Is it legal to keep roadkill in Idaho?

Currently, there are about 30 states in the US that allow the harvesting of roadkill for consumption. Some states have certain stipulations, like only being able to use the kill for donations to charitable organizations. Idaho is among several states that allow you to keep roadkill for personal use and consumption as long as you follow procedure and mind some exceptions.

It needs to be an accident

While I can’t imagine why anyone would intentionally swerve to bring home the bacon, it’s important to note that it is not legal to intentionally hit an animal for the sake of salvage. If you can safely avoid hitting an animal in your path, you need to do so.

Sebastian Pociecha - Unsplash
Sebastian Pociecha - Unsplash

Can you legally kill animals injured in an accident in Idaho?

A relatively new Idaho law as of July 1, 2018, allows for the safe killing of an animal that has been injured by a collision. If you don’t know any outdoor enthusiasts, I can say that the vast majority have great respect for wildlife and would rather see an animal put out of its misery, than suffer. It is legal in Idaho to dispatch an injured animal that was accidentally struck by a vehicle.

It’s very important to note that firearms laws, statutes, and ordinances take precedence. Say, you hit a deer in city limits. City ordinances that prohibit shooting a firearm in city limits prevent you from firing your weapon in town.

Matthew Schwartz - Unspalsh
Matthew Schwartz - Unsplash

Which animals are you allowed to keep?

Common big game animals that are not considered protected species are salvageable. Elk, Mule, and White-tailed deer are all salvageable. Other large game like moose, some mountain goats, and even the American Black Bear are legal to salvage but require mandatory checks.

Birds not on the protected species list are salvageable as are fur-bearing animals like beavers and badgers. You can also take several predatory animals including coyotes. 

Richard lee - Unsplash
Richard Lee - Unsplash

You cannot salvage protected species 

The list of protected species is long and worth checking before you try to take home something you shouldn’t. Possessing endangered species (dead or alive) like the bald eagle can garner fines as high as $250,000 or even a felony conviction with prison time.

Long story short: make sure you know your species before you salvage. You can find the entire list of protected species on the Idaho Fish & Game website.

 In Idaho, you have to report all roadkill salvage and dispatch

Both dispatch and animal salvage in Idaho requires reporting and a permit. You have 24 hours to report roadkill and 72 hours to obtain your salvage permit. You can easily report roadkill on the Idaho Fish & Game website. 

You should know what you're doing if you plan on eating roadkill

Understand what you're eating

There are risks to eating roadkill. Do your homework on risks such as chronic wasting disease that come with eating certain varieties of wild animals.

We Can't Believe These 11 Things Are Legal in Idaho!

BOISE, Idaho. You decide: are Idaho lawmakers behind the times, or are am I being too uptight for thinking the following actions/behaviors/choices should be illegal in Idaho?

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