Not Fast (Enough) Food: Roadkill App Lets You Source Your Supper From a Blacktop Buffet

There you are — on the highway in a hurry. Suddenly, a sloppy sight means your plans are impeded by a pause: That rotting armadillo in the emergency lane would sure be scrumptious as a stew.


Should you stop, or is that selfish? Is leaving it for the next driver the Christian thing to do?

Perhaps now, you can feel a little fairer in your claiming of the carcass: There’s an app for that. At least, that is, if you’re hungry at the wheel in Wyoming.

As reported by The Associated Press, The Suffrage State’s launched a phone app letting drivers put dibs on dashed-line dinner.

State wildlife and highway officials rolled out the app — possibly the first of its kind in the U.S. — this winter when Wyoming joined the 30 or so states that allow people to collect roadkill for food.

To be sure, there’s more than armadillo on the menu:

Wyoming’s new roadkill feature within the state Department of Transportation app helps people quickly claim accidentally killed deer, elk, moose, wild bison or wild turkey after documenting the animal and reviewing the rules for collecting roadkill to eat.

Hopefully, the program’s prohibitions will prevent accidents: Motorists can’t shovel corpses into their cars at night, on freeways or in construction zones.

Also off-limits: National parks.

Further particulars:

Unlike in other states such as Alaska, roadkill meat in Wyoming can’t be donated to anybody, including charities.

The whole carcass must be retrieved, not just the antlers or hide. In Oregon, which allows people to claim roadkill with an online form, people must surrender the head and antlers to wildlife authorities within five days. But in Wyoming, the whole animal is fair game.


Besides cleaning up the roads and flavorfully filling your favorite soufflé, the program will improve protection for quadrupeds:

By geotagging roadkill with their phones and documenting the species, app users will contribute to the data that help Wyoming wildlife biologists and highway officials decide where to install wildlife crossing signs and other ways of reducing critter deaths.

Reduction would be a real win. According to officials, at least 6,000 animals are annually annihilated on Wyoming’s roadsides.

Most persistently pounded: mule deer.

[S]o named for their mule-like ears, (they) inhabit the western half of North America and are generally bigger than the whitetail deer found across the continent.

Wyoming is home to about 400,000 mule deer, or roughly two for every three of the state’s human residents. Although they’re not rare and are still enthusiastically hunted, drought and diminishing habitat have played roles in reducing Wyoming mule numbers by almost 30% in the past 30 years.

Per Game and Fish Department spokesperson Sara DiRienzo, “Mule deer already are struggling because of a number of factors. Roadkill collisions don’t help that.”

Other common critters caught insufficiently looking out for cars: coyotes, eagles and skunks, who are often trying to eat what was already 86’d.


Back to you hankering for a hunk of armadillo, it’s finders keepers:

You don’t have to know the person who struck roadkill to be able to claim it…

But prior to putting on your chef’s hat, you may want to follow the example of roadkill customer Jaden Bales, who recently scooped up a victim for venison:

Bales mailed in a lymph node from the animal to be tested for chronic wasting disease, a neurological illness similar to mad cow disease that’s been spreading through U.S. deer populations for decades, and it came back negative.

The deer had been unintentionally terminated by Marta Casey, who then reported it on the app. She informed Jordan, and the two shared in the spoils.

Casey had never hunted before and had only eaten wild game a couple times but liked the idea of at least making use of the animal that put her car in the body shop.

“It’s always been important to me to understand where our food comes from,” Marta made clear.

And now, you can know the same.

So if you’re in Wyoming and accidentally make mincemeat of a non-human mammal, use the app. And tonight, you’ll have good eats on the grill — just as soon as you extricate the entree from the one on your car.




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