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Undercover Investigation Turns Up Venison Tamales

An Arkansas couple has been arrested for the illegal use of wild animals to make venison tamales.

Our kitchens barely go a week without some sort of wild game making an appearance, eventually ending up on our dinner tables and pleasing our hungry families. Sometimes, we’ve even heard some suggestions along the lines of, ‘If you were to sell this at a restaurant, it would make a killing!’

But of course, it’s illegal to sell venison meat for consumption in the United States. Someone should have reminded Fred Thomas Atkins III, 49 and his wife Betty Louise Williams, 28 of White County, Arkansas. According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), the pair were selling tamales at a roadside stand made of venison.

RELATED: Should Hunters Be Allowed to Sell Venison?

As great as those tamales likely tasted, if convicted, the couple faces $5,000 fines for each of several charges, and up to a year in jail.

An undercover investigation that lasted six weeks began with AGFC officers, Central Arkansas Drug Task Force, and the local Sheriff’s Office cooperating to sell deer meat to the couple and buy it from their stand.

AGFC Captain Bill Howell said in the release “It was not only the wildlife violations that we were concerned about, but also the health concerns. It was a great team effort by several agencies to protect Arkansas’s valuable natural resources and allow the public to safely enjoy them.”

Have you ever considered selling venison you harvested? Should the US reconsider its stance on the matter? Leave your comments below.

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Undercover Investigation Turns Up Venison Tamales