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No bumper crop on roadkill salvage

I’ve been wondering how popular Oregon’s new roadkill salvage law is. How many people are eating roadkill?

— Ken, email submission

Well, Ken, it seems like the expected bumper crop of roadkill deer and elk destined for Oregon’s tables since the new roadkill salvage law went into effect Jan. 1 has yet to materialize.

But then again, the meals-under-wheels program is not really expected to heat up until fall when accidents involving elk and deer spike.

As of Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had issued 355 free permits for people to salvage roadkill under the new law. While that may sound like a lot, the state of Washington typically issues a few thousand such permits for its program annually.

While there was a flurry of early roadkill salvages in the Rogue Valley, interest seems to have waned.

ODFW statistics show only two grille-to-grill transactions in Jackson County the past two months.

The most recent was June 15, when a Medford man took home a dented blacktail buck from Highway 238, records show. Before that, the most recent was a blacktail doe taken by a Rogue River man along East Evans Creek Road.

Under the law, whoever picks up roadkill must take the entire animal home and not leave a roadside gut pile that could attract scavengers that could also get hit.

Within 24 hours of picking up a carcass, salvagers must get a free permit from the ODFW website and provide their name, contact information, the species and sex of the animal, where it was hit and whether the salvager was the driver.

Within five business days, the salvager must turn over the animal’s head to ODFW for validation.

The rules don’t give the driver first dibs on the animal that’s killed, so salvage is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. However, in the case of an injured animal, only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal can kill it and take it home.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.