Deer disposal

Asked December 13, 2015, 7:00 PM EST

My neighbor is hunting deer on his private 25 acre land, which I dont have a problem with, but he is disposing the dead deer just at or close to our property line. We have 5 acres and my neighbor has 7 acres. My dog and my neighbor's dog smell the rotting deer and we have nearly lost our dog to disease and ingesting deer bones for the last two years. We have had to go up and remove the decomposing deer ourselves for the last two years. Last year it was three deer that he shot and dumped. What are the laws on disposal of dead deer...how should it be done? Also, do we have any recourse with this neighbor other than both my neighbor and us having to invest a huge amount of money into electric fences. We can't let our dog out and we can't walk in our own woods because of the smell of the dead deer. We have spoken to him and told him that it not only cost us $1,500 last year in vet bills, but worse, our dog could have died. He chooses the spot closest to us because it is far away from his home and his own dogs. What can we do?

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Sorry for the delay and sorry for the issues with your neighbor.

Based on what you have told me, I would say your neighbor is creating a nuisance. A nuisance is an action that interferes with a property owner's use and enjoyment of his/her property. In this case, sounds like the rotting deer is doing just that. The Maryland Code spells out that dead animals can be considered a nuisance condition (email me at lgoering@umd.edu and I can send that to you).

Your options are going to be contact an attorney and sue or you can also contact the Maryland Department of Ag's mediation program to meet with mediators (you, deer hunter, and the other neighbors) to work out a solution. This option would be slightly less costly.

Either way potentially is going to get the deer cleaned up and you the vet bills covered for your dog.

Let me know if you have questions.