Yes! It’s Legal To Take & Eat Roadkill In Michigan
I was driving to Rockford, Illinois this past weekend, which was a peaceful 4-hour drive if you can believe that. It was mostly empty as I had gotten up early to make the trek on time for the lacrosse tournament I was coaching. One of the things I noticed on my drive was that there were multiple fresh pieces of roadkill lying across the road. I'm not talking about just a body or two on the side either, but the real deal.
I saw multiple deer whose blood, skin, and bones were scattered across the two lanes of the freeway, and let me tell you, running some of it over was not fun. Nonetheless, seeing the deer in pieces but also seeing squirrels, possums, raccoons, and more lying on the side of the road got my mind spinning about what are the legal options for roadkill.
Firstly, the option that most people choose from it comes to roadkill, leaving it on the side of the road. Then either you call, someone else will call, or the police will see it themselves and have animal control or the MDOT(Michigan Department of Transportation) come and handle the body. This is the most commonly used roadkill practice but there are others.
Before I touch on the other means that roadkill may be legally used in Michigan, I want to make it clear that it is perfectly against the law for anyone to get out and take the body of the animal they killed in the wildlife vehicle collision and use it in a number of ways. Yes, it may be gross but it is not technically wrong and many take advantage of this law.
After legally picking up a piece of roadkill that you hit, I must throw in that the law does mention that you are the one to hit or kill the animal in some way which would make you the "owner" if you will. The kicker is that you must still obtain a salvage tag for the animal but you may take the body before acquiring the tag. The two main uses for the taken roadkill are for food and taxidermy.
I'm not personally going to stop and pick up roadkill because eww, but realistically that's free food for a number of days and maybe even months, also it's a great way to verify to your insurance that you actually hit a deer and not something else lol. In all seriousness though, if you want to take and/or eat your roadkill, go for it because it's legal in the mitten state.