Landowners responsible for disposing of their dead deer

What are people supposed to do with deer that die on their property? It seems like dead deer get picked up off roads, but what about from private property?

— John, Medford

The city of Medford has a contract with Jackson County Animal Control for the county to remove deed dear off city streets, according to city staff.

But people are largely on their own when it comes to removing dead deer from their property,n as city, county and federal government agencies generally don't pick up dead wildlife off private land.

A person can truck a deer carcass to a landfill and dump the remains for a fee, said Steve Niemela, an assistant district wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Rogue Watershed District Office.

A carcass transport permit is needed from ODFW, he said.

People with large properties can dispose of a carcass on site, he said.

"They can bury it or drag it to the back of the property and let scavengers have at it," Niemela said.

ODFW maintains a list of contractors who will remove dead wildlife for a fee, Niemela said.

"You're going to have to take it on. It's nasty business. Or, if you have money, you can pay someone to handle it for you," he said.

To help curb the number of dead deer, Niemela urged people not to feed deer. The animals can die from eating improper food, and concentrations of deer around feeding sites can spread disease.

Some deer have been found dead next to feeding buckets with corn in their stomachs. A deer in a Rogue Valley subdivision tested positive for a bacteria normally found only in captive deer herds, Niemela said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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