Here in Southern California, where progress has eliminated almost all native fauna from our streets and cities, running into a deer or cow and wondering what to do with the carcass isn't really an issue. But in the rest of the country, what to do with roadkill is something most drivers (who'll probably have some experience with hunting, unlike us foppish Southern Californians) need to consider more often than not. Do you chop up the good bits? Leave it to scavengers? Call the local police agency?
In a great little piece, reporter Amy Halloran investigated roadkill culture from her publication's point of view. Essentially, consumers should generally treat roadkill as they do game–consider whether a particular species might be suffering diseases, its health prior to having been smashed in by your F250, etc. One other crucial point, though: intestines. Most hunters know to shoot animals far away from the guts lest fecal matter splatter across the meat; roadkill tends to not involve such subtleties.
Then there's the random fun facts. “All roadkill in Alaska belongs to the state,” Halloran writes, showing that Sarah Palin is as big-government as they come. “Troopers will take the hit animal to volunteers that will butcher and
process the meat for distribution to charities. In New York, motorists
can claim roadkilled deer, moose and bear once a uniformed officer
investigates the scene and issues a tag.”
New York, more liberty-loving than Alaska? My stars!