Last night, I was talking to a friend who said she had nearly hit 3 deer in the last week. It is that time of year so be careful on the road. Hopefully, you're lucky enough to avoid them but if you do hit a deer, can you keep it?

Sgt. Troy Christianson says the Minnesota State Patrol does issue permits for road-kill deer, generally right at the time of the crash or soon after. In fact, any Minnesota resident can claim any road-killed animal they see by simply contacting a law enforcement officer. An authorization permit would be issued upon request, allowing the individual to lawfully possess the animal.

So technically, yes - you could eat it.

You're encouraged to contact the Conservation Officer in the area you are closest to or where you’d want to pick up the road kill. They will be able to provide more information on the permits and this process. The following link will let you find officers statewide. www.dnr.state.mn.us/officerpatrolareas/index.html

Christianson also provided these tips on avoiding deer crashes

  • Drive at safe speeds and always be buckled up.
  • Be especially cautious from 6 to 9 p.m., when deer are most active.
  • Use high beams as much as possible at night, especially in deer-active areas.
  • Motorists: don’t swerve to avoid a deer. Swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off the road or into oncoming traffic.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
  • Slowdown in areas known to have a large deer population — such as areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forest land; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
  • Deer do unpredictable things — they stop in the middle of the road when crossing; cross and quickly re-cross back; and move toward an approaching vehicle. Blow horn to urge deer to leave the road.
  • If a deer is struck but not killed by a vehicle, keep a distance as deer may recover and move on. If a deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, report the incident to a DNR conservation officer or other local law enforcement agency.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)