ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — You know you’ve been tempted…
Illinois is one of about 15 states that allows residents to claim roadkill deer and other animals killed on the roadways for food or fur.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, if an Illinois resident crashes into a deer and kills it, the driver has legal priority over the deer carcass even if a hunter was chasing it.
If the driver who hit and killed the deer does not claim it, “any citizen of Illinois who is not delinquent in child support” can claim the carcass.
Illinois law specifically says non-Illinois residents cannot claim roadkill deer.
But, if you hit a deer and cripple it, and the animal survives, it is illegal for a motorist to kill it. Instead, drivers are required to call the nearest police or conservation officer on the non-emergency line.
And, thanks to a “roadkill bill,” Illinois residents with a furbearer license can salvage roadkill for pelts or food.
According to the Huffington Post, animal pelts brought in $1.2 million in Illinois in 2010.