MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – With warmer weather on the way, more animals will be on the move. A vehicle versus an animal accident isn’t uncommon here in the U.P. But, what do you do if you want to keep the roadkill?

“If you are involved in a vehicle accident with an animal after you make sure that you’re okay if you do happen to call 911, go ahead and tell the dispatcher that you intend on keeping the animal that you hit with your vehicle,” Jeremy Sergey, A Michigan Conservation Officer said. “Essentially what you have to do is notify a law enforcement agency and then if you have a smartphone, go on the smartphone to the Michigan DNR website to the vehicle roadkill program. On there and you fill out all the required information such as first name, last name, middle initial things like that. It’s important to know where your location is that you hit the roadkill. From there it will send a permit to your email and you are required to have that permit if you intend to possess that roadkill animal. Those permits don’t cost anything, but it is important that you filled all the required information on the permit.”

Sergey says White-tailed deer are the most common type of roadkill found here in the U.P., but just because you find a deer on the side of the road, doesn’t mean it is free game.

“One thing we do notice with roadkill sometimes the animal itself isn’t collected but people will come by and saw off the antlers,” Sergey said. “I would like to point out that that is an illegal possession of the of the antlers unless you fill out the roadkill salvage permit which again is free to do.”

And not all animals are up for grabs.

“There are certain stipulations to that such as animals like a spotted fawn or a cub bear are illegal to possess even if you hit them with a vehicle,” Sergey said.  

Regardless of the intentions for the use of roadkill, you need to let the state know why you are taking it home.

“Part of our application for the permit is letting us know what your intentions are with the animal,” Sergey said. “It does not have to be just for consumption. If you would like to use the animal for bait or trapping that is another option as well. Regardless, all information still must be collected on our website.”

For a DNR Roadkill Salvage permit, click here.