Dear 100 Hour Board,
As I was driving home the other night I unfortunately saw the aftermath of a deer car crash. The couple who had hit the deer were examining the dent in the front of the car. Meanwhile, the deer--who, to me, still looked alive--was kneeling on the side of the road. No one was paying attention to this poor thing! My question is, what usually happens in circumstances like this where there's a large injured animal hit by a car who can't move? Is it customary to just let the thing suffer? If you called animal control would they shoot it to put it out of its misery? What can a passerby do to help the creature?
M E O W
Who ya gonna call?
My father moderated a fish and game enthusiast website for a while so I decided to ask him what to do. Here's what he said:
"It varies from state to state. In Utah, call any cop. If you stop at a wounded deer in Utah, and "put it out of its misery," you can be arrested for poaching. So, best thing to do is get a cop. They can then put the animal down and issue you a salvage permit so you can harvest the meat. But you must get a law enforcement officer to the site before you do anything. Utah is one of the most strict states when it comes to dealing with a deer (or any game animal) that has been hit by a car."
If you happen upon a deer that has been hit by a car your best bet is to call the police non-emergency line. They should be able to get there fastest, and if there aren't any cops available they could contact another agency and send them to help out.
This doesn't relate to your question, but it is about road-killed deer, so fun fact: I am currently working at a national park, and just today before dawn we dragged a dead deer off the road into some bushes. Coincidence? Most definitely.
RIP, dear deer. RIP.