Q: There are numerous dead animals along the Interstate in various rates of decay, some are rather gruesome.
Does the county remove these nightmare-causing scenes or is Mother Nature in charge of this mess?
Can you offer any suggestions?
DMC, via email
A: Actually, because of a new law on the books in Idaho, you can now pick up road kill and fry it up. Well, if you want to.
New rules approved during Idahos recent legislative session allow people to pick up road kill.
Really. No kidding. You just have to file a report online with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game within 24 hours. You also can do it in person at a F&G office or by phone.
You can see what animals are allowed to be salvaged at fishandgame.idaho.gov/roadkill.
Of course, not all road kill is fresh and appetizing or considered gourmet fare. I saw a dead skunk on Warm Springs Avenue in Boise over the weekend that was a mess.
On U.S. 95 in Northern Idaho last week, I saw a dead whitetailed deer on the side of the road that was bloated and covered with flies.
Most of the deer or other critters that get hit on high-speed roads look worse than rotting jerky.
Still, I was really surprised at the list of wildlife on Fish and Games road-kill website.
It includes bear, deer, moose, elk, game birds, badgers, foxes and a lot more.
I always feel bad when I see a dead valley quail on the road, thinking it would be much better in the Dutch oven. If its fresh, of course.
This could be an advantage for shotgunners who are lousy shots. You can pick up dead chukars, pheasants and grouse.
Freshness is always a concern when it comes to picking up anything and adding it to your road-kill menu. You wouldnt want to be messing with anything you didnt see freshly killed.
As hunters know, time is always critical when an animal is killed and when it gets to the pot or freezer.
OK, I know you didnt want tips on road-kill dining. Seriously, several agencies are in charge of cleaning up road kill. On most highways, its whichever agency gets to it first.
Fish and Game should be contacted if you see a dead deer or other big game animal on the highway.
Lots of times the Idaho Department of Transportation and highway district crews or Idaho State Police will clean up the mess if it is a traffic hazard.
By the way, Fish and Games road-kill website has another purpose. Reporting road-kill deaths gives Fish and Game and the Idaho Transportation Department more information to help prevent the highway losses of wildlife and dangers to motorists.
Speaking of badgers, I remember pulling over once to check out a dead badger because I wanted the fur for tying flies. The fur makes excellent hair flies and cutthroat trout love them.
But, the smell was so bad, I had to pass it up.
You know, this column isnt very appetizing and Im not hungry anymore.
Forget road-kill dining.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors