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West Virginia House Opposes Wasting Hunters' Prey

David J. Phillip
Associated Press

The West Virginia House has voted to make it a crime to waste game by leaving carcasses or just taking trophies such as heads, claws or feathers.

The bill, passed 56-39 on Monday, would set fines ranging from $500 to $2,500 for big game, meaning deer, bear, boars and turkeys. Hunting and fishing licenses would be suspended for five years.

Penalties would range from $100 to $1,000 for other animals.

All could mean 10 to 100 days in jail.

Some lawmakers say the prohibition against abandoning "any portion of game suitable for food" could be misinterpreted as barring field dressing deer by removing their organs.

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott says wildlife officials want to address the problem of "people slaughtering large numbers" of animals and taking only display parts.

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