Know Exactly What To Do Legally If You Hit A Deer With Your Car In Texas
Recently I had a couple of deer hunting buddies call and ask "what are the laws around here for reporting a car accident with a deer and who do I need to call to report it to? What do I need to do with the deer, can I keep it? A couple of good questions. Here's what I know.
Can You Keep The Deer?
The simple answer is NO! There is a statute in the state of Texas that says the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department can and does donate the animals killed accidentally by vehicles to group homes, orphanages, places like that but typically the state law says no let it lay. What most Game Wardens do is if you want the deer most of the time they'll let you have it.
Generally, if you would like to file an accident report or get a blue form, you can contact the local game warden in that county or contact the local Sheriff's office. If you must document for car insurance purposes, Warden Lacy Loudermilk says "take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and of the dear if possible, do it in the safest manner where traffic won't be impeded."
Furthermore, Loudermilk says "if the deer is in the middle of the road, in the safest way possible move the deer away from all traffic and out of the road or highway. If you cannot do it, contact the local game warden or Sheriff's Office immediately."
Is It Okay To Cut The Antlers Off Of The Dead Deer?
The answer to that is a BIG FAT NO! As a matter of fact, harvesting the antlers off of the dead deer is against the law and punishable by fines and or some serious jail time. So, don't even bother the antlers.
Finally with deer hunting and deer mating season upon us, our West Texas deer are moving around more than ever before. There's now a greater risk of having a car crash with a deer, and to avoid more serious damage to your car or far worse injury to you or a loved one, the Texas Parks and Wildlife experts offer tips to avoid a serious crash.
Game Warden Capt. Scott Haney offers this advice to drivers throughout Texas where white-tailed deer are roaming "you have to maintain your course and if you hit a deer you hit the deer but the effects are going to be more severe if you try to swerve or completely slam on the brakes because of other factors that come into play when you do that, like hitting other cars, weather, losing control of the vehicle. My suggestion is to maintain your speed and direction but sometimes it is just an unavoidable accident." To learn more got the the TPWD.gov website.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.Gov
Be Safe out there and know who to turn to and what to do. The Deer in the photos was hit on Buffalo Gap Road near Antilley Road.