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Roadgrill: New App Lets People Claim Roadkill So They Can Eat It

Wyoming may not be seen as a technological hub on the leading edge of innovation, but the state has just introduced an app that may be the first of its kind. This winter, Wyoming rolled out an app that lets people claim the animal they just hit with their car so they can serve it for dinner.

Wyoming’s road and wildlife officials introduced the app as the state joined 30 others this past winter in allowing people to grab their dinners from the side of the road, according to the Associated Press. 

The AP reported that the app allows for people to claim “accidentally killed deer, elk, moose, wild bison or wild turkey after documenting the animal and reviewing the rules for collecting roadkill to eat.”

There are also rules motorists must follow to claim roadkill. Dead animals cannot be collected after dark, and the rules also don’t allow for people to claim roadkill along certain interstates, in construction zones, or in national parks. Also, people must collect the whole carcass of the dead animal and can keep the antlers and hide. The AP stated that roadkill “can’t be donated to anybody, including charities,” while Alaska and some other states allow for roadkill meat to be donated. 

The app also helps officials collect data on how many animals are being hit on Wyoming roads. This data will aid officials in determining where to install more animal crossing signs and take other measures to prevent more animals from being struck by vehicles. According to the Wyoming government, there are “6,000 vehicle collisions with big game” each year, which accounts for 15% of all crashes in the state. These collisions cost motorists about $24-29 million annually. 

“Game and Fish, as well as the Wyoming Department of Transportation and various wildlife and community groups, want to reduce those numbers by taking action to give wildlife the green light for safe passage,” the Wyoming Game and Fish website states.

Most vehicle-animal collisions involve mule deer, according to Game and Fish Department spokesperson Sara DiRienzo. “Mule deer already are struggling because of a number of factors. Roadkill collisions don’t help that,” DiRienzo said.

The law and ensuing app that allows people to collect roadkill also helps keep other animals away from the road that would be drawn to a dead carcass. “[Whenever] you’ve got roadkill, it is really dangerous for any of the critters who come and try to eat it,” said Jaden Bales, who put the app and new law to use when someone hit a mule deer just down the road from his home.

Before cooking the roadkill, Bales sent in a lymph node from the deer that was tested for chronic wasting disease, which is similar to mad cow disease. The test came back negative, and the mule deer was soon cooked with Bales’ family recipe.

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