Waste not

When some relative of Bambi’s decided to take out my car in the summer of ’06, I placed a call to the Highway Patrol, who in turn passed the word to the Department of Wildlife Conservation, which would deal with the remains — if there were any left when they got there, since it was at least plausible that someone might back up a truck and haul away half a freezerful of fawn, which is legal, in the sense that it’s not illegal: as Al Gore used to say, there is no controlling legal authority.

There’s about to be, though, in Montana, where House Bill 247 — “An act creating permits to salvage certain game accidentally killed by vehicles” — is on its way to the governor’s desk. How this happened:

[I]t took someone quite familiar with deer-car encounters to bring it up in the Legislature: state Rep. Steve Lavin, who also is a Montana state trooper.

“I was at a troopers’ meeting last summer and another trooper brought up the idea. I thought, ‘It’s kind of a good idea’,” he said on Friday.

“I was thinking, how many times have I had people ask me, “Hey, can I take this?” and I’ve had to say, ‘No it’s illegal’,” he continued, relating his own skirting of the rules in making roadkill available to a food bank.

As in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Montana’s bill would grant a permit or a tag to people who want roadkill for food. State Sen. Larry Jent is a co-sponsor.

“It passed the House and needed a sponsor in the Senate. I was laughing uncontrollably, so the chairman assigned it to me,” he said from Bozeman.

You can check your own state laws here.

1 comment

  1. McGehee »

    26 March 2013 · 7:32 am

    Alaska famously calls local charities to deal with roadkill moose; not sure about other unfortunate fauna.

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