Deer carcasses litter Juneau roads, trails

Posted: Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Juneau has a carcass problem.

Hunters are illegally dumping deer remains and other game-animal parts this winter on the sides of public roads, trailheads, parking lots and even the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, said Juneau law officers.

In Juneau, dropping animal parts on the ground is a littering offense.

Under local law, a person caught dumping more than 5 pounds of litter must appear before a judge in court.

"Any (carcass) is too much," said Cindi Lagoudakis, Tongass National Forest Fish and Wildlife Program director. She noted that federal employees hauled several from Mendenhall Lake trails this week.

Hunters who are caught dumping animal parts in the federal recreation area will be prosecuted for littering or negligently feeding other game, she said.

Wildlife officers and law enforcement are particularly concerned about the dumping because it may attract bears to public areas.

"It just increases our bear problem," said Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Steve Hall.

Hall said he has received more than the usual number of complaints of deer carcasses on the sides of Montana Creek Road.

"Troopers said they were surprised by the numbers this year - it sticks out," he said.

He's not sure why dumping is such a problem this year. Perhaps the dumping is more apparent because of the lack of snow, Hall said.

Hall said hunters should take their carcasses to the city landfill in Lemon Creek.

"That's the most appropriate place," he said.

Otherwise, state regulations are rather lenient.

"If someone goes out and shoots a deer we don't expect them to bury the hide but we really hope that hunters would dispose of these things in a place not frequented by a lot of people," said Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist Polly Hessing.

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