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New California bill would let drivers legally eat roadkill

New California bill would let drivers legally eat roadkill

Road to table!

Never let it be said that all the rules that California’s legislators create are stale and dull.

Sacramento is proposing new rules that would make eating roadkill legal.

You’re driving down the road at night when, out of nowhere, a deer jumps in front of your car. It doesn’t survive. It’d be a shame to let all that meat go to waste, right?

That’s the thinking behind Senate Bill 395, sponsored by Sen. Bob J. Archuleta, D-Montebello.

That bill would amend state law, as well as the Fish and Game Code, to allow drivers of vehicles that fatally strike an animal to retroactively apply for a wildlife salvage permit, at no cost, within 24 hours of the collision. The bill also would allow non-drivers who come across roadkill to salvage the dead animal

The measure has the potential to offer citizens thousands of tasty, fresh meat opportunities.

A report published by UC Davis’ Road Ecology Center last year shows that more than 56,000 animal carcasses were found on local roads and state highways between 2009 and 2017. The bill estimates that more than 20,000 deer are hit by cars on California’s roadways annually.

“This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need,” the bill states.

If the law passes, the person who takes the animal would be required to retroactively apply online for a wildlife salvage permit within 24 hours of finding the carcass. With this data, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would maintain a log of the number of permits issued, the location of impacts, species of wildlife and the estimated amount of meat salvaged each year.

Those who might explore this automotive harvesting option should be aware that butchering is both a science and an art.

“You’re gonna get a lot of loss, so there’s not much you’re gonna get out of the animal after it’s been hit like that,” according to butcher Ian Higgs.

Ian Higgs is a custom butcher at Rolesville Meats.

He says you cannot harvest much edible meat from roadkill.

“It’s definitely an art,” said Higgs.

The trauma from most deadly collisions makes meat go bad.

Higgs says you can’t eat dirt. He also says when meat gets hit that hard, you’re gonna have a lot of tough meat.

Californians concerned about the “Zombie Deer” disease that has spread through the country will be happy to learn that even if the animals is infected, the meat is safe to eat.

Researchers examined about 80 people who’ve feasted on the meat of deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease — a fatal illness that causes zombie-like behavior in the animals and could spread to humans — and found over the course of the six-year study “no significant changes in health conditions,” USA Today reported on Thursday.

The tainted deer meat was unwittingly served to 200 to 250 at a fire company in Oneida County, New York, on March 13, 2005. The 80 or so mostly white males who ate the venison agreed to participate in the study carried out by the Oneida County Health Department and experts at the State University of New York-Binghamton.

The comments about the proposal have been humorous:

From road to table, hot and fresh!


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DieJustAsHappy | February 24, 2019 at 4:10 pm

“How would you like your deer this evening? Winter or all-season tread?”

“We’ll let you legally eat roadkill as long as you register in our database of roadkill eaters.”

California being California.

been ok here in maine for long time as long as game warden says meet safe. dad got more with plow on truck then he did rifle for years. long as spleen not ruptured was fine. we ate good and all loved our snowplow…

huh rags comment disappeared. odd as was not rude or anything.

    I took it as a tongue in cheek comment, maybe others didn’t .
    don’t know.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Ah, “shazbot”! Another deer post turned to bickering.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Rags-Rump It seems that whenever you are unable to prevail in a discussion, you quickly resort to juvenile insults, claims of racism and similar stuff. Stop that sort of conduct, eventually you might gain some respect. Perhaps you should take a Dale Carnegie course?

      I’m more than happy to “prevail” in a discussion, you simpering racist.

      Just leave me free to “discuss”. When I’m admittedly cencsored the likes of Crazy Sloppers, I can’t very well “discuss” can I, you little POS?

        There is no discussion possible with the terminally deranged nevertrumpers.

        For the record, “Ragspierre” has a habit of making nasty and unprovoked comments about and towards Leslie from the moment she made it clear she supported Trump. It’s just that simple.

        Oh, you’re far worse than Leslie, you are an apostate…

        I’ve read, three times now, what Leslie said in her article. Nothing, not one word, could be taken to indicate Leslie supports the state telling us what to eat, or any science involved in such.

