No more carcass removal for county roads
Legislative change limits car-killed deer pick-ups
By Jared Raney
Due to a recent legislative rule change, the DNR will stop picking up deer carcasses on local roads in 2016, and will pick up only on state, US and Federal Highways.
This rule follows a series of budget cuts on car-killed deer removal, which for the past few years has been contracted out by the DNR.
Todd Schaller, Chief Warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said they average about 20,000 deer disposals every year, and that with the new rule they would be picking up about one-third that amount. In 2015, the DNR spent approximately $619,000 on pick-up and disposal.
Another change is that the DNR is making it easier for those who have hit a deer to collect the carcass.
Before, those that wanted the carcass had to call and wait for a DNR officer to physically travel to the site and tag the deer. Now, a physical tag is not required, only simple registration through a DNR phone line.
The major concern is that with no one responsible for carcasses on local roads, they simply will not be picked up by anyone.
It’s an issue that has effects beyond the traffic hazard and eye-sore a deer carcass brings with it.
Being hit by cars is the number two reason for eagle deaths and injuries, a problem that will only be exacerbated by a potential increase in un-removed deer carcasses, according to Mark Naniot of Wild Instincts animal rehabilitation center.
He said the problem has already become a more significant problem in recent years with previous budget cutbacks on deer carcass pick-up.
Wild Instincts sees about 10-15 eagles a year, and right now has a total of 37 that have been turned in.
“I always try to drag carcasses off the road into the ditch when I see them,” Naniot said. “That’s about the only thing we can do… keep your eyes open, if you see a carcass.”
In the case of an injured eagle or other animal, contact Wild Instincts at 715-362-9453. To take possession of a car-killed deer, call the DNR non-emergency dispatch at 608-267-7691.