Texas deer processing facilities are having a rough time of it lately.
In the past two months, Texas Game Wardens have discovered spoiled deer carcasses at three different deer processing facilities, the Houston Chronicle reports. Two of the facilities are in North Texas and one is in Poteet in Atascosa County, just south of San Antonio.
Texas Authorities Dealing With ‘Rare’ Uptick
A warden told the Chronicle that such a high number of spoiled deer carcasses is “rare.”
“Fifteen years on and I’ve never had anything like this,” said David Nieto, Texas Game Warden for the San Antonio district. “It’s very rare for it to happen one time, but even more rare for it to happen two to three times as it has in the state.”
Game officials found 22 spoiled deer carcasses at a North Texas facility on Dec. 18. Then, a few weeks later, on Jan. 16, they discovered 80 spoiled white-tailed deer carcasses at another North Texas facility.
In Poteet, Texas Game Wardens joined with the Poteet Police Department to investigate BR Outfitters. They had received reports of a “rotting smell” emanating from the building, Texas Parks and Wildlife said in a press release.
Once they got there, they saw a few deer carcasses sitting in a pile at the bottom of a walk-in cooler. They told the owner of the facility to seal and lock it and not to allow any meat to leave the facility.
Then, four days later, they went back to the facility and inspected the deer again. This time the carcasses were clearly spoiled. Authorities found a total of 50 spoiled white-tailed deer carcasses there, plus coolers and tubs of trimmings that were likewise found to be rotten.
An investigation is underway. The Poteet Police Department told the Chronicle that criminal cases are pending.
Watching Carefully During Routine Inspections
Nieto said that after that recent spate of spoiled deer carcasses, Texas authorities will be watching carefully on their routine inspections of processing facilities during hunting season. The season lasts from November to January.
He added that he doesn’t know why so many cases showed up over a couple months, or why the meat is spoiling in the first place. It could be just a freak coincidence, he said. Authorities are continuing to investigate the uptick and will offer more details when they are available.
Hunters who took their harvest to BR Outfitters and are interested in a refund can contact the facility, which is located at 8645 N. Hwy 16, directly.