        Such an attack is just a well aimed boomerang. Anyone that bothers to read will know it is neither argument or factual, that it is in fact the meandering of a hateful lunatic.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to Ragspierre. | February 25, 2019 at 11:26 am

        Poor misunderstood Rags-Rump. Your mentality reminds me of that of a tween. I used to tell my tweens when they were mad that their mother and I might occasionally care if they were mad, but the rest of the world did not. That is an important lesson, one which you apparently failed to learn. Even worse is that I prefer to spar with people what are up to chess, especially 3D chess, while you are comparable to a checkers player 🙂

    Barry in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    “As I KNEW, you’d resort to complete bullshit in the face of a factual argument.”

    You’re going to need to resort to doctoring Leslie’s comments if you expect anyone to get your “factual argument”.

    I’ve personally never seen anyone so unaware of their own ignorance.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to dmacleo. | February 25, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Rags-Rump, I have a few ideas about where you can store your comments 🙂 It might be interesting to know what made you what you are today; naw, it really does not matter.

Well, zombie deer disease hasn’t been found in California yet but I still get the feeling that the politicians of California hate their constituents.

I’ve found through personal experience that it’s a lot more expensive to hunt deer with your car than with a rifle.

I’m from Illinois and we’ve had this rule for years as do a lot of other states. I both hunt and take road kill. I also know how to butcher cattle, pigs, lamb, goat, deer and just about any edible animal. That’s the real skill involved. I also make my own bacon, hams, sausage, cheese, smoked salmon and all kinds of other products.

In Illinois, you are only allowed to use a shotgun for deer during firearm season. That means buckshot or rifled slug. If you end up gut shooting a deer with a slug, the liklihood of contaminating a substantial amount of meat is great. If you shoot a deer, you must take it. If you find a roadkill and it’s badly damaged, you can walk away. A deer killed by a car or pickup will be generally have damage to the lower legs where there isn’t much meat. A common injury that I have observred is a split where the aorta splits into the femoral arteries in the animal’s pelvis. The animal bleeds to death in less than two minutes into the lower gut. There is usually no other contamination. I collect the blood in a pail when gutting the deer and cook it along with the lungs and other selected guts. I have pitbulls. They’re ready for venison 24 hours a day.

Venison is very expensive if you have to buy it. Over $12 a pound. Deer in Illinois can have a skinned, gutted carcass weight of 140 to 160 pounds. Do the math. It can be a lot of good eating if you know how to inspect it and are willing to turn any questionable parts into dog food. It’s not for everyone and it takes a long time to develop the skill.

    Road food. During tomato harvest overfilled bankout trucks will spill x quanities of that delicious fruit along the shoulders of sharp roadway turns and freeway exits north of Sacramento – over the years i’ve literally made gallons and gallons of picante and fresh salsa from salvaged tomato.

    Oldest road food memory? Me and my pop were just north of Logan, Ut. c1969 and came upon a spot where a truck hauling field/silage corn had jackknifed. We filled the country squire cargo area full of fresh corn. Later that week we all helped mom can that road corn.

    More salvage stories. We had a family cottage on Everett bay at Tulalip Washington. Cedar would get loose from huge log-boom rafts towed by tugs. I’d spot cedar washed ashore and at high tide tow it to our bulkhead, winch it to the landing and hand split it to make fence rails and posts. I must’ve split about 3-4 miles of rail to fence our property.

caseoftheblues | February 24, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Well since their policies are turning that state into Venzuela might as well prepare for that now….

A freshly killed road-side deer in 30 degree weather in Kulhifornia is LESS a threat than a deer shot and butchered in 50 degree weather in Texas.

That is sound science.

Yeah, if you’re going to spend $3k fixing the damage that deer caused to your car, might as well get some deer jerky out of it. Problem is a lot of deer/car encounters end with a wrecked car and no deer, as it bounds off into the woods (although it might die later). Friend of mine hit a wild hog that way. Ripped the snot out of the quarter panel and fender, but the hog happily trotted away without even a limp.

“Now Red, those of us fortunate enough to live next to a highway have a large variety of range fed, vehicularly processed protein (to supplement the usual beef, pork, chicken).” Dalton Humphrey, The Red Green Show – The Experts discuss meat.

“This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need,” the bill states.

This all being much ado about legislation, I suppose “those in need” are registered on another list.

Sadly, Red Green is just lost on the vast population of people on this planet. I sure hope they pay attention when writing the law, because if done wrong, cannibals are going to have a field day for 90 days until it can be amended. I still have firecrackers from the 1980 SNAFU in Ohio where you could buy them if you signed a statement that it was a wholesale purchase and not a retail purchase. They were selling them by the semi-load.

