New Road-Kill Rules Take Effect
New rules approved during Idaho's recent legislative session allow people to recover, possess and sell certain wildlife killed by accidental vehicle collisions. Individuals who want to salvage road kill must notify the Idaho Department of Fish and Game within 24 hours either in person, by phone or by Internet to receive a salvage permit within 72 hours. Game animals, including furbearers, may now be salvaged, as long as they died as a result of an accidental vehicle collision. This rule change only allows dead animals to be salvaged; it does not allow injured animals to be killed by passing motorists. Protected nongame wildlife, threatened or endangered species, migratory birds including waterfowl, and wildlife not lawfully hunted or trapped may not be recovered, possessed or salvaged. To view a list of wildlife that may be salvaged and to obtain a permit online, visit https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/roadkill. A self-generating permit is available for printing after entering required information, including date, location and species salvaged. A copy of the permit must accompany the salvaged wildlife. In addition to reporting a salvage, the following wildlife must be presented to the nearest Fish and Game office to satisfy mandatory check and reporting requirements: moose, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, black bear, wolf, bobcat and river otter. The new rules also allow people to sell parts, except the meat, from legally salvaged wildlife, not including bighorn sheep. People may also retain and consume the meat of legally salvaged wildlife - but they do so at their own risk. The new rules do not supersede existing state and local safety laws concerning vehicle stops on highways. Motorists who stop to retrieve wildlife on any roadway where stopping is authorized, assume all responsibility for their actions should an accident result from retrieving wildlife of any kind. Motorists are also reminded that it is unlawful to stop, except for emergencies, on all controlled access highways, such as interstate highways. Salvaging wildlife is not considered an emergency. Reporting road kill and wildlife salvage is important because the information will be incorporated with other wildlife collision records, which will ultimately help identify and document high risk areas along Idaho's roadways. This information can be used by transportation officials, land managers and other interested parties to make more informed assessments and decisions regarding the safety of motorists and the needs of wildlife in future road projects. For more information regarding Idaho's wildlife salvage rules, please refer to Fish and Game's website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/roadkill, or contact your nearest Fish and Game office.