We have a similar program here in Ohio. In my county we are lightly populated and deer heavy. In other words I can get several per year if I want to.
There is no substitute for experience. You will learn as you go and you will learn a lot.
I find that most of the roadkills happen at night. Often early evening or early morning. It's dark, and that is when people who still work are on their way to or from work. So get yourself a good flashlight. I find that it is better for me to take the whole deer home without field dressing. It is not very safe to try to field dress along a dark road with traffic going by.
You can learn very quickly how to do the butchering yourself without the added expense. Practice, there is no substitute for the experience. See if you can find someone to show you how for half of the meat. A couple of times of this and you will not need much help.
Prepare yourself for a "hard hit" deer. Sometimes they get hit very hard and there is a lot of damage. You will need to learn how to cut out sections that are not fit to use. Some people have dogs that know what to do with the scraps. I have chickens that try hard too.
In my county I find that a lot of people who are on the list do not want to go out at night. Some do not want to go in bad weather. These are the times when the deer are hit, so I try to be reasonable and go as often as I can. My main problem is that I often am short on freezer space. This takes extra planning.
Location: West/Central Texas......Coleman county out in the country
sounds like a great program. here in Texas, if you accidentally hit one, they WONT let you take it home. so they sit on the side of the road to rot then others have accidents when a buzzards goes through their windshield.
__________________ "you can't be lost if you don't care where you are going"
We have county sign up sheets here but so many get hit they never call anyone anymore as most get picked up by passerby after calling the DNR. A good video or DVD, maybe even a book will get you started on the home butchering. We've only taken one deer to a locker over 35+ years and never will again. One excellent video is made by "The Deer Cook". Great field dressing tips and recipes in it. I cna walk you thru it as we field dress and butcher in excess of 40 deer a year nowdays is my guess with all the kids and extended family etc. One piece of advice, if you do a deer or two and decide to do more, invest in a LEM or comparable meat grinder. Dont go by the policeman/patrol officer etc word on the size of the deer or the condition. They get excited too and Ive seen 50lb fawns turn into 150lb does and barely hit turn into highway hamburger and unsalvagable. Ask any questions you wish or you can PM me too.
The last time I came upon a fresh roadkill nearby, I determined which side it was hit on and then I cut the hindquarter and shoulder off from the opposite side of the hit and removed both backstraps right fast and left the rest of the corpse their. I use to own/operate my own deer processing plant and people would bring me roadkills after they had hit them and got permission from the state gamewarden to take home. Almost all ways I could only salvage the side that wasn't hit by the vehicle. So now days, I don't bother skinning the whole deer out, I just cut off and skin what's salvagable.
Some like salt water on their deer but I prefer not too just good old ice cold water. Depending on the size of the deer and harvest methods our meat only sees water when it gets rinsed then dropped into Ziploc bags. Milk soak will help if its really "gamey".
IDNR Outlines Changes to Road Kill Claim Law
10/7/10 @ 4:58:24 pm
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced changes to its policy regarding road kill claims.
Under the new policy, individuals who wish to claim a deer killed in a vehicle collision must report the possession to the IDNR via internet or phone within 24 hours of collection. Those claiming a carcass can fill out the IDNR Road Kill Deer Reporting Form at dnr.illinois.gov or call (217) 782-6431 no later than 4:30 p.m. the next business day.
Road kill deer may only be claimed by individuals who are residents of Illinois, are not delinquent in child support payments and do not have wildlife privileges suspended in any state. Those involved in deer-vehicle accidents and do not want to take possession of the deer, do not need to file a report with the IDNR.
I've dealt with several "official" deer roadkills here and the only problem is that it's usually a phone call at 1AM on a warm night. Neither were this county but kin asking me what to do with one from their area. In all, involved in at least 9 or 10 such deer and haven't encountered a really busted up one yet due to official discretion. Maybe lose a shoulder or some ribs but deer versus car usually ends up with mostly good meat. It's the semi's which convert them to ground venison "on the hoof"!
Around here if the victim doesn't take it themselves, the police all carry rolls of butcher paper in the trunks of their cruisers. Neighbour moved here from the city to be an officer and found the first deer call he was called out on, two officers on lunch beat him to the scene, found the woman involved wasn't hurt and didn't want the deer, and were butchering the deer on the hood of a cruiser when he showed up to get stuck with the paperwork.
The internet - fueling paranoia and misinformation since 1873.
we have to call the sherriff , i suggested that it would be a good idea to have people be able to get tags ahead of time or just call and register , but they powers that be at the state felt that without an officer to verify it was a car kill that it opened up another avenue for poachers to claim them as legal .
personaly i don't think that this would be much of an issue.
appaerently Illinoise didn't think so either.
that said after having a bad experiance many years ago with a road kill deer , my wife layed down the law it had to be colder than 40 degrees and i have to see it get hit or die in the event it needs to be put down.
some counties in the northern part of the state have call lists , but in the southern half most don't , some counties have clean up crews that remove the dead deer
to give you an idea in in 2009 16000 deer car crashes were investigated/reported
but 30,000 deer were removed by contractor or salvage permit this info was found on the dnr web site
i don't think the number of car/truck kills is down that much but since the data comes from the clean up contractors
and with buget cuts i am seeing more and more lay on the side of the road till decomposed my guess would be 40k plus deer are killed last year in crashes in wisconsin because the reporting is flawwed in only reporting the deer reported to the sherif , and those cleaned up that leaves a lot of deer on the side of the road decomposing uncounted.
most of the semis in the northern part of the state run a grill gaurd or pre runner type bar that nocks the deer down and minamizes truck damage , with little or no damage most never even need to stop and like stated earlier the big trucks turn them into ground on the hoof