Under new rules that took effect Jan. 1, the salvage of deer and elk struck accidentally by vehicles is now legal in Oregon, provided an online permit is submitted at www.odfw.com/roadkill within 24 hours of the salvage.
The change in law was required after the passage of Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislative session.
The new rules apply only to deer and elk, and only to salvage for human consumption of the meat.
Intentionally hitting a deer or elk remains unlawful, as does the salvage of other game mammals, including pronghorn antelope, bears, and cougars.
In addition, because white-tailed deer are protected in most of western Oregon, they may only be salvaged east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains and in Douglas County.
The entire carcass of the animal, including gut piles, must be removed from the road and the right-of-way.
The antlers and head of a salvaged animal must be surrendered to an ODFW office within five business days of taking possession of the carcass, but other parts of the animal, such as the hide, may be kept by the roadkill salvage permit holder.
Tissue samples from the head will be tested as part of the state’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease. An office list is at www.odfw.com/roadkill; salvage permit holders should call ahead to schedule an appointment.
The permit application must be submitted within 24 hours. Completing an online permit before the animal is actually salvaged is not allowed, as specific information about the location, date and time of salvage is required.
Any person (not just the driver who struck the animal) may salvage a deer or elk killed by a vehicle, unless the animal is injured and then humanely dispatched.
In that case, only the driver may salvage, and law enforcement must also be immediately notified as required by state statute (ORS 498.016.)
Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk.