* By Edith Williams – BCC Writer/Contributor
In the spring of 2012, Idaho’s new “Wildlife Salvage Rules” became effective, allowing for the salvage of wildlife killed in accidental traffic collisions. Idaho Fish and Game data indicates that more and more Idahoans are taking advantage of the new rule and opportunity to supplement their family’s meat supply.
A look at Fish and Game’s wildlife collision data for Ada and Boise Counties from 11/01/2016 to 1/28/2017 returns nearly 70 big game collision fatalities primarily in the ID-21 and ID-55 corridors. This number represents 16 fewer fatalities than during the same time frame last winter.
With respect to fatalities/salvages in Boise County, Fish and Game’s database indicates 22 wildlife collisions were reported between November 1, 2016 and January 28, 2017, and all but 4 of the animals were salvaged. Of the 18 animals reported salvaged, 1 was a moose, 7 were elk and 10 were mule deer. While the number of wildlife collisions in Boise County this winter may seem high, there were 30 collisions but only 18 salvages reported during the same time frame last winter.
Idaho’s Wildlife Salvage Rules allow for more than just the salvage of big game animals. Upland game animals, upland game birds, furbearers, predatory, and unprotected wildlife are also eligible to be salvaged. Holding a valid hunting license or game tag is not required to salvage dead animals. However, game animals, including furbearers, may only be salvaged, as long as they died as a result of an accidental vehicle collision. This rule change does not allow for injured animals to be killed by passing motorists.
Salvage eligibility is based on a “first come first serve” concept with the motorist involved in the collision having first right to claim the animal for salvage. Additionally, where big game is involved, the Boise County Sheriff’s Office may notify individuals on an unofficial call list of unclaimed, salvageable carcasses, making these animals available to those facing hardship. To be added to this list, please contact the Boise County Sheriff’s Office.
Individuals who want to salvage road kill, are required to file a report with Fish and Game within 24 hrs by phone, in person or electronically and must obtain a salvage permit by phone or via the internet within 72 hrs. Wildlife collision and/or salvage reports/permits are easy to file electronically via your smart phone or computer at https://idfg.idaho.gov/species/roadkill/add. For a complete list of salvageable animals and Frequently Asked Questions answered by IDFG go to https://idfg.idaho.gov/species/roadkill.