Who do you call when animal carcasses are dumped in waterways?

Deer carcass

This deer carcass recently was dumped in a north Crestview stream after it was butchered.

BRIAN HUGHES/News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 04:59 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Oct. 26 through Feb. 23 spans archery, crossbow, muzzle loader and gun season for Northwest Florida hunters.

But what should residents do when they spot animal carcasses polluting area waterways? It depends on the circumstances.

For instance, a butchered deer's carcass in a northeast stream outside Crestview recently tainted downstream waters feeding a wetland overseen and protected by the Northwest Florida Water Management District and Department of Environmental Protection, respectively. The wetland runs into a recreational lake serving Grandview Heights residents.

It's a felony to dump household waste in the stream, part of a storm water management system, former Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office environmental officer David Holt said. Holt, now a school resource officer, was reassigned following the OCSO environmental office's closure two years ago.

Calls to the sheriff's office to report the offense were referred to county code enforcement.

Because the matter involves an animal, responsibility lies with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, county and water management district spokespersons said.

However, it's not unlawful for a hunter to shoot and quarter a deer on public lands, leaving the rest behind, Tony Young, spokesman for the FWC division of hunting and game management, said.

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