Get the shovel ready and the recipe cards out, Oregonians, because your state has just made it legal to for you to salvage roadkill and eat it.
Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill [PDF] into law last week that allows motorists who collide with deer or elk to harvest the meat. The measure flew through both the Senate and House with nary a “nay” vote.
The law instructs the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules for the issuance of wildlife salvage permits to anyone who wants to “recover, possess, use or transport, for the purpose of salvaging game meat for human consumption, deer or elk that have been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision.”
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However anyone who salvages deer or elk they’ve killed will have to turn over the antlers to ODFW immediately. The first permits for wildlife salvage will be available no later than Jan. 1, 2019.
There are about 20 or so states that also allow residents to scoop up roadkill, notes the Associated Press, though each law varies on which kind of animals are acceptable for salvage under certain circumstances, and whether or not you need a permit to do so.
For example, as of last year, Oregon’s neighbors to the north in Washington can salvage deer or elk carcasses that have been hit by motorists.
In New Jersey, only road-killed deer may be picked up by drivers, who must first obtain a permit, and surrender any antlers from the animals, while Pennsylvanians are allowed to take deer or turkeys that are killed on the road as long as they report the incident to the state’s wildlife commission within 24 hours.
How you decide to prepare your roadkill harvest, well, that’s up to you.