Driving on a Michigan road, there's a good chance you will find either an orange construction barrel or roadkill. Sometimes you might see both.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

I've not only had the scary experience of having a deer run in front of my car while I was driving, but I've also had a deer run into the side of my car while driving and dent in my driver's side door so bad that it wouldn't open, and I had to exit through the passenger door side.

Deer Crossing Road,washington state
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If you were to run over a squirrel you would most likely not want to try to keep it for meat, but other animals like deer are enjoyed by lots of Michiganders in the form of venison.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Is it illegal to keep roadkill in Michigan?

The answer to that question is yes and no. Jeremy Sergey with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation said,

“If you are involved in a vehicle accident with an animal, after you make sure that you’re OK, 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.”



What Do You Need To Do To Keep Roadkill?

Conservation officer Sergey says,

"Go to the Michigan DNR website on your computer or smartphone and click on the vehicle roadkill program. 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.”


What Roadkill Can You Not Keep?

Animals like a spotted fawn or a bear cub are illegal to keep as roadkill. Also, if you see a buck on the side of a road and want to keep its antlers, you can't just cut them off and leave. Instead, you need to get a roadkill salvage permit, which is free, otherwise it's considered an illegal possession of the antlers.

If you're the type that would want to keep roadkill you can get more info and a permit here.

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