In Maine, you can pretty much hit a deer any time of the year.

It's one of my #1 fears, actually. I drive in the wee hours of the morning a lot, so I'm always scoping the sides of the road for animals. Last year, I actually grazed a deer with my car, but in the slightest way, ever. At most, it annoyed the deer and did no damage to my car.

As grim as it is, it's great that there's at least a consolation prize for totaling your car. And it's a delicious one at that!

But most folks who come into contact with a deer in the road aren't nearly as lucky. You often hear horror stories of people's cars being totaled after a deer just steps casually out of nowhere, without a care in the world. It also usually spells the end of the deer. So what happens after that? Your car is sitting there in a heap, and this poor deer has crossed the rainbow bridge...

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It may be you're only chance to get a deer off-season.


Despite how prolific deer are in Maine, there are pretty specific times when they can be hunted. Or, maybe you're not a hunter. I have zero problems with people who do hunt, I'm just not able to shoot an animal myself. But, if I hit a deer with my car, I'd definitely consider finding a way to keep it. The process is actually pretty simple, according to state law.


In basic terms, if you hit a deer you have to report it to the authorities. Just like you would any car accident. After doing so, you may be issued a certificate of ownership. This entitles you to take that animal with you. this also pertains to moose, bears, and wild turkeys.

There is a catch though...

The law says if you decide to take the carcass, you have to take the whole thing. I imagine that keeps people from field dressing a deer by the side of the road. Ewww... But from that point, you'd just have to find someone that could process it for you. Butchering a deer is a process best left to the pros. You want to get every bit you can.


Look, nobody really wants any of these scenarios to happen. I also know that a lot of times deer carcasses are processed and given to those in need. As grim as it is, it's great that there's at least a consolation prize for totaling your car. And it's a delicious one at that!

I think keeping your roadkill could easily be on this list...

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