Folks looking for roadkill to put some extra protein on their table are getting some technological help in Wyoming in the form of a recently released app that makes it easier to claim roadside carcasses.
The state's newly enacted system replaces one that had required a game warden to provide a tag before a resident could claim wild game roadkill. Now residents can instead use an app to forage for food on non-interstate roads.
People can use their Android and Apple devices to get permission to salvage deer, elk, antelope, moose, wild bison or wild turkey after unintentional vehicle collisions with wildlife, state officials announced in February. But first they have to document the animal and review the rules, with grizzly bears, some grey wolves and endangered species off limits.
"Anyone collecting roadkill must receive authorization from Game and Fish before collection. That can be done through the Wyoming 511 app, even without cellular service," the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said in a news release.
To obtain electronic permission, Wyoming residents have to agree to take the entire animal and dispose of its inedible parts properly. Officials are also urging residents to keep safety in mind by only collecting roadkill in daylight and by parking off the road. Roadkill can't be collected along interstate highways, construction zones or in National Parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
In authorizing about $17,000 to develop the system in December, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission was assured by chief game warden Rick King that the funding was "not for cookbooks," according to the RawlinsTimes.
According to Wide Open Eats, 30 states currently allow residents to bring roadkill home for food.
Wyoming has been working to curb the number of animals killed on Wyoming roads every year, and officials hope to use the data collected by the app to pick locations for wildlife crossing signs.
The app gets a thumbs up from Wyoming resident Marta Casey, who while never having hunted before liked the idea of making use of the deer that put her car in the body shop. "It's always been important to me to understand where our food comes from," Casey told the Associated Press.