West Virginia Legislators Pass Bill Making It a Crime to Waste Game


Lawmakers in the West Virginia House voted, and have officially made it a crime to waste game.

Now, folks have expressed concern about the gray area surrounding the term “waste,” so we aim to clear it up for you.

According to WYMT Mountain News, the bill passed by a vote of 56-39 on Monday, and carries fines ranging from $500 – $2,500 for big game such as deer, bear, wild boar and turkeys, as well as hunting/fishing licenses being suspended for 5 years.

Fines range from $100 to $1,000 for any other animals, and violators are subject to spending up to 100 days in jail.

 As far as the interpretation of the word “waste” goes, here is wording from the bill that goes into further detail:

(a) A person may not waste a game animal, game bird or game fish that has been
wounded, killed or taken while hunting or fishing. This section does not apply to fur-bearing

For purposes of this section, “waste” means:
 (1) To detach or remove only the head, hide, feet, paws, claws, antlers, tusks, gall bladder
 or teeth or any or all of these parts from the carcass of a game animal;

(2) To detach or remove only the feathers, fan, beard or spurs or any or all of these parts
 from a game bird;

(3) To intentionally dispose of or abandon any portion of a game fish suitable for food in
 the fields or woods or about the streams of the state;

(4) To leave a wounded or killed game animal or game bird in the fields or woods of the
 state without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and render it for consumption or use: Provided,
 That nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring any person to retrieve a wounded
 game animal or game bird if such retrieval would constitute a violation of section seven of this
 article; or

(5) To transport, store or hang the carcass of a game animal, game bird or game fish in a
 manner that renders it unfit for human consumption.

As WYMT reports, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott stated wildlife official’s main focus is to stop “people slaughtering large numbers of animals and taking only display parts.”

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