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Oregon Roadkill Salvage Law Now in Effect
No longer is it a crime to salvage a fresh killed deer or elk for personal use.
"Roadkill" can now be salavaged and used in Oregon, if you obey the rules. Image: ODFW
(SALEM, Ore.) - Salvaging deer and elk struck by vehicles is now legal in Oregon as required by Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislature.
A free online application is required to receive your permit, and must be submitted within 24 hours of salvaging the deer or elk. Do not complete the online permit until you are actually salvaging an animal as specific information about location and time of salvage is required.
Below are the key regulations for salvaging roadkill in Oregon:
- Only deer and elk accidentally struck by a vehicle may be salvaged; white-tailed deer can only be salvaged from Douglas County and east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains because of the protected status for white-tailed deer in most of western Oregon.
- The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.
- Deer and elk accidentally stuck by a vehicle may be salvaged for human consumption only.
- Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to salvage it remains unlawful.
- Any person (not just the driver who struck the animal) may salvage a deer or elk killed by a vehicle.
- Only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage an animal in cases where a deer or elk is struck, injured and then humanely dispatched to alleviate suffering; law enforcement must also be immediately notified as required by Oregon Revised Statute 498.016.
- Antlers and head of all salvaged animals will need to be surrendered to an ODFW office within 5 business days of taking possession of the carcass; see location list below and call ahead to schedule appointment (Tissue samples from the head will be tested as part of the state’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease). Other animal parts, such as the hide, may be kept by the permittee.
- A copy of the Roadkill Salvage Permit must accompany any part of a deer or elk salvaged and shall remain with such animal or part so long as the same is preserved.
- Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under these rules.
- The state of Oregon is also not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.
- Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat. Wildlife Transfer Record (pdf)
If you do hit and kill a large wild animal or see a dead one on the roadway, remove it to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. If this can’t be done safely, call 911. Position your vehicle in a safe way and turn on your hazard flashing lights to warn other motorists.
ODOT or county road maintenance crews are responsible for disposing of animals hit on roadways.
Only deer, elk and unprotected animals may be salvaged from roadways. It remains unlawful to salvage cougar, bear, pronghorn, bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goat.
Unprotected wildlife includes coyotes, skunks, nutria, opossum, badgers, porcupines, and weasels; licensed furtakers may also take roadkilled wildlife classified as furbearers (bobcat, gray and red fox, marten, muskrat/mink, raccoon, river otter, beaver) at certain times of the year; check regulations for those dates.
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