Contributors to this thread:
2.5 years ago I approached head of DNR LE with an idea for a wanton waste law. I researched multiple other states laws and gave them to Col. Jenkins . Former Delegate Ambler introduced it in House last year and it didn’t make it thru. This year it was introduced in House and Senate . Senate bill got stuck in Senate Judiciary . House bill passed House and made it thru Senate NR but got stuck in Senate Judiciary the next to last day of Session. I made a couple of phone calls ( thank you Senator Maynard and Senator Takubo) and it got put back on Senate Judiciary agenda and passed to full Senate and passed on last day of Session . After a couple of back and forths last few hours of sessions it passed . Governor Justice signed it today and it will go in force June 7th this year. This is a good bill and is the second major anti-poaching bill I have been able to get thru the Legislature along with a lot of help from a lot of good people. A special thanks to Commissioner Cuffaro on the first one for enhanced penalties for trophy bucks a few years ago.
Bill is below
WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE 2019 REGULAR SESSION ENROLLED Committee Substitute for House Bill 2540 By Delegates Harshbarger, Paynter, Sypolt, Cooper, Hanna, Bibby, Hott and N. Brown [Passed March 9, 2019; in effect ninety days from passage.] AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §20-2-5i, relating to prohibiting the waste of any edible portion of big game animals or game fish; defining the term edible portion; setting forth exceptions to the term edible portion; making it unlawful to take any big game and detach or remove the head, hide, antlers, tusks, paws, claws, gallbladder, teeth, beards, or spurs only and leave the carcass to waste; setting forth exceptions if the person is unable to locate the carcass of any lawfully taken big game prior to the spoilage or decay of any or all edible portions; and establishing criminal penalties for violations. Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-5i. Waste of game animals, game birds, or game fish; penalties.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to cause through carelessness, neglect, or otherwise to let any edible portion of any big game or game fish to go to waste needlessly. (b) For purposes of this section, “edible portion” means, with respect to: (1) Big game. - One or more of the following: (A) the meat of the front quarters to the knee; (B) the meat of the hind-quarters to the hock; or (C) the meat along the backbone between the front quarters and hind quarters: Provided, That an edible portion of a wild turkey is the meat of the breast only. (2) Game fish. - The fillet meat from the gill plate to the tail fin. (3) Edible portion does not include bones, sinew, viscera, meat from the head or neck, meat that has been damaged or rendered inedible by method of taking, or meat that is reasonably lost as a result of boning or close trimming of bones. (c) It is unlawful for any person to take any big game and detach or remove from the carcass the head, hide, antlers, tusks, paws, claws, gallbladder, teeth, beards, or spurs only and leave the carcass to waste. (d) Any person who through no carelessness, neglect, or otherwise, is unable to locate the carcass of any lawfully taken big game prior to the spoilage or decay of any or all edible portions may detach or remove from the carcass the head, hide, antlers, tusks, paws, claws, gall bladder, teeth, beards, or spurs: Provided, That the big game is registered and shall be counted toward the daily, seasonal, bag, and possession limit of the person in possession of, or responsible for taking the big game. (e) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to the following penalties, with respect to: (1) Big game violations. - (A) A fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,500, or confinement in jail not less than 10 days nor more than 100 days, or both fined and confined; (B) Suspension of hunting and fishing license for a period of five years; and (C) All applicable forfeiture and replacement provisions in §20-2-5a of this code. (2) Game fish violations. - (A) A fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, or confinement in jail not less than 10 days nor more than 100 days, or both fined and confined; (B) Suspension of hunting and fishing license for a period of two years; and (C) All applicable forfeiture and replacement provisions in §20-2-5a of this code
I like it, thanks for working to get this done.
So you shoot a deer that has a wound and is filled with puss. The meat I would not eat but your stuck with it? It’s the law enforcement officer discretion? He might eat stuff I wouldn’t eat. Say it is a nice buck and you can’t get the antlers or cape! I have heard of a guy that this happened to but the officer let him have another tag. Now he can’t. I Don’t care for this one guys. I applaud your effort gobbler but this concerns me.
