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Oregonians: stock your freezer with roadkill

Elk crossing road

Photo credit: Dreamstime

A new law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019 for Oregon residents making it legal to stock your freezer with roadkill. The new law, which was approved in 2017, applies only to elk or deer “struck by vehicles,” reports.

Among its fellow western states, Oregon leads the way in the number of deer-vehicle collisions. State Farm’s 15th annual deer claim study found that one of out every 254 drivers will hit a deer in Oregon, according to The Oregonian. In fact, Oregon drivers are more likely to hit a deer than those behind the wheel in Washington and California, which makes this new roadkill law an effective way to handle deer and elk struck by vehicles. Other states like Montana and Washington already have similar laws in place.

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There are a few important things to note regarding the new law:

  • You can’t crash your car into an animal just to collect the meat.
  • You must remove the entire carcass—not just the parts you want.
  • You can’t sell any part of the salvaged animal.
  • The new law only applies to elk or deer.
  • You cannot keep the head or antlers of the recovered animal; you must turn those in to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife within five business days.
  • If you happen upon an animal worth salvaging, you’re required to complete and apply for a permit within 24 hours of recovering the animal. You will be required to provide the specifics of where the animal was found and the time you picked it up.

For more details on the new law, click here.


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Bendrix B. - posted 5 months ago on 01-03-2019 01:19:32 pm
Rochester, MA

I’m a fan of RK. In Massachusetts we have to report the carcass and get a tag. No restrictions on keeping the head. Butchering RK is a skill. It’s a process of diagnosis and test to find out where the meat is untainted by intestinal fluids. Be prepared to deal with odors and some rejection of questionable meat, but if done right it’s possible to salvage some, and every so often the entire animal. About half our annual venison comes from RK.

Dustin F. - posted 5 months ago on 01-02-2019 02:30:43 pm
Carmel Valley, CA

I was just telling my wife of the non-sense law prohibiting the use of roadkill as food. Glad to see OR taking a giant leap forward with their resource management.

Gary H. - posted 5 months ago on 01-02-2019 11:57:53 am

This wasn't allowed before? What kind of communists do they have running things out there?

Its a sad state of affairs when they have to pass a law allowing the collection of animals to be used for consumption instead of left there to rot for the vultures.


Erik S. - posted 5 months ago on 01-02-2019 10:50:40 am

Great news that should be common sense, a little lame you cannot keep the antlers. Hopefully California adopts this at some point.