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Illegal animal dumping investigated

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - Dead ducks dumped next to Lake Ellsworth, and local wildlife officials are trying to figure out who is responsible. This, happening after an unrelated incident where the Comanche County game warden found and fined a hunter who dumped an elk carcass out by a county road.

Cherry Road that dead ends at Lake Ellsworth is where nearly a hundred dead birds are found. Illegally dumped because it is well within a quarter mile of the water. The Game Warden in Comanche County Lieutenant Mike Carroll says catching the culprits, isn't easy.

"I'm assuming it's hunters,” said Carroll. “When they get through for the day, they are cleaning their birds and then going home."

That was Carroll's first impression when he went to visit the dumping site on the east side of the lake on Friday. The ducks were found on city of Lawton property around the lake, so the county and the city's lake patrol are looking for the hunters responsible.

It is illegal to dispose of animal carcasses within a quarter mile of a body of water, road or home.

"We're going to be watching,” said Carroll. “Seeing if we can catch somebody dumping birds there."

Carroll says the ages of the carcasses vary, so the dumping could have happened on different days this past week.

As they keep their eye out over the weekend for the guilty party, Carroll says they already found the hunter who dumped the elk carcass on the side of 112th and Coombs Road. A tag, with all the hunter's information, was found with the animal.

Carroll says he sees dumping like that often.

"So they take it out in the county, and throw it out,” said Carroll. “They think that's an appropriate place to put it. But it's not."

The hunter cleaned up the dead animal, and had to pay a $725 fine.

Carroll says if you are caught, that's what you have to look forward to.

"It's no different dumping a dead deer than it is dumping the couches or the tires or bags of trash, it's all the same," said Carroll.

Carroll says if you have questions about where to take the carcass, to give him a call.

"Just do it right,” said Carroll “And once you take your game, take care of it properly and dispose of it properly. But get out there and hunt and fish. That's what it's all about."

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