You’re driving down the road and you spot a dead deer on or near the side of the road. Do you:
a) Keep on driving
b) Drive slowly by, watching for any other live deer
c) Think “dinner!” and stop to claim the carcass.
If you’re a North Dakota hunter, chances are you’d pick “c.”
But the state Game and Fish Department wants you to know, yes, you can claim it, but not until you get a free permit to do so.
Permits to possess are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices. They are necessary before taking possession of a dead deer, or any part of a dead deer such as a skull and antlers, found near a road or in a field.
Only shed antlers can be possessed without a permit.
“Basically, we want to make sure of how the animal died so we aren’t giving a poacher a tag for an illegal animal,” the department notes on its Facebook page. “If we can’t tell how the animal died, we likely will not give a tag as the last thing we want to do is reward a poacher.”
Game and Fish reminds people that illegal possession of a big game animal or parts thereof is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Also, the department reminds hunters to properly dispose of dead deer. Deer carcasses cannot be left on the side of a roadway or in a ditch, and deer parts cannot be discarded in commercial dumpsters.