The process for keeping the carcass of a roadkilled Wisconsin deer was made much simpler with the passing of a new statute.
Deer/car collisions are a common occurrence in any state with a large deer population. Wisconsin is one of those states. Hitting a deer with your car in Wisconsin does have one upside.
If a Wisconsin deer is killed in a traffic collision, the person driving is allowed to keep the carcass for the meat. If the driver declines the deer, anyone else at the scene or who arrives at the scene, may take possession of the deer.
Prior to the passing of this new statute, law enforcement officers had to respond to the scene of the collision and tag the deer before it could be taken home by anyone on the scene. That is no longer the case.
While the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) must still be notified of the collision by phone, law enforcement will no longer respond to a scene just to tag the deer. Police will still respond if the vehicle that struck the deer has enough damage to be reportable, people were injured, or private property was damaged.
“Wisconsin Statute 29.349 allows the driver of a vehicle who strikes a deer to remove the carcass from the scene after notifying the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources by calling 608-267-7691,” according to WSAW NewsChannel 7.
This change, which went into effect July 24, 2015, does not apply to other animals killed in a vehicle collision. Roadkilled bears and turkeys must still be tagged by law enforcement before being taken.
Deer and car collisions are much more frequent which may have prompted this change. It is definitely good news for anyone who likes venison and does a lot of driving in Wisconsin deer country.
It is still the best idea to exercise caution when driving through Wisconsin deer country. In fact, that applies to any state with a deer population.
However, if an accident does occur, you might just find yourself with some fresh Wisconsin deer meat to enjoy and hopefully not much damage to your ride.