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Off The Editor’s Desk – 11-11-2015

If you have not already noticed, there are many dead deer lying alongside of the state’s highways, victims of deer-vehicle crashes. It is apparently that time of year when bucks have only one thing on their minds, and that is the making more deer.

I was one of the unlucky ones that had the misfortune to be involved in a deer-vehicle accident. It happened last Thursday, just after dark in Ashland County on County Highway GG. Paula and I had spent a couple of days last week in Hayward and traveled to Ashland and down Highway 13 to Highway 77 to return to Hayward.

I have traveled this route many times over a number of years in hopes of seeing an elk that are located in an area near Clam Lake. Well, I struck a buck on GG a few miles from 77. After we left that scene, it was on 77 that we finally had the luck of seeing an elk. She was in the right ditch and walking up a short bank into the wood. She waited until we were able to get back to her location and we watched as she made her way into the deep wooded area of the Chequamegon National Forest.

As for vehicle-killed animals, according to the DNR website: “Any person may claim a deer, bear or turkey that has been accidentally killed by a motor vehicle. The driver that collides with and kills a deer, bear or turkey has first priority to the carcass. If the driver does not want the carcass, any person who arrives at the scene may request possession of the carcass. Contact the DNR vehicle-killed deer hotline at 608-267-7691 prior to possessing or removing the deer from the scene. Upon completing notification to DNR, a vehicle-killed deer may be legally possessed and transported without a tag in compliance with the chronic wasting disease transportation rules, available in the annual Deer Hunting Regulations pamphlet.”

But, if you accidentally kill a bear or turkey, you need to contact the local sheriff’s department before removing the bear or turkey to obtain a free tag so that the carcass can be legally possessed.

In my case, when I got to an area where I could call 911 and see the extent of damage to my Jeep, I was informed that I can self-report the accident. The county dispatcher gave me a website to pick up an accident report form. ( and get to MV4002. An accident reporting form can be filled out and printed and sent to the DOT. You have three days to do self-report, I was told.

Be aware of the deer.

Thanks for reading!       ~Carlton