Deer was killed in Kansas
Three hunters from South Carolina have been charged with federal wildlife crimes in a case that began in Kansas and ended when a trophy deer head they imported into South Carolina tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal disease that has not been detected in South Carolina’s wild population of deer. The disease is deadly to deer and other cervids, but so far, it doesn’t appear to impact the health of humans.
Importing deer parts from states that are known to have CWD (such as Kansas) into states with no known cases of the disease, is a state and federal crime. The three men charged with the crime, Sean Robert Paschall, Chad Caldwell Seymore and Justin Grady LeMaster, each face up to 5 years in prison. A lawyer for one of the men said his client did not know about the law that prohibits importing the deer parts from another state.
It is legal to bring finished taxidermy products into South Carolina from other states, so if the men had gotten the deer head finished in Kansas, then brought it into South Carolina, they would have had no problems. However, when they realized it was more expensive to do that in Kansas than in South Carolina, they opted to bring the whole deer head, as well as other unprocessed deer parts, to South Carolina.
South Carolina remains one of just a handful of southeastern states with no confirmed cases of CWD in the wild herd, but Charles Ruth, deer biologist with SCDNR, said cases like this one put that statistic in jeopardy. Dumping potentially CWD-infected deer parts into the wild is one way that hunters could inadvertently introduce the disease into the state’s wild population of deer, which could then spread throughout the state’s herd relatively quickly.
For more information on CWD and how to do your part to keep South Carolina free of the disease, click here.