Wanton Waste Law & Legal Definition


Wanton waste means, “to intentionally waste something negligently or inappropriately.” This term is used in relation to hunting. Most states have laws to the effect that a person may not wantonly waste or destroy a usable part of a protected wild animal unless authorized. No person shall waste a wild bird or wild animal that has been wounded or killed while hunting. Any act that results in wanton or needless waste of the animal or otherwise intentionally allows it or an edible portion thereof to be wantonly or needlessly wasted or fails to dispose it in a reasonable and sanitary manner amounts to an offense that is punishable.

The following are examples of Federal and State (Maine) Statute on Wanton Waste:

50 CFR 20.25 Wanton waste of migratory game birds.

No person shall kill or cripple any migratory game bird pursuant to this part without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird, and retain it in his actual custody, at the place where taken or between that place and either (a) his automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) his personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

According to 12 M.R.S. § 11224, a person may not waste a wild bird or wild animal that has been wounded or killed by that person while hunting. For purposes of this section, "waste" means to intentionally leave a wounded or killed animal in the field or forest without making a reasonable effort to retrieve and render it for consumption or use. A person who violates this section commits a Class E crime.