A 1987 law shifted most of the responsibility for the pick-up of vehicle-killed deer from DNR conservation officers to local road authorities, and provided for no-cost deer possession. Under the law, DNR conservation officers coordinate the program, and issue six-month possession permits which are distributed by state and local authorities. The permits allow a driver claiming a salvageable animal to keep it at no charge. The carcass can be released to another person at the scene, or by a conservation officer for distribution to various public benefit organizations.
Unsalvageable deer, and deer for which there is no immediate salvageable demand, must be referred to the road authority that has immediate responsibility, such as the MnDOT on interstate, U.S. and state highways; county highway departments on county-state aid highways and county roads; local (city/township) road authorities on all lesser streets and roads. Conservation officers work with the various road authorities to implement this policy.
A monthly summary form is furnished to local road authorities by the DNR Section of Wildlife, which collects data on these accidents. Any injured deer still alive is disposed of by the conservation officer responding to the incident, or other law enforcement officers at the scene if they are willing to assist in the disposal.
Officers are encouraged to give salvageable game and fish to charitable organizations.