Is It Illegal In Louisiana To Keep Deer Hit With Car?
This time of the year wildlife really begins to show itself.
We're seeing the Spring migrations of beautiful birds not native to our part of the world. People mowing areas that haven't seen the mower since last fall, are encountering baby rabbits and opossums.
People are reporting seeing foxes in neighborhoods. Snakes are out in nearly every dark corner you find, and we're seeing young deer, who have just been born, as they encounter public roadways for the very first time.
Some of those deer, or their mothers, have made an unsuccessful attempt to cross those roads and are now browsing in the oak bottoms of deer Heaven.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw no less than five of these victims on the side of I-20 as I traveled to the Arcadia area from Haughton. That sobering experience left me with a burning question. If I were to hit a deer with my truck in Louisiana, could I keep the deer? I know it's not deer season, but I'm a licensed deer hunter, so it would have to be legal, right?
According to the website, deeranddeerhunting.com, that would be a big fat negative ghost rider.
Here's what they write:
in Louisiana it is illegal to pickup a roadkill deer without first having prior consent of a game warden.
So, there is a way to keep the deer, but it's entirely at the discretion of the agent you contact with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
That seems somewhat counterintuitive to me, but I guess Louisiana lawmakers had their reasons for imposing this one.
I would think that they would actually want deer that weren't too mangled to be put to good use instead of being hauled off by buzzards or coyotes.
I also found out just how big of a problem this is nationally. Deeranddeerhunting.com goes on to say that there are 1.5 million deer hit by automobiles on US roadways every year. And with the average minimum cost of $2,000 to repair these vehicles after striking a deer, that's $3 billion dollars each year in damage.
You'd think that with those kinds of losses, keeping the deer would be the least of worries for Louisiana residents. But, they didn't ask me for my opinion.