IOWA PARK, Texas (TNN) - Last week, Caleb Thompson got the news that his recently hunted buck and doe he dropped off at Hooves and Horns in Iowa Park had spoiled.
“When he called me and told me my name was on the list, I mean I was upset,” said Thompson. “The buck and doe were the first two deer I’ve ever hunted in my life and that’s what hurt the most.”
Caleb’s deer and 75 others were discovered to be unfit for consumption by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden on Jan. 9 during a routine compliance inspection.
“Instantly you could smell a horrible, rancid, rotten meat smell and in some cases, there were ice chests that were inside these coolers that were unbearable, it was really bad,” said Captain Game Warden Brandon Rose.
Rose says that it’s the processors responsibility to keep the meat in edible condition.
“They definitely could have and should have taken care of it,” said Rose.
Thompson claims he’s down $600 from the entire endeavor and can’t imagine how much it’s hurt people who rely on their hunt for food.
“You spend money on corn, the time you sit up there in the blind and then you finally get that one deer that you’ve been hunting and then you get a phone call that your mount didn’t make it to the freezer and it was ruined as well as the meat,” said Thompson.
In addition to the financial burden, both Rose and Thompson say that the spoiled meat ultimately spoils the hunt experience as well.
“Some of these deer may have been a once in a lifetime deer or a trophy deer, that kind of invaluable,” said Rose.