What Should You Do When You Hit a Deer in Louisiana?
This Sunday, October 1, just about all of Louisiana will officially begin deer hunting season (archery only).
Hunters can learn more about the deer areas they hunt on the "Seasons and Regulations" page on the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries website.
There you can find the dates for archery, primitive firearms, firearms (still-hunt only and with or without dogs), and youth and honorably discharged veterans hunts.
Of course, all hunters need to know a lot before they head out to the deer stand to knock down that trophy buck. And, for the most part, hunters in Louisiana do a great job of learning the rules and regulations before they go out.
But what about if you hit and kill a deer a most unenjoyable way -- with your vehicle?
Many of us joke about that, but if it actually happens to you, do you know what you are supposed to do after a deer collision?
State Farm Insurance has some tips regarding what you should do after a deer collision.
- Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull over to the side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights. If you must leave your vehicle, stay off the road and out of the way of any oncoming vehicles. Deer are most active at dusk and dawn -- times when you or your vehicle may be less visible to other motorists.
- Call the police. Alert authorities if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat to other drivers. If the collision results in injury or property damage, you may need to fill out an official report. This report also can prove useful when filing your insurance claim.
- Document the incident. If it's safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their account of what occurred, and ask for their contact information.
- Stay away from the animal. A frightened, wounded deer could use its powerful legs and sharp hooves to harm you.
- Contact your insurance agent. The sooner you report damage or injuries, the sooner your agent can file and process your claim.
- Don't assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Double-check that your car is drivable after colliding with a deer. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won't latch, and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow.
It's always good to know what kind of protection you have before a collision like this occurs. So, make sure you are protected with the right type of insurance.
Damages from auto-deer crashes typically are covered under comprehensive insurance, not collision.
By the way, auto-deer crashes are fairly common in America. There are 1.5 million deer hit by automobiles on U.S. roadways every year.
Is it illegal to hit a deer and drive off?
In some states, it may be just fine to leave the scene after hitting a deer, and in other states, it actually may be considered a crime.
Know the laws in your state. And if you aren't sure what to do, play it safe and call your local authorities.
What about in Louisiana?
According to the website, deeranddeerhunting.com, it's not quite okay to take your roadkill home in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, it is illegal to pick up a roadkill deer without first having prior consent of a game warden.
So, it appears there is a way to keep the deer, but it's entirely at the discretion of the agent you contact with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
What do you do if you hit a deer and it runs away?
If you hit a deer and it runs away, take pictures of any blood/hair and then look at your vehicle to inspect it for damage. If there is damage, call the authorities. If there is no damage, you may drive your vehicle.
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