Good Question: Hit a deer, then what?

August 13, 2018 08:32 AM

Your car hits a deer or another animal and then what happens after you report it?

A viewer, who noticed a few carcasses on local roadways, asked News10NBC's Pat Taney that for this week's Good Question report. 


We found out there are only a few companies out there, and they make money off roadkill.  

If you hit a deer with your car, you should contact your local highway department. They're responsible for getting rid of the dead deer or other animals left behind.

Some departments handle the dirty job in-house, others, like the Ontario County Department of Public Works, hire an outside company. They use Dick's Enterprises, based in Campbell.

"That is who we call. He comes and picks up the dead deer and takes it away," Ontario County Public Works Commissioner Bill Wright said. 

The contractor is paid around $40 per deer. The job isn't glamorous. Just ask Phil West! from West Wildlife.

"We take care of residential and commercial buildings and get animals out," West said.

He doesn't have any contracts with highway departments, but he does deal with dead animals.

"It's not a lot of fun but somebody's got to do it," West said. "It's a very needed service."

The business is very regulated. All carcasses must be properly taken care of.

Deer carcasses are regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"There is a whole procedure in terms of what protective gear they use, how they prepare it and the chemicals they use so there is a process," Wright said.

Finding companies to do it is tough. Currently, only a few businesses do this locally. The company Ontario County and the state use for local roads has hinted at retiring soon.

"It's a lot easier to find contractors for my bridges then it is to take care of my dead deer," Wright said.

So if you're looking for a job? 

"It's open for anyone who would like to get into the business." 

Again, not anyone. You do have to be trained and have a state-approved place to dispose of the animals. It's not the most appealing jobs but an important one. Taking care of these animals is very important for public health reasons.

If you have a question you'd like Pat to answer, send him an email at


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