Is it illegal to hit a deer with your car and drive off in Illinois? It's a question we've all asked ourselves and might not really know the answer to.

What to Do When You Hit a Deer In Illinois

Last night on his way home from work my husband hit a deer with his truck. This was the aftermath...

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Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

My husband said there were about 10 on the side of the road, but when he slowed down to let them cross, he slid on the ice and hit one, maybe two. His vehicle was not damaged, he was not hurt, so he drove the rest of the way home.


While my heart is slightly breaking for that deer I can't help but wonder;

If you hit a deer with your car and there is no damage, but the deer is dead, is it illegal to just drive off in Illinois?

Is It Illegal to Drive Off When You Hit a Deer in Illinois?

The short answer is no. It is NOT illegal to hit a deer and drive off IF there is no damage to your vehicle and no passengers were injured.

Now let's get to the specifics of what you can and cannot do legally when you hit a deer in Illinois.

According to;

  1. Any deer/vehicle collisions that result in $1,500 or more in damages must be reported to authorities and a police report must be filed according to Illinois law.
  2. It is ILLEGAL in Illinois to get out and shoot a deer that was critically injured, (but still alive), after being hit by a car, only authorized law enforcement officers may do so.
Deer Crossing Sign

Can You Claim a Dead Deer On the Side of the Road in Illinois?

If you hit a deer, or see one on the side of the road, and want to bring the carcass home, you are legally able to do so in Illinois, but there are a few things to you need to know.

According to;

1. The driver of a motor vehicle involved in a vehicle-deer collision has priority in possessing a deer. If the driver does not take possession of the deer before leaving the collision scene, any citizen of Illinois who is not delinquent in child support may possess and transport the deer.


2. There is no limit to the number of deer that may be possessed under these circumstances.


3. Individuals who claim a deer killed in a vehicle collision shall report the possession of the road-kill deer to the Department of Natural Resources within 24 hours via this IDNR online form or calling (217)782-6431 no later than 4:30 p.m. on the next business day.


RELATED: One Thing Not to Do When You See a Deer on Illinois Roads

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