ST. LOUIS – It’s one of the busiest times of the year for deer hunters, and it comes with a warning from the Missouri Department of Conservation: Think twice before dumping deer carcasses just anywhere around the St. Louis area.

MDC is advising hunters and others who encounter deer carcasses of illegal dumping. Anyone linked to the offense of unlawful disposition of a dead animal faces a class C misdemeanor in St. Louis.

According to MDC, illegal dumping happens when people knowingly place carcasses or cause them to be placed in a variety of locations, including:

  • On any public road or highway, river, stream, or watercourse 
  • Into any well, spring, brook, branch, creek, pond, or lake
  • Upon premises not his or her own for the purpose of annoying another or others

Not only is dumping of this nature illegal in Missouri, but agents are also concerned it could lead to the spread of chronic wasting disease. Long after infected carcass remains decompose, prions stay infectious in the environment, possibly exposing other deer to CWD.

“Agents get a lot of calls from concerned citizens who either find a dumped deer carcass or witness someone in the act of dumping a deer carcass,” said MDC St. Louis Region Protection Captain, Scott Corley.  “If you observe this taking place, it’s always best to be a good witness and provide as much information as you can such as vehicle and description of the person, along with full or even a partial license plate number.”

Corley instead offers the following suggestions for properly disposing of deer carcasses:

  • Place carcass remains in trash bags and dispose of them through trash collection or a permitted landfill
  • Bury carcass remains at or near where the deer was harvested
  • As a last resort, leave carcass remains onsite

MDC also warns against placing deer carcasses in bodies of water or burning.

“Practice these deer carcass disposal measures, be courteous and respectful of others, and let’s all have a safe hunting season,” said Capt. Corley.

To report illegal dumping of a deer carcass or any other illegal hunting activity like poaching, contact your local conservation agent or call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-392-1111.