Buchanan Mayor Larry Hall is worried that decomposing deer dumped on National Forest land about 1/4 mile from Well 1 of the Town of Buchanan water supply may lead to a boil water notice. ” Please quit dumping the deer,” he said emphatically on behalf of the Town of Buchanan.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14 Hall met with Botetourt County Sheriff’s Deputy S.P. King in the horse trail ride area of the Jefferson National Forest just off Pico Road near the Intersection with Rt. 43. Hall said, ” We test our water system frequently. It is beginning to show signs of fouling.”
12 deer carcasses in varying state of decay were along the circular drive that is above a sink hole which Hall believes is where the run- off gets into the water table underneath and travels the short distance down hill to the area where Well 1 is located.
Currently no one knew who would be responsible for the dead deer removal. VDOT handles that chore along roads but this is National Forest. The Botetourt View is awaiting reply from USFS law enforcement officer Eric Smith and USFS public relations spokeswoman Barb Walker.
Until then, Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle has said that it is in the works to get rid of the deer by tomorrow, but he isn’t sure who will accomplish it. Hall believes that illegal dumping of deer is possibly a Class 1 misdemeanor and DGIF Conservation Officer Shannon Smith confirmed the penalty. “It is a class 1 Misdemeanor punishable up to 1 year in jail and up to a $2,500 dollar fine, ” he said if he catches some one doing such. However, he believes US Forest Law Enforcement will have a stiffer federal penalty to define. Interestingly enough muzzle loading season has been for antlered deer alone in the National Forest. All of the decomposing were antler less or at least the ones with heads had no antlers.
Local officials and the Sheriff’s Department plan to keep a close eye on the area and see who is doing the dumping.
“We just want people to quit dumping the deer there. It is muzzle loading season and you see how many have already been dumped here. Rifle season will be much worse, ” concluded Hall.
If anyone has information on the dumping of the deer please call the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch at 540-473-8361.