BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is serious in its efforts to stop the introduction of chronic wasting disease to Louisiana.
LDWF Enforcement Division officers cited two deer hunters in two different cases involving cervid carcass importation on Nov. 24 and Dec. 2. They charged Garrett McDonald, 33, of West Monroe, with two counts of illegal cervid carcass importation in November and charged Charles Guice, 38, of Bastrop, with three counts of illegal carcass important and federal Lacey Act violations in December.
According to a news release from the LDWF, agents made contact with McDonald, who admitted harvesting two antlered deer in Arkansas and bringing them back whole across the state line into Louisiana. Later, agents made contact with Guice in Bastrop, where he admitted killing three antlered deer in Arkansas and taking them back whole across the state line into Louisiana.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission also cited Guice for taking over the limit of antlered deer in a season. Also, Lacey Act violations were filed because the illegally harvested deer were transported across state lines by Guice.
LDWF agents seized the five deer involved in the two cases. Participating agents were Sgt. James Hagan, Sgt. John Hattaway, Cpl. Joshua Harris and Cpl. Clint Branton.
Illegal cervid carcass importation brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Lacyey Act misdemeanor violations carry up to a $10,000 fine and felony violations bring up to a $20,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
LDWF officials continue to remind all hunters who hunt deer out-of-state about the regulations involving transportation of deer carcasses. The Sportsman’s Paradise remains free of the infectious, always fatal disease but the three neighboring states – Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas – have recorded cases of CWD.
Louisiana has been monitoring and testing for CWD since the mid-2000s, checking more than 9,000 deer during that period. The state implemented import regulations on deer taken out of state to reduce the spread of CWD.
According to the law, no one can import, transport or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass originating outside of Louisiana except for meat that is cut and wrapped, meat that has been boned out, quarters or other portion of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, clean skull plate with antlers, cleaned skulls without tissue attached, capes, tanned hides, finished taxidermy mounts and cleaned cervid teeth. Also, any and all bones must be disposed of in an approved landfill or equivalent.