Did You Know Picking Up Wyoming’s Roadkill Is 100% Free?
Open spaces, highways, wildlife and vehicles are a heck of a combination. Especially when the wildlife is WILD. Fences don't hold them all, and some decide to play Frogger with your vehicle.
In the last few years, the wildlife numbers have taken a hit. Disease and weather have impacted many of Wyoming's big game species. Because the numbers are down, the number of hunting licenses are being reduced every year. That means less people are able to get out to get meat for their freezers, and in turn, having to spend more at the grocery store.
Wyoming Game and Fish knows that's frustrating for some people, but it has to be done to protect the future of hunting and game in Wyoming.
Middle of April every year is when the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has their meetings to determine what the hunting seasons will look like. Constant research, harvest numbers, herd numbers and hunter/public input, all factor in to set the seasons. Meaning the hunting licenses fluctuate each year, to keep conservation and the wildlife top of mind.
What happens though, if you count on getting that wild game meat every year, and all this year don't get the chance?
There are options available, like collecting roadkill.
I know it sounds horrible, but actually, it can be a simple alternative of going hungry.
Wyoming passed a bill that allowed roadkill to be collected by the public in 2022. The thing is, if you follow the proper guidelines, it's a very beneficial opportunity for you.
To collect the animal, you only have to go to the WYDOT App, WYOMING 511, report the roadkill and submit the information for a permit to take the animal.
Here are some of the rules for collecting roadkill
- You MUST get a permit by filling out the information on the WYO 511 App.
- Can't collect roadkill on major interstate highways. I 80, I 90 and I 25
- Can't collect roadkill at night, only during the day
- No collection in construction areas or National Parks
- Have to park off the road with your flashers on
- You have to field dress the animal away from the road.
- You have to keep ALL of the animal and can't donate the meat
Obviously use your best judgement when deciding to pick up roadkill. Middle of July, 95 degree days, wouldn't be the best time to pick up a deer or antelope along the road.