Good morning, Netizens…
[Portions taken from the Spokesman-Review]
BOISE - Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, says a constituent of his in North Idaho complained that when he found a bobcat dead in the road near his place, Idaho Fish and Game threatened him with arrest if he picked it up.
“He wrote me, said you’re letting a $200 hide lay there on the road,” Harwood said. So Harwood today proposed legislation to allow people with trapping or hunting licenses to salvage “furbearers” whenever they find them, in season or out of season. The purpose: “To allow road-kill animals to be harvested for the purpose of obtaining the hide.”
Under current law, it’s illegal for anyone to pick up wildlife hit by vehicles; protected wildlife that has died of natural or accidental causes is considered the property of the state.
Years ago, when I lived in Stevens County, and spent most of my time driving the back roads and main thoroughfares between Springdale, Valley, Chewelah and Colville, I suffered from repeated truck repairs caused by animals on the roadway. My worst nightmare, a late night accident near Hunters, Washington, involving a brand-new pickup truck I had just purchased that day in Spokane, and an insurance bill for over $12,000 when I hit Bambi and wrapped her neck around my chrome front bumper.
Fortunately I was able to limp the pickup home, minus a headlight, and given the lateness of the hour, I also took Bambi home in the back of the pickup covered with a tarp. Having already had that experience of hitting a deer, I quickly skinned and butchered that deer before I went to bed that night. Of course, that violated any of a number of laws, but that year I needed the extra meat in my freezer, and the skin was surreptitiously handed off to a nearby back yard taxidermist for his collection.
Washington State needs a common-sense set of laws similar to those proposed in Idaho. If someone hits and then salvages the body of road kill animals, particularly if they are going to butcher and consume the animal, they should be allowed to do so without any intervention on the part of the State of Washington. The savings garnered by having the meat as a resource might cover the cost of the insurance claim.
Have you ever hit a deer?