Monday, January 17, 2022


Would you eat roadkill? In many states you can…

Would you eat roadkill? Washington state allows elk and deer that have been killed by motor vehicles to be salvaged and consumed. In several Washington state counties where the Colombian white-tailed deer are protected, only elk can be salvaged. A permit for salvaging the meat must be obtained within 24 hours. The state is very clear that they do not guarantee that the meat is fit for human consumption.

Pennsylvania and Oregon have similar rules about roadkill, as do more than two dozen other states. In 2018, more than 3,600 permits to salvage road kill were issued in Pennsylvania. Each state has its own rules so check first if you think you might want to pick up a fresh kill one day. In Arizona, for example, only big game animals may be salvaged. So leave those squirrels alone.

Rules about salvaging road kill have been modified in some places due to COVID-19 concerns. In Oregon, for example, the rule to check in roadkill parts within 5 business days has been waived with certain exceptions. And watch for specific instructions about how to remove the roadkill from the road. Here is what Oregon says: “The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.”

Free-range, wild animals are going to encounter vehicles, and it’s just a simple fact that roadkill is a consistent cause of their death. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) likes the idea of salvaging roadkill too. They feel that the meat is healthier – no hormones, no pesticides – and it’s more humane. The animals might not even know what hit them!

The next time you pass roadkill, get your BBQ ready! Raccoon, squirrel and possum are all the rage – and very tasty! And, if you want to turn the roadkill into a delicious and memorable experience, you might want to pick up the ever-popular Road Kill Cookbook.

Would you eat roadkill? Tell us in the poll below and please leave a comment, too.



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Deborah Mason
1 year ago

Not only would, but HAVE eaten roadkill. At a more than one potluck (elk, antelope, venison). We salvaged 2 deer, one of which I hit. Only fresh, only legal, documented roadkill. Took Roadkill Chili to potlucks for weeks. I labeled it clearly so the squeamish could avoid it. If you like elk, venison, etc., it makes so much more sense to salvage the fresh meat than to see it rot alongside the road. The ones that aren’t fresh go to the scavengers anyway. Plenty for them to eat even if we take a few to salvage.

Deborah Mason
1 year ago
Reply to  Deborah Mason

Forgot to include – in Colorado you cannot keep trophy bucks/bulls. This is to prevent “road hunting” for heads. Luckily I hit a young, tender doe.

Ed K
1 year ago

We have eaten Flattened Fauna off and on for years. Squirrel, Bambie, coons. If I hit it and it didn’t run away, it will probably make it into the pot

1 year ago

Have had road killed venison a few times. One was hit in the street in front of my house and once on a job. The customers wife came home and said a deer had been hit around the corner. Took the work van there and found that actually two had been hit. One right after the other. Loaded both and took them out a woods road to gut and then to a butcher friend. Went back and finished the job at the customer’s.

1 year ago

We just had Moose roadkill in Alaska! Our friends son is on the police call list when one gets hit. It was very good!

Janet Herrell
1 year ago

Driving down our lane I had a rabbit run into the side of our tire and broke his neck…sorry friends but he was dinner.

1 year ago

Here in Virginia in our development, My husband drove in to find both a doe and her fawn just hit and dead in the road. He called the State Police and his friend was able to show the trooper his valid hunting license and collect the deer.

1 year ago

Only if I killed it! In Maryland if it damaged your vehicle, you would call the police and get an accident report for your insurance company. You then had the option to keep the animal. But I would process it very quickly, so no spoilage or contamination of the meat!

1 year ago
Reply to  Hank

In Delaware, it used to be you still had to report it, but the state kept the meat as it went to the state prison system to feed the prisoners, but that was many years ago. I don’t know about today.

1 year ago

Montana also lets you harvest Road Kill. I think it also depends on how badly the animal was hit and where, as some of the meat would not be harvestable. A lot of times the meat is given to the food bank.

1 year ago

When we had our stick and brick house here in MN, I had one freezer full of road kill venison. Excellent food there.

1 year ago

If I hit the animal I would take the meat. But I am not going to take random roadkill along the road.

1 year ago

Hard to find the proper variety of Escargot on the road anywhere.