Nov 27, 2013 9:47 AM by Meliissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - Montana's new wildlife salvage law went into effect on Tuesday, and folks are now able to claim deer, elk, antelope or moose that are killed in a vehicle collision along the state's roads.
The permit system allows people to pick up road-killed wildlife, and must be completed within 24 hours of salvage.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say that if someone is involved in a vehicle-animal collision, the Montana Highway Patrol - or other law enforcement officers responding to the scene - will have the ability to process a permit on site. Folks can also apply for a permit online.
Anyone who salvages a road-killed deer, elk, antelope, or moose will be required to remove the entire animal from where it is found. Parts or viscera cannot be left on site. The salvaged animal must be used for one's own consumption and cannot be donated to others, used for bait or pet food.
A person must first agree to an affirmation to the conditions for the salvage and possession of vehicle killed wildlife in order to get a permit. FWP adds that a law enforcement officer may require inspection of the animal, parts, and meat, and may request the permittee take the officer to the site where the animal was picked up.
"Any peace officer in the state of Montana can issue a vehicle-killed wildlife salvaged permit. The Montana Highway Patrol is capable of actually printing the permits in their vehicles, we can issue the permits on the side of the road," MHP Patrol Sergeant Jay Nelson explained.
The salvaged animal has to be for one's own consumption, and can not be donated, used for bait, or as pet food.
Consumers of wildlife believe the new law is great for Montanans.
"We have people that are hungry here in this country. This is a good way to supplement your food. Some of that meat's good. Yeah, some of it will be bad if it's been hit hard, but overall I think it's a wonderful program," said Jefferson City resident Don Balser.
It should be noted that the roadkill salvage law does not cover collisions that happen on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and road kill animals can't be picked up using the salvage permit.