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Road kill deer


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Hey guys,

Every year around fall when the leaves come down and the rut starts up, I start to see a lot more roadkill deer (it might just be because I'm driving more, and in more rural places, to hunt). I've read many discussions online about eating roadkill and I've decided to give it a shot if I see a likely deer. I did see a freshly killed doe a few weeks ago, evident by a huge wet blood smear on the road, and swore that I'd pick it up on my way home from running errands. Unfortunately somebody beat me to it. I think a roadkill deer would be a good way to get some ground venison or make some jerky.

This Friday I'll have a 4.5 hour drive north, and in previous years I've seen at least 5 roadkill deer on my way up to hunting camp. Do you guys have any idea how to tell if roadkill is still OK to eat? I'd guess the only way to check is pull over, stop, and check for evidence to see if it's been eaten at by crows or coyotes, or see if there's a foul odor. I've read some guys will put a rubber glove on and shove a few fingers into the anus to see if it's still warm on the inside, any credence to this line of thought?

How many of you have picked up a deer off the side of the road before? Do you tell friends/family that it's roadkill? I've gotten very mixed results when talking to people at work about it, and decided it's something better kept on the downlow unless I end up sharing the meat with somebody...

For those of you who have picked up roadkill--do you gut it right there on the side of the road or throw it in the bed of your truck and do it when you get home?

Thanks

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Good questions. Does anyone know the official process for claiming a roadkill, I would imagine calling a CO would be the place to start, advise them of the scene location, and ask for a tag?

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Good questions. Does anyone know the official process for claiming a roadkill, I would imagine calling a CO would be the place to start, advise them of the scene location, and ask for a tag?

Roadkill salvage tags are issued by local/county police departments.

I mentioned in my 1st post I was out running errands and saw a roadkilled doe. I was literally driving to the store and back to my house, at the store for maybe 20 mins, didn't think anybody else would get the deer. I called local PD while I was at the store and asked if they could send a cop to meet me at the carcass, and she said I'd have to call back while physically at the scene. So I think the process is just be at the carcass (preferably after checking it out to make sure it's not rotten), call local PD dispatch, and they will send an officer out to you and issue you a tag.

I guess if you're waiting for a cop to show up to give you the tag you could go ahead and gut it there on the side of the road. If it's obvious that the deer was hit by a car, might as well be productive while waiting.

I have a buddy who worked as a sheriff's deputy in WI and he said it was very common procedure in rural WI to issue salvage tags for black bear / deer. Usually no questions asked, they just need your personal info for the tag.

I am primarily a meat hunter (I am a student, and if I spend all my money on gas/license/etc. I am pretty bummed if I don't get a deer), so finding a roadkill deer or two would make my hunting trip a lot more "productive."

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just call the non emergency number and get a tag. its really simple. i've done it a few times during college.

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i have taken all the one's i have hit, once you get them skinned its easy to tell what areas are damaged

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...I guess if you're waiting for a cop to show up to give you the tag you could go ahead and gut it there on the side of the road. If it's obvious that the deer was hit by a car, might as well be productive while waiting....

When you call it in, ask them about this. That deer is not yours until you have a tag filled out for it and are with it. Likely it wouldn't be an issue, but let the officer lead the way on this one. They could think you are trying to cover up some poaching.

....

And ya, I've picked up a few. Been a couple years, though. Folks will definitely give you strange looks about eating the venison, but if you are doing all the butchering yourself it is easy to see what should be tossed in the garbage and not packaged for eating. I've gotten as little as one quarter of meat form a fawn all the way up to getting all of it from a big doe getting hit in the head.

I would not risk taking a deer that I did not see hit, or the folks that hit it are parked on the side due to just hitting it. Suppose if you drove the route the previous evening and then were driving the same route in the morning it might be worth checking the roadkill.

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If you have seen a lot of road kills just try and get on the "list". I talked to a sheriff's deputy and he took down my info. Weather or not he remembers to call is unknown, but its a place to start. We used to be on the list down in central MN years ago. If its warm take it but call the deputy to get a road kill or our "wise" DNR might get the wrong idea!

