Roadkill Lists are simple and direct means of environmental thrift. In many American states, especially those with large stretches of forested state or national park, roadkill is a constant problem. In many cases (such as the case of deer in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states) the animals in question aren't endangered, and are in fact growing in number, making the problem worse. In northern states, such as Alaska and Vermont, moose will occasionally get hit and killed (they get hit more often than they get killed - a moose vs. a Japanese subcompact is a more than fair fight).

The highway and parks departments of these states will always be quickly notified of animal strikes on roadways, and will have to go out and clear away the carcasses. However, in many cases, the animal will have only been dead an hour or two, and (especially in autumn or winter) there will be large quantities of salvageable meat! Rather than let this go to waste, many states and municipalities maintain sign-up lists for their residents - every time a salvageable animal carcass is recovered, the person at the top of the list is notified and given the chance to come retrieve their prize. Butchering is usually the recipient's problem.

Looked at one way, this is meat that might be even more clean than that killed by gunfire - no buckshot, bullets, lead smears and the like to contaminate it. Most roadkills die quickly or at least in the same spot - no painful, frightened dragging off wounded into the bushes, which is good because fear and pain make for tough meat. It's meat that would otherwise go to waste. It's unlikely that anyone can try to take advantage of the system for their own disproportionate gain - very few cars survive an impact with a full-grown deer, much less a moose which is a half-ton or more of bone, meat and mad, so people aren't going to go hunting the things. It's one way that people who have a taste for seasonal game can get hold of it out of season. Finally, it's a form of environmentally-friendly food assistance - a moose can have enough meat on it to keep a family of four eating for weeks if not months, assuming they have a big enough freezer - and in winter, the outdoors will sometimes do just fine.

Roadkill stew. Mmmm.

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