If You Crash Into a Deer in New York is it Legal to Keep Antlers?
Unfortunately, some of us have had this dilemma after crashing our vehicles into a deer.
If you've spent the majority of your driving life in the Hudson Valley you already know that one of the things we always have to be aware of when we are driving is deer!! No matter what road you drive on there is always the threat of a deer or its family running across the road.
We All Know Someone Who has Hit a Deer
The odds say that just about all of us know someone that has unfortunately crashed into a deer at one time or another.
Personally, I've been on the wrong side of a few deer in my driving life but never even thought to ask if I could keep the deer after I hit it. I was always too worried about the damage to the car I was driving and how much my insurance was going to go up...LOL!
Deer Hit in Poughkeepsie
I have a friend that unfortunately crashed into a HUGE deer driving in the town of Poughkeepsie the other day. I guess it was a decent-sized six-point buck and after the crash, he told me that right after it happened, a passerby stopped and asked him if he was going to take the antlers off the deer. WHAT?? No, I'm not going to keep the antlers!! He said. The man then proceed to ask if he could take them.
STUNNED!! He didn't know what to say so he told the guy to talk to the police who were on the scene writing a report. He didn't tell me if the guy took the antlers or not but it got me thinking is that even legal?
Is it Legal to Keep Antlers From Deer Accidents?
I posted that question on my Facebook page and according to many friends, YES you can legally keep the antlers.
My friend Jason said, " You just need a tag from DEC .. they should give one on request if you hit the deer."
My friend Craig said, "Yes you can. I know other hunters that keep a collapsible saw in their trucks in case they see a rack on the side of the road from someone else hitting the buck." WOW...LOL! Craig wasn't alone numerous friends commented that they never leave home without their "Sawzall". OH BOY!
I reached out to the Department of Environmental Conservation to see if they could give me an official response but haven't heard back from them yet.
What to do if You Hit a Deer With Your Vehicle
According to the folks at State Farm Insurance, there are 5 steps you should follow if you crash into a deer...
1. Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull over to the side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights.
2. Call the police.
3. Document the incident.
4. Never go close to the deer, stay away!
5. Before you decide to leave after authorities record the accident make sure you check your vehicle to make sure it ok to drive. Never assume your vehicle is safe to drive.