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Unless you've hit the deer yourself it can be a dump shoot on weather it may be salvageable or not. Rule of thumb I use is must be warm as in recently hit also abdomen must be intact no visible sign of gastronomical damage and 1 hind quarter must be unharmed. After this I call local non emergency number and report a roadkill and request a tag. Another thing I will do when I come across road killed deer is if it is not splattered all over I will drag it off to the side of the road or just off the shoulder. I do this just as a safety precaution so other motorists don't run over it and do damage to their vehicle or in a worse case scenario swerve to miss it and have an accident.

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shortfatguy

I have taken quite a few road killed deer. Most were hit by someone I know but a couple were ones I saw that were fresh. I never gut them on the side of the road. Take the deer home and hang it up and take the hide off. DO NOT CUT INTO THE ABDOMINAL CAVITY!! Almost every deer hit by a car will have ruptured something! Once you have the hide removed you can see what meat has been damaged. You can remove the front shoulders, back straps, and hind quarters without opening up the guts at all. If you decide you want to take the chance and open it up for the loins remove the quarters and back straps first. That way if you open it up and the guts ooze out all over you wont contaminate any of the meat. Nothing wrong with road kill. It tastes the same if its killed by a vehicle as if its shot with a bullet or arrow.

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The only time I've taken a road killed deer is when a friend of my wifes hit one in the early morning when she was driving her kid to the ER. She called the highway patrol who came out and dispatched the deer since she had only broken the legs. She called me right after this happened so I knew the meat was still good. I contacted the officer and got a tag from him to use to process the deer. This was probably ten years ago or more though. I don't think that I would ever take one that I just happened upon without knowing who hit it, or when it was killed though.

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I'd pick one up if I knew it was a fresh kill and maybe only had it's head whacked or something. My dad and I took one once that was still alive, the deputy had to shoot it and we took care of the rest. Half the meat was ruined due to how it was hit.

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I hit one when I was going icefishing once. I just ran over one hind foot and that slammed it down so hard the ribs broke and killed it dead by internal injuries. I also caught a bunch of perch and blugills. I called it redneck surf and turf. It was the cleanest deer I ever butchered. No damage anywhere to the meat. That day whenever anyone asked me if I had any luck i said sure did, killed a deer and no damage to my pickup.

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Moose-Hunter

Be advised!!!

Do not remove the deer from the site until AFTER you are issued the possession tag! Not even if it's just to drive to the gas station to use the phone.

I did this back in my pre-cell days and got my arse chewed out pretty good for it. Today, I think you could most likely expect some type of revenue generating citation.

Make the call. Be sure you tell whoever you talk to that you need the responding officer to issue a road kill possession tag. Not all squads carry the proper paperwork. Then... Be prepared for a nice wait.

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Anyone know what happens when the deer skids off the hwy onto your property? Its a tag still required? The DOT likes the drag them onto my property as well and leave them under the pines at the edge of my yard. I usually drag them out back so the wolves and coyotes aren't in my yard eating them.

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shortfatguy

Jay, The COs in our area are pretty good about it. I have called them and they usually take my info and say they know I have the deer go ahead and take it. Not much involved usually.

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fishersofmen

I have hit 5 and killed 3. One was a real nice 8 point buck another was a smaller buck and the 3rd was a bambi. Got tags for the two, the 8 pointer was a clean head shot into my grill so it was spotless, the smaller buck was damaged a little, the bambi was smoked bad.

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I just snagged a fresh doe fawn up here, called the deputy and he met me there with a tag. Took it home and washed it out, she had a broken back and I might lose about 5 pounds. Haven't saw a buck yet so I'll take what I can get.

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I kept an eye up on my drive up north Friday afternoon and drive back Monday night and didn't see anything. Seems like most guys who hit them throw them in the truck (at least during hunting season).

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  • 5 years later...
leech~~
1 hour ago, Rusty Delcourt said:

How do I get on the road kill list in Todd County

 

Um, call Todd County? 🤔

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