6 and it turns out, bringing in a deer illegally wasn’t his only crime. The deer was harvested without a proper tag and Illinois will likely also charge him.
In the meantime, the buck was confiscated and sent to Auburn University to be tested for CWD and ultimately disposed of.
“Safeguarding Alabama’s deer resources against CWD merits everyone’s assistance,” WFF Law Enforcement Chief Kevin Dodd said in a press release. “It’s easy to take a ‘not my business’ approach. However, the caller was concerned about protecting his children’s deer hunting future and decided to report the suspicious activity. He is to be commended for being part of the solution.”
Alabama isn’t the only state to take measures against importation of deer from CWD states seriously in recent years. Michigan enacted a CWD awareness campaign aimed at educating hunters about the dangers of moving deer carcasses from neighboring Wisconsin last year when they enacted similar laws about the moving of deer carcasses.