If You Hit a Deer in Michigan, Is It Legal to Take the Antlers?
We might be coming to the tail end of deer season, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a chance you might hit a deer.
Unfortunately, Michiganganders are involved in lots of car/deer accidents every year. According to the Michigan State Police website, there are about "50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan" every year. And sadly, these accidents can cause some serious damage.
In the best-case scenario, your headlight gets cracked and you've got a dent in your bumper. Worst case scenario, you get seriously hurt or killed.
If you're able to walk and drive away from a deer crash unscathed, you might be wondering what to do in that situation. Like, can you take the antlers home with you? Well, yes and no... Here's what you need to know about getting into a car-deer accident.
What to Do if You Hit a Deer
First, you should call and report the accident to the police. Especially if the deer is still alive but should be put out of its misery, the police have to do that.
Second, if the deer is actually dead, you might be wondering if the deer is yours to take for meat. You can take it, however, you need to have a hunting permit.
Third, maybe you figure you can just take the antlers off of the deer and use them to decorate. Let me stop you right there...You can't just take the antlers off of a deer that you hit or even one that you've found on the side of the road unless you tell law enforcement what you plan on doing.
According to WLNS, when you call the police after you've hit the deer, you also have to go to the Michigan DNR website and find the vehicle roadkill program. From there, fill out info like your name and the location of where you hit the deer. There's no cost, but you HAVE to have this permit with your info on it if you want to keep any part of the animal. And that includes the antlers. It is illegal to possess the "antlers unless you fill out the roadkill salvage permit".
Hopefully, if you get into an accident, you, your passengers, and your vehicle are okay. And maybe if you're up for it, you've got some deer meat or antlers in store for you.