As the local deer herd has grown, so has the number of dead and injured deer in town. The McCall Idaho Department of Fish and Game office has received over 50 calls reporting dead or injured deer this winter.
“We are a small office, and have staff in the field during much of the winter conducting wildlife surveys,” says Regional Wildlife Manager Regan Berkley. “We prioritize calls that come in, and often do not have staff available to help remove dead wildlife.”
Injured or dead wildlife that are causing a hazard on a highway or other main road generally are a high priority. Fish and Game works with state or local road departments to move these off to the side of road. Poaching reports, efforts to assess injured wildlife, or accomplishing time-sensitive data collection are also high-priority tasks.
Fish and Game may be able to assist with dead wildlife found in yards, driveways, golf courses or parks, but often cannot get to these quickly because of other, higher priority calls.
“We recommend that people call us to report dead animals, but then remove the animals themselves,” Berkley said.
Smaller animals can be bagged and placed in a dumpster. Larger animals are harder to deal with, but can be moved into nearby woods or loaded into a truck bed for transport. Some local pest removal companies also remove dead animals for a fee.
One exception is if you suspect the animal was killed illegally or observe a bullet or arrow wound. In this case, please leave the animal as you found it and contact the local Fish and Game or Sheriff’s office.
Fish and Game urges residents to help reduce the number of dead or injured deer by reducing driving speeds, especially during winter months and at night. Berkley also asks residents to avoid feeding deer, as this is what keeps deer in town during winter and contributes to high deer numbers.
Call the Nampa (465-8465) or McCall (634-8137) office of Idaho Department of Fish and Game if you have any questions.