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Can You Eat that Deer You hit With Your Car?

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Did you know that if you hit a deer with your car in South Dakota it’s kinda like catching a foul ball? You get to keep it.

Yes, if you’re driving in South Dakota and hit and kill a deer or antelope (the animal, not an alumni of the University of Nebraska at Kearney) there’s a chance you can take that animal home and turn it into food. Then you can give some of that food to everyone you know so they can put it in the bottom of their deep-freezes.

According to South Dakota law, if someone hits and kills a deer and want to keep it they have to tell a conservation officer. That officer then can decide if the person can have some of that sweet, sweet highway venison.

Here’s the text of the law:

     41-1-5.7.   Disposition of deer and antelope killed by motor vehicle. If any deer or antelope is killed by a motor vehicle on a public highway, any person who desires to possess that animal shall notify a conservation officer, as defined by § 41-15-10, prior to taking possession of the animal. The conservation officer may give a dated and written authorization allowing possession of the animal. The conservation officer may give verbal authorization to take immediate possession of the animal prior to receipt of the written authorization. The written authorization allows the possession and disposal of the animal. The written authorization shall remain with the carcass while in processing or storage. No part of an animal so obtained may be sold, bartered or traded. There is no fee for the issuance of such authorization.

 

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