South Dakota Hunters Must Properly Dispose of Antelope Waste

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Successful antelope hunters need to remember that after they field dress their animal, the job's not over. They still need to properly dispose of the carcass and debris.

Dumping big game debris tarnishes the image of hunters and it's against the law, according to Game, Fish and Parks Department Conservation Officer Bill Eastman of Belle Fourche. "Aside from the poor public relations aspect of dumping deer and antelope carcasses, there's also a matter of possible charges for littering," Eastman said.

Antelope waste, including spoiled hides, can usually be disposed of in residential garbage if hunters remember to put it in a plastic bag. Eastman advises hunters to reduce the size of the carcass so it fits properly in a refuse container. "The carcass can also be taken directly to the dump for a small fee," Eastman said.

The cost of taking the carcass to the dump can usually be covered by selling the hide if the hunter is willing to check for a local fur buyer. A hide that's been properly cared for could sell for as much as $4.

"Of course no one's going to get rich off selling the hide, but it's better to sell it than have it taking up space at the landfill," Eastman said.

Conservation officers also deal with another kind of litter, residential refuse that's dumped in rural areas. People who want to avoid paying landfill fees dump everything from appliances to household garbage to yard waste in the countryside and along rural ditches.

"The law's quite clear on that kind of dumping," Eastman said. "The person who litters anything weighing more than five pounds can face a penalty of up to $1,000. And the person who provides information leading to a littering conviction can collect 20 percent of the fine."

Hunters who break the littering law will also find themselves with less time to pursue the sport they enjoy because part of the penalty is usually an order to pick up and dispose of litter in a particular area for a specified length of time.