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SEARCY — A roadside tamale stand that was shut down for illegally using deer meat is back open after passing an Arkansas health department inspection.

Tamale stand owner Fred Atkins said he didn't realize he was breaking the law when he prepared venison tamales as requested by customers at his tamale stand along Arkansas 16 near Pangburn.

Atkins told The Daily Citizen that some customers brought him venison from their homes and he used the meat to make special-order tamales. He said he didn't realize it was illegal until his arrest last month.

Atkins and his wife, Betty Atkins, face misdemeanor charges of buying, selling or trading wildlife. They're due in court April 8.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said it began a six-week investigation after receiving tips from residents.

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  • maelstrom
    March 17, 2014 at 12:16 p.m.

    Because cooking peoples' own venison for them is just evil, pure and simple.

    How is this different from taking your deer to a processor and having them make it into sausage for you? Or is it just because they probably used the same implements to cook the venison as they did the normal tamales? Either way - a six week investigation for this? If I were AG&FC I'd be ashamed to admit I spent money on this.

  • HawgFan
    March 17, 2014 at 12:32 p.m.

    I'm with maelstrom.... 6 weeks??!! Apparently it could have taken 6 seconds to walk up to the guy and ask 'Did you make deer tamales for someone?' and when he answered 'yes', case closed.

  • the1andonly
    March 17, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

    If you knew the IQ of the average AG&FC employee, you would understand why it took them 6 weeks, my beagle has a higher IQ. Those venison tamales were probably better for you than the crap they are using now.

  • bbos42
    March 17, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.

    The deer tamales would be many times more healthy than any other!

  • dumblikeme
    March 17, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.

    Why can't we have a commision that's not so focused on homosexual men? I'm all for letting an Arkansas Gay Man Fish, but we straight men and women, as well as lesbians, need representation as well!