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  • Cassandra Kyser

Processing Car-Killed Deer: What to Expect

A young deer crosses a street. There are cars parked on both sides of the tree-lined road.

According to the WI Department of Transportation, in a recent year, there were over 16,000 deer-related crashes in the state. These accidents happen all year, but peak in October and November. 

In Wisconsin, claiming a roadkill deer for its meat is legal. The driver of the car that collided with the animal has first priority. The WI Department of Natural Resources explains how to claim a car-killed deer

The Grain Bin Butchery & Market processes venison all year, including car-killed deer. We want our customers to have realistic expectations for how much meat they may get from a roadkill deer. 

Live Weight vs. Usable Meat

For reference, the average live adult doe weighs 100 pounds, while the average live adult buck weighs 150 pounds. Fawns typically weigh 60-70 pounds at the start of their first winter. 

But how much an animal weighs while alive and how much usable meat there is on a carcass are two very different numbers. Let’s break it down, using an adult doe as an example.

  • Let’s say a car-killed adult doe has a live weight of 100 pounds. Some weight will be lost right away when the deer is field dressed before being brought to us for processing.

  • After we remove the head, hide, feet, bones, intestines, and organs, there will be approximately 50-60 pounds of meat from that doe.

  • However, most car-killed deer have extensive bruising and injuries, reducing the amount of usable meat on the doe to approximately 25 to 40 pounds.

It is our policy to photograph any unusable meat we discard during the butchering process. 

How to Increase Your Odds of Usable Venison

We encourage both novice and experienced hunters to read up on proper field dressing techniques

The biggest takeaways are:

  • Don’t forget to remove the bladder and anus

  • Pack the cavity with bags of ice or jugs of frozen water

Proper handling of the carcass can help increase the quality and quantity of usable meat you get off of any deer, including car-killed ones. 

Deer Processing in Boyceville, WI

For answers to commonly asked questions, read through our Venison & Wild Game Processing Guide. If you need to speak with one of our butchers, call our retail store at 715-632-2800.


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