Roadside dining takes on a new meaning in the Midwest.
Michigan Senators Booher and Pappageorge presented and succeeded in passing into law Senate Bill 613. Section 5.10 states in part that if a deer or bear is killed in a collision with a motor vehicle, or so injured that it must be killed, it may be possessed by a person if they have been issued a permit by an attending officer.
Section 5.10 (a) states that the driver of the vehicle shall have first priority to possess the dead deer or bear.
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Perhaps these wizened government officials have not considered all of the consequences (both pro and con) and possible scenarios of such a law. As a good citizen, I feel it my duty to expound, so here are some pros and cons:
1) Pro: Job creation. Think reinforced bumper shops and wire caged windshield installation (so as to prevent accidental entry of said dead or nearly dead animal into the passenger compartment).
2) Con: Tougher bumpers equate greater damage (now we know the real reason for crumple zones) to aforementioned animals, plus a wire windshield would be hell to scrape on frosty mornings.
3) Pro: A family could shop for vittles and go for a Sunday drive all at the same time.
4) Con: Any game procured in such a manner would necessitate the family outing be cut short, especially in warm weather.
5) Pro: You might save on insurance since you can honestly report you don't go to town as much. (See 7)
6) Con: The insurance company will deny your damage claim. They will say you were hunting from your vehicle and your policy doesn't cover that. (See 2)
7) Pro: Decreased downtown traffic congestion. If you're getting your meat ala asphalt, there's no need to come into town. (See 5)
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8) Con: Open roadside cooking fires are a fire hazard. Period. Don't do it.
What about woodchuck, squirrel, opossum and the like? Are they considered to be "junk food" and do you need a permit, or is it only just a snack? Birds are excluded in the bill, which would of course put a whole new spin on "grilled" game bird. That brings to mind a few other questions:
1) For those lucky drivers who, for some insane reason, don't want their boondocks bounty, would they be required to post a "Best if used by..." sign, with the date varying by weather? (See 4)
2) If you drive your car in a pond and find a trophy bass under your seat, do you get to keep it? Do you need a fishing license for that?
3) What about Boone and Crockett? Is there a category for bucks taken with a Buick?
4) Where exactly does the pavement end and the cornfield begin?
Imagine this scenario: Billy Bob and his best gal Suzie Lynn get busted chasing a doe through Farmer Brown's cornfield.
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Officer: "What did you think you're doin' out here in this cornfield Billy?"
Billy: "What's the problem sheriff? All we was a doin' was grocery shoppin.'"
See my point? Is it hunting or driving? Is it both? Can you text and hunt and drive at the same time? This is a Pandora's Box of good and bad.
My suggestion? Stay off the shoulder in Michigan and the handful of other states that allow this method of game management.
At least until they get some picnic tables and BBQ pits set up...
Have you ever eaten road kill? Would you ever consider it? Leave your comments below.