Game Wardens Investigate Deer Breeding Facility in Jim Wells County, Seize Animals

     Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens and wildlife biologists confirmed they are investigating an exotic wildlife ranch just outside of Sandia in Jim Wells County. Game wardens say they have been on the property for the last two days confiscating a significant number of whitetail deer as part of their investigation.
    All of this happening at the Lonesome Bull Ranch on County Road 364 near Lake Corpus Christi. According to the ranch's website, the 2600 acre ranch has over 40 different types of exotic animals and wildlife that are used for hunting purposes.
    Investigators say, the ranch also serves as a deer breeding facility, and as such is subject to Texas Parks and Wildlife regulations.  Investigators say the facility has not met their requirements and for that reason have decided not to renew their permit, essentially shutting down the deer breeding portion of the ranch.
    Steve Lightfoot, spokesperson for Texas Parks and Wildlife told 3 News by phone, "we've conducted several inspections and herd investigations into this facility and many of the requirements that deer breeders are required to have, including unique markings and identifiers on animals, tracking movement records have not been met."
    Game wardens are also testing the animals for disease as a precaution. They are collecting samples for testing for Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD, and TB.
    Aside from the disease investigation, there is also a criminal investigation underway into the deer breeding.

We'll continue to keep you posted.


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