Can You Take Roadkill Off the Highway in Texas?
It is a sad fact. There are a lot of dead animals along Texas roadways. Texas leads the nation in the number of vehicle/animal collisions. According to the Insurance Council of Texas, more than 5,000 vehicle/animal collisions occur annually on Texas highways.
Sometimes, unfortunately, the animals aren't the only ones killed. An average of 17 people are killed in vehicle collisions with animals yearly in Texas.
Most of the most damaging of these collisions involve deer.
Most of us would never consider eating an animal we find by the side of the road. However, a quick check of google finds many recipe books filled with ideas for roadkill. Some of the most popular include squirrels. There was also a recipe for roadkill possum meatloaf.
Roadkill can be safe if it is retrieved before spoilage. You must also be aware of parasites that attack some roadkill animals at certain times of the year. Of course, one of the most road-killed animals, the armadillo, is always a dubious choice for consumption. Why? Because it would be disgusting.
While it might be perfectly legal in all the other US states with the exception of California, taking roadkill home and preparing it for dinner is illegal in Texas.
In Texas, the collection of roadkill has been illegal since 2007 with the passage of House Bill 12 by the 80th Texas Legislature. The law makes it illegal to hunt any wild bird or animal on a public road or the right-of-way of a public road. This includes Roadkill hunting. It is illegal to pick up roadkill.
Sadly, if you had your heart set on a delicious roadkill stew on your table for the Christmas holiday, you will have to go to Oklahoma or some other nearby state. It is really hard to believe that you cannot legally pick up roadkill in Texas. Texans are known for being big believers in personal freedom.
Nothing says freedom like crunching down on delicious roadkill possum on the half shell.