Scdnr, federal agents crack case involving illegally imported deer

Thread starter #1

Mechanicaldawg

Roosevelt Ranger
DNR, FEDERAL AGENTS CRACK CASE INVOLVING ILLEGALLY IMPORTED DEER

A three year investigation by the S.C. Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
involving the illegal importation of white-tailed deer into South
Carolina has lead to the indictment of individuals in multiple states.
According to documents filed in the District Court of the Southern
District of Ohio, individuals from South Carolina conspired with
individuals from Ohio and elsewhere to illegally import 54 white-tailed
deer into South Carolina in late 2005.
According to John Frampton, Director of DNR, "This case involved a
conspiracy to import deer by falsifying records associated with the
purchase and shipment of deer which ultimately led to deer being
illegally imported in to the state. South Carolina law prohibits the
importation of deer without a permit and since the case involved
interstate commerce it resulted in a Federal Lacey Act violation as
well."
According to court records, James Schaffer of Charleston conspired
with Danny L. Parrott of Kimbolton, Ohio and other unnamed individuals,
to transport deer to South Carolina on several occasions in late 2005.
Approximately $70,000 were paid for the deer which went to Graham's
Turnout Hunt Company, a deer hunting service catering to hunters from
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, which is located in Bamberg County
and owned by Schaffer.
Deer originated from a number of states including at least one
state known to harbor Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), said Charles Ruth,
Deer/Turkey Project supervisor with DNR. "Fortunately, the deer were
not released into the wild, but rather, they were released into several
enclosures including one in excess of 500 acres."
Frampton said, "The illegal importation of deer constitutes a
threat to the state's deer resource and hunting tradition, making them a
great concern to the Department. Additionally, deer hunting contributes
over $200 million to the states economy annually, most of which is spent
at the local level in counties that depend on natural resource based
economics. Too much is at stake for the department, as well as, South
Carolina's citizens to condone this type of activity."
According to Ruth, "Disease is at the top of the list of reasons
that the importation of deer into South Carolina is not allowed.
Although the deer allegedly originated in Ohio, we now know that deer
came from at least 3 states including Wisconsin, a state that is known
to have CWD."
CWD, a Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE), has recently
emerged as a significant threat to North America's deer populations,
said Ruth. "TSE's are fatal neurological diseases characterized by the
degeneration of the brain. Although somewhat different, CWD is
essentially the deer version of "Mad Cow Disease" which has been so
devastating to the British livestock industry. Disease experts indicate
that CWD only affects members of the deer family with no link being made
to livestock or humans."
"Although the disease has been diagnosed in 14 states and two
Canadian Provinces, South Carolina has had a low risk of having a
problem with CWD for two reasons. CWD has not been detected in the
Southeast and South Carolina is geographically far from any areas known
to harbor CWD. Second, South Carolina has not allowed the interstate
movement of deer and there is evidence that movements of deer for
commercial purposes have played a role in the current CWD situation
nationally. Obviously, cases of illegal importation greatly increase the
state's risk of introduction of CWD and are of great concern."
Colonel Alvin Taylor, DNR's Deputy Director of Law Enforcement,
said "DNR is diligent in monitoring for illegal activities and this case
demonstrates a cooperative interagency effort between DNR, USFWS, Ohio
Division of Wildlife, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission. The case originated in Ohio and when evidence pointed to
South Carolina, a USFWS agent in Ohio contacted DNR officers with whom
he had previously worked. Working together the case was developed and
charges filed in Ohio."
Although legal proceedings in the case are ongoing, Schaffer, the
primary defendant from South Carolina, has pleaded guilty and reached an
agreement with the United States Attorney's office in Southern Ohio.
Schaffer agreed to pay $50,000 to the South Carolina Harry Hampton
Wildlife Fund and $50,000 to the National Wildlife Trust Fund and up to
$150,000 in fines. Additionally, the enclosures in which the deer were
released must be torn down or modified to comply with South Carolina law
related to hunting deer inside enclosures. Shaffer is currently
awaiting sentencing.
DNR enlisted the assistance of the United States Department of
Agriculture's Wildlife Services to depopulate and disease test the deer
in the enclosures, according to Ruth. "Given the unknown origin and
disease status of the deer there was no other option to depopulation and
testing because there is no live animal test for CWD and we had to know
if the disease had been introduced into the State. Diagnosis is based
on examining brain and other tissues. We asked Wildlife Services for
assistance because they have the staff, equipment, and training to carry
out this type of operation and they did an outstanding job."
Noel Myers, State Director for Wildlife Services, said "We have
worked with DNR on various projects over the years and were glad to
help. Depopulating the enclosures and testing the deer was a monumental
task and required the efforts of numerous personnel over the course of
about a month. Deer were screened for bovine tuberculosis and assessed
for general health in addition to CWD. Samples were tested by the
National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Working on this
effort was a natural part of our program's mission to safeguard
agricultural and natural resources."
Ruth said, "The enclosures contained more than the 54 deer that
were imported because the case spanned two reproductive cycles and there
were some native South Carolina deer present as well. More than 200
deer were removed and tested. Results were negative for CWD and the
overall health of the deer was good. Carcasses were processed and
donated to three food banks resulting in the distribution of
approximately 6,000 pounds of venison to needy South Carolinians. The
cost to remove, test, and process the deer was approximately $95,000
which was paid by Schaffer as part of the agreement reached with the
United States Attorney's office in Southern Ohio.
Frampton added, "I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this
important case and the level of cooperation exhibited between DNR, the
US Attorney's Office in Southern Ohio, the US Fish and Wildlife Service
in Ohio, and USDA-Wildlife Services in South Carolina. In particular, I
would like to thank DNR Law Enforcement and Wildlife and Freshwater
Fisheries biological staff for working together for over two years in
order to resolve the case.
Frampton concluded, "DNR will not tolerate the illegal trafficking
of deer or other wildlife in South Carolina. We have been blessed with
excellent fish and wildlife resources in this state and the actions of a
few individuals risking those resources for financial gain, or to suit
their misguided attempts at raising trophy animals for harvest is
unacceptable. The penalties in this case are very significant and serve
as a strong message to others that DNR is serious about this issue."
DNR protects and manages South Carolina's natural resources by
making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state's
natural resources and its people. Find out more about DNR at
www.dnr.sc.gov.
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godogs57

