Oregon Hunters Look Forward to New Roadkill Law

In Oregon, a few types of roadkill are now up for grabs. The law allowing dead elk and deer to be salvaged went into effect Jan. 1.

Posted: Jan 3, 2019 6:14 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- In Oregon, a few types of roadkill are now up for grabs. The law allowing dead elk and deer to be salvaged went into effect Jan. 1. The animals can only be salvaged for consumption. 

Local hunter Joel Nye said he travels quite a bit from Medford to Prospect and sees a lot of roadkill.

"I hate to watch it go to waste, I'm a hunter and I like to use all the meat that I can and I hate to see deer just shrivel up on the side of the highway. I think it's a good thing, I don't think there's anything wrong with it," Nye said. 

Sam Dodenhoff, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist, said there are a few things to keep in mind for anyone wanting to salvage an elk or deer they hit on accident.

Motorists are able to take the animal home then and there, but they have 24 hours to submit an online permit application to ODFW. There is no need to get a permit ahead of time.

"That way we would have a log of where these animals are coming from, about the time that they were hit, exactly what they are and then through the permitting process we can track the individuals who can legally possess those animals," Dodenhoff said. 

After taking the animal's carcass, the antlers and head must be turned in to an ODFW office within five business days. To do that, you'll need to schedule an appointment.

Dodenhoff said anyone who comes across a dead elk or deer can salvage it, but the animal must be dead.

If it is still alive, only the driver who initially hit it is able to salvage it.

If a driver hits a deer or elk and it is still alive, they will need to humanely euthanize it before salvaging it. They also need to notify police.

It is still illegal to hit and kill a deer or elk on purpose.

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