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Old November 28, 2019, 10:32 AM   #1
popshooting445
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Is it legal to shoot a deer that got hit by a car ?

Like the title says, If someone hits a deer while driving, is it legal to put the animal out of its misery or no?

Appreciate all input.
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Old November 28, 2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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Depends on the country/state. Check your local laws, not the interweb.
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Old November 28, 2019, 10:42 AM   #3
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For the most part, unless you are directed by or given prior permission from a LEO or a Conservation Officer, while it may be the ethical thing to do, it is probably going to be illegal unless it is deer season, you are using an appropriate weapon and you have a tag for it.
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Old November 28, 2019, 10:59 AM   #4
Don Fischer
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Seem's to me I read where Oregon now allows an animal hit by a car to be put down and salvaged! Also heard years ago in Illinois they had the same law. The idea was to clean up your own mess.
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Old November 28, 2019, 11:36 AM   #5
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Should be no problem as long as you call police/wildlife service first and follow their directions; this happens all the time and you want to make sure you follow proper procedure for wherever it is you live. I did have to wait quite a while once while the wildlife service actually "preregistered" a tag number for me, but it was for an area that doesn't allow hunting deer at all--better safe than sorry.
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Old November 28, 2019, 11:39 AM   #6
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To the best of my knowledge, in PA, and MD a game warden or LEO is only allowed.
If you have a knife and is safe for you to do so you can cut it's throat.

Game warden has to give you permission/tag for you to take it.
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Old November 28, 2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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As distressing as it is to witness, being on foot on the highway can be extremely dangerous. Don’t get yourself hit by an inattentive driver while doing a humane deed.
Don’t forget that shooting at close range in to a road might have ricochet issues due to over-penetration.
Don’t get yourself injured by a crippled wild animal.

It’s certainly not “legal” unless your State specifically allows it, which I really doubt.

In Wisconsin, you might be shooting a deer out of season, without a license, your barrel length would need to be 5” or longer and you can’t shoot at game if you are closer than 50’ to the centerline of the road. This is if some law officer is having a bad day and makes you suffer for it. However, it is in law that if you hit a deer you may keep the meat, if you report it properly. There is nothing in statute that you can euthanize a crippled deer, although seeing one is very distressing to see on the side of the road.

To answer your question, “no one is going to open an investigation to find who shot the crippled deer” is not the same as “it’s legal.”
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Old November 28, 2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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In every state that I have lived, the answer is NO.

But...
I know only two people that ever got a hard time from a cop or game warden for putting down a severely injured animal.
One was my father, whom is typically a confrontational A-hole around LEOs. So... Probably fair.
The other was a friend. But, again, the situation was special. Though on a public highway, it was technically on a military installation. ...And they don't take too kindly to random shots being fired.


Even here in Idaho, where salvaging roadkill is 100% legal (for most species), you still can't legally shoot them.
If it's legitimate roadkill, no sane cop or warden will have a problem with ending the suffering. But it is technically illegal.
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Old November 28, 2019, 12:46 PM   #9
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Firstly, shooting any animal on the roadway struck by a car on the roadway is inadvisable. Bullets are very likely to follow the roadway possibly striking other unwanted targets such as other vehicles, people and other property. Never shoot a wounded animal laying over a hard surface like a roadway. If the animal is still alive after being hit by a vehicle you want to remove it from the roadway if you want to dispatch it.

Secondly moving an animal that has been struck by a vehicle is also inadvisable. The thing might be stunned and then get up and start kicking or goring you (yes this actually happens).

Thirdly practically all states have laws against shooting on or near roadways (read number one again). It would take a carefully worded exception to allow you to shoot an animal struck by a vehicle. You need to check your state and local laws.
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Old November 28, 2019, 01:02 PM   #10
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You should think about how you asked the question.

#1 you don't tell us where you are. Not even if you are in the USA, let alone what state (if any)
So #2 it is not possible to answer you with any info that is of any value at all.
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Old November 28, 2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Have to say; NO !!!

Quote:
Depends on the country/state. Check your local laws, not the interweb.
You can pretty well assume that you cannot and if you do so, you can assume you are breaking the law if you do. This question some up all the time and in our DNR workshops and hunter safety classes, this is always the case. Personally, I do not agree but that is the law. ……

Take Care and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old November 28, 2019, 02:05 PM   #12
popshooting445
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
Should be no problem as long as you call police/wildlife service first and follow their directions; this happens all the time and you want to make sure you follow proper procedure for wherever it is you live. I did have to wait quite a while once while the wildlife service actually "preregistered" a tag number for me, but it was for an area that doesn't allow hunting deer at all--better safe than sorry.
Well said but it can be a drag waiting for some kinda confirmation, looking at a deer in pains feel really inhumane. am i the only one that thinks putting the animal of its mystery is the right thing to do.
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Old November 28, 2019, 02:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Well said but it can be a drag waiting for some kinda confirmation, looking at a deer in pains feel really inhumane. am i the only one that thinks putting the animal of its mystery is the right thing to do.
No you're not. But nobody is going to advise you to do something illegal and maybe unsafe. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
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Old November 28, 2019, 03:13 PM   #14
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That'll be covered in your local, what's called here, The Highway Traffic Act.
Up here, a cop cannot dispatch a wounded critter(probably miss anyway). And most don't know that our law says you can keep the carcass that probably totaled your vehicle. In 2015, an old guy was shot by cops doing just that.
Don't think our CO's are allowed to either.
"...laws against shooting on or near roadways..." Especially across, includes the 'right of way' up here. No CCW here, of course and a cop would want to know why you have a firearm.
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Old November 28, 2019, 05:18 PM   #15
popshooting445
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbob View Post
No you're not. But nobody is going to advise you to do something illegal and maybe unsafe. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
That personal decision is what i am talking about,
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Old November 28, 2019, 07:56 PM   #16
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laws and ethics will test you