Senior Member
Happens here as well....heard of one guy (big hunting plantation, not in my couny) who imports a couple of nice bucks a year into fenced enclosures, allows them to breed our GA does and then lets them go on their way. He had a lady hunter on his land one year and she shot one of his "herd sires" and ruined his day!
 

Milkman

Retired Moderator
The potential endangement of every deer in this part of the world from CWD............. all for the almighty dollar:crazy:
 
Thread starter #5

Mechanicaldawg

Roosevelt Ranger
The potential endangement of every deer in this part of the world from CWD............. all for the almighty dollar:crazy:
Don't forget the sake of letting someone kill "big ole buck"!

You know we have to kill "big ole buck" no matter what it takes and regardless of the cost in dollars or the health of the resource!

That is what hunting is all about!

Right?
 
Article in one local paper last week about fishermen releasing different species of fish in Oconee and Sinclair some of which may do some serious harm to the existing native species in those lakes. All in the name of bigger fish to catch.
At least it's harder to import a species like deer than it is to release a new species of fish.
 

Milkman

Retired Moderator
Don't forget the sake of letting someone kill "big ole buck"!

You know we have to kill "big ole buck" no matter what it takes and regardless of the cost in dollars or the health of the resource!

That is what hunting is all about!

Right?
I think that is where so many people miss the boat Jeff.

Some of my best deer hunting memories over the years arent even associated with shooting a deer.
Lots of folk havent caught on yet huh ?
 
Thread starter #8

Mechanicaldawg

Roosevelt Ranger
Some of my best deer hunting memories over the years arent even associated with shooting a deer.
Lots of folk havent caught on yet huh ?
While it does still tick me off to a point, I don't get angry over it the way I use to.

It's turned into more a matter of pity these days as I watch these men worry themselves sick over finding a new way to create "big ole buck" & I realize just how much they are missing and their children are going to miss out on relative to the hunting experience.

It is quite a shame.
 
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