Can You Keep The Antlers Of A Deer You Hit In Louisiana?
As I drove east on I-20 last week, I was somewhat amazed at the sheer number of whitetail deer I saw lying dead on the side of the interstate.
I make the weekly trek from Haughton to Arcadia each fall as I go deer hunting, so I'm used to seeing a few deer that made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the highway, but this past week I saw no less than five unfortunate deer that are now grazing in the oak bottoms of Heaven.
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? If he was too messed up to keep, could I at least keep his antlers? 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 or the antlers, 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, or just his antlers, would be the least of worries for Louisiana wildlife. But, they didn't ask me for my opinion.