If you have ever made the unfortunate mistake of driving through a country road in the dark and had your bumper find some poor creature underneath it, then you probably felt a lot of emotions as you realized what just happened.
Some of these emotions may be surprise, horror, guilt, and acceptance of the balance between life and death. For many drivers in Pennsylvania, their first thought might be "Dinner!"
That's because in Pennsylvania, if an animal meets its end at the front of your truck, you are legally able to scrape it up off the pavement and bring it on home. It may sound gross to many of us, but wild game is actually plentiful in most areas and safe to eat.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission actually encourages people to use the roadkill they come into contact with.
“Those are valuable food sources,” says their spokesperson. “And it is a valuable use of our wildlife resource to allow that animal that’s been killed to now get to somebody who might be in need or who otherwise wants it for food.”
How many people take advantage of this program? Apparently, way more than you'd think, but there's a catch.
Pennsylvania is known for having a lot of wild deer, with all of it's forest and farmland, it's no wonder. There are also a lot of people driving through the state at anyone time, so naturally, there are bound to be a few run-ins.
While the Game Commission advocates for the public to eat their kills, there are strict rules about what they can do with the bodies.
You first have to apply for a permit, which is free. But if you plan on keeping any of the inedible body parts, you have to pay a fee.
Turns out, over 3,300 people in 2017 though that was a fair deal! Hopefully the deer are able to smarten up quick!