Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Roadkill yields fur, food for the brave

A truck rumbles past the remains of a raccoon Tuesday near Caseyville, Ill. Thanks to a new law, the carcass is fair game for those with the right permit.  AP photo

In this photo taken Jan. 4, 2012, a tractor-trailer rumbles by a roadkill raccoon near Caseyville in southwestern Illinois. Illinois lawmakers last year signed off on letting citizens with appropriate state licenses and permits remove roadkill animals to salvage their pelts or perhaps even to eat. Gov. Pat Quinn had vetoed the measure, worried that motorists stopping to retrieve the roadside animals would be putting themselves in harmís way. But Illinois lawmakers overrode Quinnís veto of the bill that supporters said would save the state money in roadside cleanup and ensure the pelts on the dead animals would not go to waste. †(AP Photo/Jim Suhr)

CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — In six years of trapping, one thing has become apparent to Cody Champ: His pursuit of animal pelts isn’t cheap, costing him $100 a week just for gas. So, it’s little wonder the Illinois man welcomed a recent state law that allows him to get a few freebies, even if he needs a shovel and good gloves.

Among the hundreds of Illinois laws that took effect last year, the so-called “roadkill bill” got little attention despite being perhaps the quirkiest of all — allowing anyone with an Illinois furbearer license to salvage pelts or even food from the unfortunate fauna that prove no match for steel-belted radials.

Republican Rep. Norine Hammond pushed the measure straight-faced at the behest of a retired state conservation officer who thought it was a waste to allow animals’ pelts to rot along the roadsides. Hammond said it was an opportunity for some people to make a little money, and could benefit the state by letting citizens carry out the task once relegated to state highway crews.

Despite snickering from some lawmakers, the bill sailed through the General Assembly — twice, because lawmakers overrode a veto by Gov. Pat Quinn, who worried that motorists might suffer the same fate as the critters. One poke came from Rep. Lou Lang, a Chicago-area Democrat who asked what to do if a critter wasn’t quite dead.

“Am I required to perform mouth-to-mouth on that dead skunk?” Lang demanded.

Joking aside, at least 14 states have laws related to roadkill, including those that let motorists’ keep animals they hit, though some pertain only to deer or bears, according to an informal survey for The Associated Press by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Idaho soon may join the list, after a three-year push by one legislator to allow roadside salvage of game animals. The state’s fish and game agency, which once objected to the idea, is awaiting legislative review of a rule that would allow it “under some circumstances.”

“You shouldn’t let that stuff go to waste,” said Rep. Richard Harwood, an Idaho Republican who said he took up the cause after a game warden threatened a neighbor with a $350 fine if he messed with a run-over bobcat near his home for a hide that could net $200. “To be able not to grab it was kind of stupid. Why let it go to waste?”

Since Illinois’ law took effect in October, Champ, a 26-year-old who lives in Dix, about 80 miles east of St. Louis, has skinned a mink and three raccoons he found dead while driving for his job with an electrical supply company.

He hasn’t sold them yet, but pelts from certain wild animals are fetching the highest prices in years, due to a strong demand in Russia, China and other countries where they are valued more for their warmth than as a fashion statement. A raccoon skin routinely gets about $9, red fox $14 and muskrat $6.50, with top dollar often twice that amount. In Illinois, furs — mostly raccoon and muskrat — brought in $1.2 million in 2010, up 95 percent from the previous year.

Even so, nobody stands to get rich off roadkill, Champ said, because animals favored by trappers — including coyotes, foxes, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, muskrats, beavers and mink — can’t always be used for pelts when they meet their end on a roadway.

What’s more, Champ said, the law simply legalizes what some people have been doing quietly for years.

“Is a game warden really gonna get onto you for getting a few dollars” without a license, Champ said.

The measure broadened the options under a state law that already let people collect deer killed by vehicles. The new law does stipulate that carcasses only may be salvaged if the animal is in season, to prevent people from poaching them the rest of the year and claiming they were roadkill. And people without the proper license are out of luck.

There’s no way to know how many have taken advantage of the new law. The state issued 4,202 furbearer licenses during the last season — which ran from late 2010 through January 2011. That was 389 more than the year before. This year’s numbers have not yet been released.

The state has offered some safety tips for those taking advantage of the law, including urging salvagers to wear gloves at all times and don protective glasses to avoid fluids splashing into eyes. Immediately washing hands and any fluid-stained clothing wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Game meat must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees to kill any bacteria, but partake of roadkill at your own peril.

“There are some species that are eaten, particularly raccoon,” said Bob Bluett, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. “But it depends on what shape it’s in and how long it’s been there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

————

By Jim Suhr

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20