Is Composting Dead Deer the Best Way to Dispose of Hunting Waste?

Nicki Varkevisser/CC BY 2.0

From eating roadkill in Minnesota to John's detailed account of how to process a deer, we've dealt with a fair few ways to handle deceased deer in our time here at TreeHugger.

But, to the best of my knowledge, we've never covered the topic of deer composting.

The Journal reports that Martinsburg, West Virginia is one of the municipalities now offering deer carcass composting as a means to stop illegal dumping of deer carcasses during hunting season:

"For ease of handling, the carcass or waste material should be placed in one or more of the large paper 'leaf' bags that are available at many hardware and discount stores," Hogbin said.

Last year's pilot program collected about 2,000 pounds of deer carcasses, he said. It was envisioned as a way to help decrease the number of illegally disposed deer carcasses locally and that seems to be happening, Hogbin said.

I've written before about hunting as an ethical means of sourcing meat, so I am delighted to hear that more responsible ways to dispose of waste materials are being sought. But I'm a little surprised that composting is the best we can do. Isn't there a way to process any leftover meat into animal feed or other direct resources? Couldn't we turn bones into bonemeal?

Most likely, folks more familiar with both composting and hunting will have a better idea of what is and what is not a sensible thing to do with dead deer. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tags: Animals | Composting | United States

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