In a purely ethical world, it would be alright. However, as we all know, there are too many liars, cheaters and stealers in our world. I hunt to kill, not to hurt. So when I have been involved, I have dispatched animals, under questionable circumstances. It really bothers me to see them suffer. ……

There are rare times when laws and ethics are in conflict ……

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 28, 2019, 08:43 PM   #17
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Back in the 80's, my eldest sister had a buck bounce oof the right front fender /door of her minivan.
Call police for a report and the deer was spotted in the field about 50 - 76 yda, the LEO ask what she wanted, so she said I'll call my brother, he hunts. She was given verbal permission to make the call. Got out there and we drove to the site and I searched the area and concluded taht the hit was minor and the deer left.
Where I now live, a car-struck deer will"out-out-of misery" after a LEO show ans allow it.
Check with the county sherriff and State DNR for proper procedures.
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Old November 28, 2019, 09:25 PM   #18
Steve in PA
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In PA, only law enforcement, game and fish wardens and veterinarians can put down an animal.

That being said, as a LEO here in PA, I would not chastise a person for putting down an injured animal as long as it was done safely. Out in the boonies, no problem. In a more urban setting, I would hope the police would get there ASAP.
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Old November 28, 2019, 11:58 PM   #19
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Unless you have a tag to burn and can get it into a legal area to do so this is one of those areas where you ask permission first. Unlike buying a new firearm. Especially if you want to claim the deer because most places have to grant a salvage tag.

Also keep in mind if you do have a tag to burn lassoing a deer and dragging it to a safe legal area to shoot it won't look good for passers by.
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Old November 29, 2019, 10:22 AM   #20
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Years ago, I was hunting back home in Louisiana. Just back from the woods, it was late morning. My parents lived about 300 yards from a major north-south Highway. I was outside and heard brakes squeal and then a thump. Some woman had hit a deer. As I watched through my binocs, she got out, looked at the dead deer, got back in the car and left. Shortly after that, another car stopped, three rather shady looking individuals got out and attempted to put the ‘dead’ deer in the trunk. The deer was not dead, and resisted strongly. They got a tire tool and began to beat the deer, and the deer got more alive rather than less. Well, heck. I grabbed my 357, put it into a lower packet of my old USMC Utilities, hopped on my ATV and went out to the guys and semi-dead deer. The guys were shady looking, so I stood back from them a bit. I asked if I could help, and one of the guys said “Yep, use that gun in your pocket and shoot the deer”. An observant young man. So I pulled the pistol, asked them to stand back, and I put it out of its misery. They threw it in the trunk and were out of sight in 15 seconds.
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Old November 29, 2019, 11:03 AM   #21
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahoo View Post

There are rare times when laws and ethics are in conflict ……
Yep....both ways. Take baiting for example. Some folks have never hunted without bait and some folks have never hunter over it. As long as they are within the law, it's just an ethics thing. Here in Wisconsin, folks can bait deer in some counties and not in others(due to CWD). While folks with the same ethics hunt in both, it comes down to what's legal. Folks argue that if it is ethical to bait in one county, why is it considered unethical to bait once you step across a county line? Because....it's now considered unethical, because it is illegal.

We have a warden come to the Hunter Safety classes I help with. This question routinely comes up. The warden explains that it is not just a safety issue(shooting close to a road) but it also keeps those folks that would road hunt, from shooting deer from he road. "But officer, it looked like it had been hit by a car!". "But Officer, look at this dent in my bumper, even tho the buck doesn't look like it had been hit, it was.....I swear!" "But officer, I was just using the spotlight to shoot a deer, I hit with my truck!", etc, etc.

While it may seem cruel to allow an animal to suffer needlessly, it's basically because some folks always have to cheat. No different than coming across a wounded deer in the woods while hunting. Around here, If it's deer season, and you have a appropriate weapon and unfilled tag for that season, you can certainly shoot it and tag it. But shoot it and let it lay or shoot it and take it when you don't have a legal tag or firearm, and you are breaking the law unless you have permission from a LEO or Warden. It's not that my state wants deer to suffer, it's just that too many folks want to "bend" the rules or take advantage of "grey" areas in the law. Making the law black and white means there is no bending, and it's the deer who suffer from it.

Again, what you do in the woods(and on the highway) is dependent on your ethics. Ethics, is doing the right thing, in your mind, even when no one else is around. What's legal is defined. Sometimes life makes it hard to make a choice between the two. One has to weigh the possible consequences of both. The fine around here is around $1800 for shooting a deer outta season or without an appropriate tag. Shooting from the road is less, but both can mean loss of firearm and loss of hunting privileges. You decide.
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Old November 29, 2019, 01:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
There are rare times when laws and ethics are in conflict ……
Sometimes ethics and ethics are in conflict as well. Ethically, I am against breaking the law. Ethically, I don't want to see the deer suffer. If I satisfy my ethics one way, there is guilt. If I satisfy them the other way, there are legal risks.

Several years ago here in Texas, a hunter opted to put down (shoot) a nice buck that had been hit by a vehicle, apparently clipped the back end of the buck and crippling it. An ethical hunter saw the animal on the side of the road and realizing 1) that it was still alive and suffering and 2) had a nice rack, stopped, shot the animal in the neck to preserve the trophy, tagged it, and was butchering it (no wastage of meat) on the side of the road when the GW rolled up. The hunter was ticketed for illegal discharge of a weapon on a roadway (the bar ditch is considered part of the roadway). He also lost the buck, but the game warden didn't confiscate anything else. The hunter could have faced other fines and confiscation, but the warden wrote only one citation.

As the game warden explained, it was the hunter's duty to contact a game warden before taking any action.
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