I recently wrote an article talking about how Missouri is one of the worst states for deer vs. vehicle collisions. So you get in one of these wrecks. Can you keep the carcass of the deer you hit?

If You Hit A Deer Can You Keep the Carcass?

The short answer is yes, although you can't just call your best friend with a pickup truck and haul it away while the wrecker is getting ready to tow your car to the body shop. There are some protocols you need to follow.

Obtaining Permission to Claim a Deer Carcass.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says, "According to Missouri Law, an individual who has struck and killed a deer with their vehicle may claim the deer carcass if written authorization to possess the deer is granted by a Missouri Department of Conservation agent. The Wildlife Disposition Form is free, but the MDC must be contacted to obtain the permit."

How Common Is It In Missouri to Hit A Deer?

According to State Farm Insurance Missouri ranks 10th in the country for potential animal collision. Motorists in Missouri have a 1 in 80 chance of striking an animal while driving on MoDOTS 34,000 miles of highways. Additionally, MoDOT says there were 3,699 crashes involving a deer last year, and one deer strike occurred every 2 hours and 20 minutes in Missouri.

Why Is There Dead Deer Left By The Side of a Road?

MoDOT doesn't spend a lot of time collecting dead deer off the side of the road. MoDOT will not pick up a dead deer unless it impedes mail delivery or is in a neighborhood, especially near a bus stop. Generally, MoDOT will let nature take it's course when it comes to a deer carcass, unless it is impeding traffic or so close to the driving lane on the shoulder it could be a safety issue.


If you want to keep the carcass of a deer you've killed with your vehicle, you can do that. You just need to get a conservation agent to sign off on a Wildlife Disposition Form so you can take it. Additionally, as a state agency, MoDOT doesn't spend a lot of time clearing dead animals from our roads, preferring Mother Nature handle it herself.

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