If you find a dead deer, your natural inclination will be to take steps to get it removed from the location. After all, no one wants to look at a dead animal as the remains decay and potentially attract bugs and scavengers. But who do you call if you find a dead deer? The answer depends on a few factors, but it never hurts to try contacting your city first.
Try the City First
Depending on where you live, dead deer may or may not fall under the jurisdiction of your city. In most cases, if the dead deer is on public property, there will be a department within your city that removes it. This department would also be responsible for the removal of any other dead animals on public property. The responsible department varies by city, with some including dead animal removal under the responsibilities of animal control, sanitation, beautification, or another division.
If you cannot determine which department is responsible for removing dead animals, you could call the general number for your city’s services, although you will likely waste less time if you can find the direct number.
If the dead deer is on private property, then the city is unlikely to help you. There is a chance that they will remove the deer for a fee in that case, but you should not count on it. It would, however, only take a few minutes of your time to make the call and find out, at least in most cases.
Just be aware that even if the city can help with the removal of the dead deer, they will not always be able to do so promptly. That will depend on scheduling and other priorities that the relevant department is dealing with. You may have to wait up to a week for them to remove the dead animal.
Or Hire a Wildlife Removal Professional
If the city cannot help you remove the dead deer or they are not able to do so quickly enough to appeal to you, then you will have to hire someone to remove it for you. Look for an animal removal company or animal control company that specializes in removing and disposing of dead animals.
Be sure to choose a company that is familiar with removing deer or similarly-sized animals, since some may only remove smaller dead animals.
Can You Remove a Dead Deer Yourself?
You should not try to remove a dead deer yourself for several reasons. To start with, these animals are large and typically very heavy. As such, there is a risk of physical injury if you try to move them yourself.
There is also a risk of contracting a disease from the deer, no matter the reason it died. Additionally, you would likely have limited options of what to do with the carcass once you move it. Few municipalities let you dispose of animals as large of a deer with your normal garbage pickup, even if it is double or triple bagged. You may be allowed to bury the deer or burn it, but this varies based on local regulations, so you would need to confirm whether doing so is legal before you dispose of the carcass.
If You Remove the Deer Yourself Anyway
Although we do not suggest you move or dispose of the dead deer yourself, if you do, you need to take proper precautions. Always ensure the deer is actually dead before you get too close and wear protective gear to limit contamination. Do not directly touch the carcass or the fluids on it. If you package up the deer, make sure you put it inside multiple bags to reduce the risk of contamination and mess, and to minimize the smell. After you move the carcass, carefully disinfect everything you used to do so with a bleach solution.
What Happens If You Leave a Dead Deer?
If you leave the dead deer alone and do not contact anyone, then it will continue to decompose. The decay process can cause a foul smell and will likely attract scavengers and insects. You definitely do not want this to happen if the deer is somewhere that you go frequently or on your property. Even if it is not on your property and you do not regularly go by the area, it would be a community service to report the dead animal so it does not stink up or cause problems for the area.
Other Considerations with Dead Deer on Private Property
In situations where the dead deer was on your private property, you will also want to make sure that you clean the area, both for sanitation reasons and to help reduce the odor associated with the carcass. Many wildlife removal services offer this type of sanitation and odor removal services and if they do not, they are typically familiar with someone who does.