Skip to comments.Cotton farmer shoots 40 deer
Posted on 07/28/2007 5:04:07 PM PDT by Sybeck1
Whispers started with the first few gunshots.
Neighborhood rumors had it that a cotton farmer who leases land from the Chickasaw Basin Authority near the Wolf River was shooting deer on the property.
So when residents discovered nearly 40 of the animals had been killed and left to rot in the surrounding woods, they reacted with horror.
"I don't like to see (deer) slaughtered, and that's what happened down there in these cotton fields," said Brenda Flanagan, a nearby resident. "To me it's inhumane. ... What's gone is gone, and I would hate to see that ever happen again."
Angry neighbors also cited safety concerns.
"Our first concern was the brutality of killing those animals," said Arthur Wolff, who owns property on Bethany Road, a shady street that dead ends into the sprawling cotton farm. "Then there was the safety issue of shooting deer so close to people's homes."
Wolff, along with other angry residents, called officials from the Chickasaw Basin Authority (CBA), a state agency dealing with flood-control and drainage in a three-county area. The CBA owns a 600-acre patch of land near Collierville's annexation reserve in unincorporated Shelby County.
It turns out the farmer had been given permission by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to kill deer that were destroying his crops.
But as a result of the community's response, CBA's chairman, Charles Perkins, said they became aware of the safety issues and pulled the permit until further notice.
"We just thought it was a health concern and a safety concern because of the populated area being so close in proximity," Perkins said. "We put a stop to it."
Farmer David Ciarloni, who leases the 200 acres, is not happy about the decision, but he's going to wait to see what can be negotiated with the CBA.
He said the deer population has escalated in recent years, wreaking havoc on his cotton crop.
"It's not going to stop, and it will make this farm impossible to farm in the future," he said.
Although Ciarloni won't know the extent of damage until harvest time, he's estimated 30 percent to 50 percent crop damage. "It's an astronomical increase from last year."
Ciarloni grew frustrated with the deer problem a few months ago and contacted his landlord, the CBA, for a permit to kill the deer.
Ted Fox, the county's public works director who doubles as the CBA's executive director, said he sent a county employee out to examine the damage.
The employee corroborated Ciarloni's story -- that deer had eaten away at about 30 percent of the crop. Fox contacted the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which issues hunting permits.
Gary Cook, TWRA's regional manager in West Tennessee, said state legislation allows farmers to receive hunting permits if they can prove significant crop loss. Called a "depredation permit," this license allows farmers to kill wildlife such as birds or deer that are causing damage to public or private property.
"It happens all over Tennessee on a regular basis," Cook said. "This is not something rare or unusual."
Each year, TWRA issues anywhere from about three to 10 permits to landowners in Shelby County. Last year, it issued 11.
A permit was issued to the CBA after TWRA officers sent to Ciarloni's farm noted significant crop loss and 81 deer.
Ronnie Shannon of TWRA said that contrary to popular belief, deer have been known to eat newer strains of cotton, called "Roundup Ready" cotton that has a salty taste. And because there's limited hunting in the county, the deer population has grown in recent years.
TWRA officials relayed this information to the CBA board, which voted unanimously to thin the herd during a two-week period.
Perkins, CBA's chairman, said the TWRA warden showed up to the meeting in uniform and with his rifle, leading him to assume that the officer -- not Ciarloni -- would be handling the problem.
"We thought the TWRA was going to handle the eradication," Perkins said. "We thought they were going to be onsite to supervise or do it themselves."
He was surprised to discover Ciarloni had taken a shotgun and killed the animals himself.
Perkins also discovered their bodies had been dragged off the cotton fields and into nearby wooded areas to rot.
"That concerned us because of the scavengers, the possibility of the coyotes moving into that area, the buzzards and the smell," Perkins said. "It was a general health concern."
Fox called Ciarloni and put a hold on the permit. The CBA held a meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue.
During that session, the CBA heard testimony from Wolff and other concerned residents, who complained of safety and health risks for the surrounding residents.
Perkins said the license will be pulled until further notice, but something will have to be done eventually to deal with the deer population.
And of the system chosen to hunt the deer, he said residents probably won't be happy about it.
"I personally am leaning toward a limited hunting situation although I suspect neighbors won't like that," he said. "This is a serious problem in Shelby County."
-- Alex Doniach: 529-5231
Copyright 2007, commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.
This is a test.
This afternoon, I am not making this up, our house took a HUGE lightening strike.
We lost, again I...
I’m not making this up
..two computers, one was my home network server.
...our garage door opener
...the ceiling fan in our living room will not turn off.
So I got this portable computer and it’s so old the only browser that will work with it is Opera.
You can’t make this stuff up.....
waste of good meat
Yup. damn shame.
True enough. He could’ve done SOMETHING with the venison instead of leaving it to the flies.
We had a good friend killed when a deer went through his windshield. We were on the Trace several years ago and a deer jumped the car which was in front of us. I had never seen a deer jump like that.
That's the only thing I object to here.
I guess the farmer had grown tired of “those cotton pickin deer.”
>> “Our first concern was the brutality of killing those animals,” said Arthur Wolff, who owns property on Bethany Road, a shady street that dead ends into the sprawling cotton farm.
Bet you anything Farmer Ciarloni was there long before this Wolff wuss.
And assume the liability if the deer were diseased? In today's lawyered America, it's unlikely to happen
The other day a co-worker complained about the hunting of deer in our area. She blamed the deer problems on “sprawl”, but I pointed out that the population of deer in our area is 6000% higher than it was 50 years ago, whereas the human population has only grown by about 15%.
I was thinking that instead of just letting the deer rot, they could be used as food. But after reading about them eating Roundup Ready cotton, I'm not so sure anymore.
I have no idea why we lost the variety of thing we did and who knows what else we’ll find.
I heard this loud boom and all I can tell you, when you hear it you know what it is.
The two tv’s were little things but they were hook to our cable hookup. Two other tv’s are okay. They are hooked to another thing....whatever is used that can be recorded from.
The two computers were hooked to the cable as well. They were both ON. One computer, a major one, was off and it’s working fine.
The garage door opener? I can’t explain this except, hey, where that lightening hit, and I actually saw smoke, was right by the garage. In fact at first I thought our air conditioner took a hit.
The living room fan? It’s crazy. We figured out how to work around it but it’s a pain.
Also breakers blew and some of the individual electrical outlets have little circuit breaker things on them and some of THEN had to be reset.
Monday I’m going to talk to the insurance company but I wonder if they’ll ever believe this.
Never whack more than you can pack ping.
Does and fawns hit hardest....
Is it safe to eat deer that have been eating Roundup Ready cotton?
Good for him! Given the number he shot, I'm sure thats why he didn't decide to have them processed and perhaps given to shelters.
Nevertheless, I support this guy wholeheartedly........
We don't have deer in our desert, but the past few years we've obtained citrus-grabbing squirrels......so I go pee at the base of the trees.
It really ticks off wifey and the local patrol cops, but they live with it.
(They're front yard trees, and I haven't quite gotten around to walling the property yet.....)
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