Hundreds of thousands of white-tailed deer are killed in Texas each fall and winter, but typically by deer hunters in search of big bucks and those looking to fill their freezers. Automobiles even get a few, but it seems the deer and hunters in Eastland County have something else to look out for now—poison. The Texas Agriculture Extension is advising all area health care providers of a poisoning in Eastland County that occurred approximately two weeks ago.
It seems a ranch south of Carbon, Texas, tried to kill feral hogs by mixing deer corn with a pesticide called Temik, which is a neurotoxin. Apparently, the rancher spread a very large amount of mixed, poisoned corn over their 2,000 acre peanut crop to kill feral hogs, but it turns out that white-tailed deer where also feeding on the same ranch.
BN: “With the opening of deer season this weekend, authorities are asking hunters not to eat ANY venison meat harvested in south Eastland County until further notice. Any deer appearing sick or stumbling should be avoided. Though ingested levels of poisoned corn would have to be high in a deer, waterfowl, and hogs to seriously affect humans, authorities note it is very toxic and possibly fatal.
State and federal investigations are in progress. Further questions and concerns can be directed to Michael Hare with the Texas Agricultural Extension office at 512-475-3305.”
This situation is unfortunate for Eastland County hunters for several reasons. Not only are they just days from the opener of Texas’ General Deer Season, but many non-target animals, including deer, will continue to be exposed to contaminated bait. Not only are hunters warned to not consume venison of harvested animals in the area, but their hunting license fees directly manage for each of the wildlife species impacted by this ignorant action.
It’s unknown how many animals are being directly impacted by the poisoned corn, but it’s even more disturbing to think what some individuals will do without considering the consequences of their actions.
Update: Corn poisoned with Temix and Aldicarb was found in 2 peanut fields and is suspected in 4 more. The location of the 2 confirmed poisoned fields is 9 miles South of Cisco, just West of SH 183, between CR173 on the North and CR170 on the South. The location of the 4 suspected poisoned fields is West of the 2 confirmed poison fields. These 4 fields are near the intersection of SH 206 and CR 218. The poisoned corn is still on the ground in the 2 confirmed poison locations. It is in piles throughout the field.
The dead animals found so far are 3 deer, 6 hogs, 1 red-tailed hawk, and 2 vultures. The poisoned corn was originally found October 7. The investigation has moved slowly because the people responsible have not been cooperative and have withheld information. Investigators are on site today. Several government agencies are involved in this “fluid, on going investigation.” The recommendation is to not eat deer killed in a 5 mile radius of these locations.