The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding residents that after a collision with a deer, a motorist who wants the venison can keep it, but there are a few requirements.
Collisions with deer are most common in October, November and December in Illinois.
Almost all Illinois residents who hit a deer can claim the deer, so long as they meet the criteria to do so, Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Rachel Torbert said.
To claim a deer, you need to be a resident of Illinois and not be delinquent on child support payments. Officials also reminded residents that if you do claim a deer, it is illegal to resell any part of it.
Drivers who want to claim a deer need to fill out a form on the agency's website. Torbert said registering the deer is necessary, so that when it is processed, the state can determine the deer was obtained legally.
If you hit a deer and it’s badly injured but not dead, you’ll need to call local law enforcement. It is illegal for anyone other than law enforcement to kill a deer that has been involved in a traffic accident.
For residents who meet the requirements, there is no limit to the number of deer they can claim. If the driver involved in the accident does not take possession of the deer before leaving the scene, any resident who is not behind on child support can take the deer.
Anyone claiming a deer has up to 24 hours after an accident to do so.
The claim form for a deer is available at the IDNR website or by phone at 217-782-6431. Claims should be made no later than 4:30 p.m. the next business day.
Last year, there were 15,636 motor vehicle crashes involving deer in Illinois.