Our rather large deer up here … moose… often wind up bumper, hood and roof ornaments. Policy is for road kill moose to be harvested immediately for meat for those needy.

Granny and Uncle Jed were ahead of their time.

DouglasJBender | February 24, 2019 at 7:40 pm

I like to take my 4-wheel-drive Jeep, with a snowplow attached, back and forth on the portions of roads with “Deer Crossing” signs. Sometimes I just wait on the side of the road, with the blinkers on and the engine running. It’s kind of like surprise jousting.

CWD isn’t the only problem out there.
Deer in my neck of the woods, there is an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, known most commonly as EHD in the deer population.

Why do they need a bill to permit it? Why is it currently illegal? And why does anyone need a permit to salvage something?

    “Why is it currently illegal?”

    You probably know there are hunting laws. (the king always regulates taking of game). As part of those laws, in many states it is illegal to harvest game in or out of season, killed in an accident. Why? Because your overlords deem it so, to protect you from yourself, eating some rancid animal. Just like we need hairdressers licensed, to keep you from getting a bad hairdo 🙂

    The permit is the state asserting itself, and in a year or two that permit will have a cost, guaranteed. Can’t have a bunch of rednecks running around eating roadkill without paperwork involved or for free.

      alaskabob in reply to Barry. | February 25, 2019 at 10:58 am

      As a kid in Pennsylvania, one days a big thump against house…in middle of town a ruffed grouse had hit the house and died. My folks let me clean it and we are it. After telling the story at grade school, the teacher called the authorities to investigate. Nothing happened to me but I wonder if my parents got hammered. This was around 1958 so one can see the dark hand of busy bodies back then.

        JusticeDelivered in reply to alaskabob. | February 25, 2019 at 11:47 am

        I live on over a hundred acre farm, my house and a huge pole barn, all insulated and finished sit far off the road. I have an office in the barn, and another in my house.

        The office in my house is on the lower level overlooking a large pond.

        I was in that office one day and there was a loud knocking on the 6′ wide patio door. There was a huge turkey there.

        A young man who worked for me was upstairs, I told him to grab the camera and take a picture of the 3′ long turkey.

        He ran outside and the turkey was running across the lawn between the house and the barn, he chased after it, as he approached the turkey, it turned on him, and chased the young man all the way back to the house.

        We baqged that tom the following fall.

    ghost dog in reply to Milhouse. | February 25, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    In short the wildlife all belong to the state and your need their permission to to take one.

Does the bill include dogs and cats and other domestic animals? If so, it will give our last POTUS an excuse to move there….

smalltownoklahoman | February 25, 2019 at 7:04 am

Well if anything, it might lead to better tracking of where these animals are crossing the road which could lead to better warning signage.

PersonofInterests | February 25, 2019 at 10:06 am

What about Opossums, Racoons, Rats, and Armadillos? Do they have Skunks in California??

I see this as a Win/Win for those who sell “Roadkill Helper.”

    Rats…reply down arrow screw up…sorry….plenty of skunks around Sacramento….many migrate from LA and San Fran to there.

    “Buzzards gotta eat too, same as the worms.” You have to leave them something, if only the skunks. (phew!)

    JusticeDelivered in reply to PersonofInterests. | February 25, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I routinely trap possums and raccoons. If the meat is edible I feed them to the exodic cats and Rottweilers we raise, if not I put them in a maggot bucket, where flies lay their eggs and the larva fall out in the chicken run.

    The bones and anything else which is left goes into compost, and then through a hammermill, and then to the garden.

    We also use wood chips and bagged leaves as bedding, and that goes into compost, after a year it is ready for the garden. Same for all the litter boxes, where we use wood chips or shredded leaves.

    Chicken crap (like Rags), is really hot (not like Rags under the collar), rather it will kill plants. But when mixed with leaves or wood chips, those absorb the nitrogen and makes it suitable for plants.

    I am not suggesting we compost Rags, at least not yet 🙂

I have been in 3 deer-car collisions. This should have been done 50 years ago. In our State it is pigs and they were always legal to harvest.

I guess this would have appealed to the late Jeffrey Dahmer and he might have moved from Milwaukee to California to take advantage of the proposed law:

I wonder if all US citizens might be considered ‘wildlife’ or is it just the ‘illegal aliens’?