Officer discretion comes into play. There’s been too many instances where someone shoots a deer then “can’t find it “ and keeps on hunting then miraculously finds it a Week later and wants a “find” tag for it. If a buck is nice enough to shoot then it should be nice enough to tag. If meat is a major concern then does are good eating too. It was my hope that the leashed blood tracking dog bill would get passed this year and that would have helped decrease the number of lost deer but it didn’t make it thru this year. Hopefully it will next year.
So this law prohibits a landowner from shooting deer so they run in woods and die , . SO when a land owner shoots a deer on damage permit they must use the meat. Right. Is dnr officer going to check to see what a every farmer does with the meat from his damage permits . Really , Seems to me it would keep a officer busy just checking on farmers damage permits. In a county where there may be as many as 200 or more permits county wide.
Hoppiesc is right . The landowners won't abide by it. Will be hard to enforce too.,will be hard to make hunters eat portions of the deer that they do not like also. Lol
I like it. Thanks for your efforts, Greg.
Who doesn’t use the front quarters, back quarters, and backstraps, and why?
For all the compliments, Thank you! You’re welcome
For everyone that wants to complain. “Something needs to be done about poaching “ is what I hear all the time. Of course, nobody does anything about it, they just complain about it. When someone steps up to the plate and actually does something to help the officers be able to deal with the poaching problem then they complain about that too. I guess some people just like to complain .
Not complaining, It is a good regulation , As long as it pertains to everyone. I just dont see dnr officer checking every landowner to see what was done with the meat of deer taken on damage permits, I dont know how many crop damage permits are issued in my county , , i do know 2 land owners . One get 16 permits , the other get 20 , I know for a fact one of those landowners , shoots em in the guts so they run in woods and die, Like i said before 200 damage permits over a county, in maybe 20 farms is a lot ground to cover when a dnr officer has other duties too,
This law will be like a tool in a tool box. It won’t be used all the time but it will be there when they need it. Sometimes you need a specific tool to do a specific job. This law will give them that tool.
So Gobbler, the law is written for some not all. So dnr can turn a blind eye to the farmer who shoots deer in guts so they run into woods and die . SAD way to in force a law .
The law is the law. DNR LE will interpret the law and decide when, where, and how to use it just like any law enforcement agency . I don’t recall seeing anywhere how they intend to use it. It was just signed yesterday and won’t go into effect until June.
Hoppie, this bill has been discussed on here before. Did you contact any Delegates or Senators then to discuss any of your concerns with the bill ?
I dont have any problem with the bill overall, I really think it can be a GREAT thing if it enforced the same for all . I guess mostly i think some land owners take advantage of damage permits and some dnr officers give them out like candy and never follow up on them. It just gets to me When a farmer tells me he shoots deer in the guts so he doesnt have to mess with them. I hope this law may change things.
I spoke with the Colonel. Crop damage is a special section in code. By law , officers have to give them out if there is proven crop damage. However, there are limitations as to what they can do with the deer. They can use them, they can give them to someone else to use, they are even allowed by state law to bury them. But they can’t just shoot them and let them run off. If that is going on and DNR Officer can prove it , then they can be cited for that. They have to be able to prove it just like any legal case.
He said They hear those stories too and know that it does happen but from their experience into investigations it’s not as widespread and not as high of numbers as most people think . I would suggest, if you think or know that it’s happening then report it to your local DNR Officer.
Well, Thanks Gobbler for the follow up. I will keep my eyes and ears open this year.
Farmers don't use all the meat. I do. I like all parts of the deer.
I love the law. Poachers will poach.
And thanks gobbler for working on that law . Nothing is perfect and lawbreakers lay awake at night trying to figure out how to break the law.
Overall I think this is a good bill. Thanks for the effort.
Keep working on the leashed tracking. :^)
Big step in the right direction. Gives the dnr more teeth to use on poachers. I doubt the goal was to police everyone who keeps a fish or kills an animal and make sure they eat every bite. I don't see anyone being prosecuted because a coyote got to their deer before they did. They'll just have to use their tag if they want the antlers.
I agree with keeping at the leashed tracking issue. Why on earth would it be better to let a wounded deer run off and die unrecovered?
Thanks! I will I think it might have passed this year if everyone hadn’t got hung up and mad over education bill ?? The Wanton Waste got passed out of House to Senate before the Education debate if I remember right. I think that’s why it got thru. I don’t think The leashed dog bill had made it out of House before they started focusing on the education bill. Hopefully it will get thru next year