More roadkill on the road? Officials are adjusting to new system

More roadkill on the road? Officials are adjusting to new system

If you’ve seen more roadkill on state highways recently, a shakeup in responsibilities could be the reason.

Some vehicle-struck deer aren’t getting removed from Wisconsin highways as quickly as they’re being run down, as officials adjust to a new carcass pickup system.

A provision in the state budget transferred responsibility for picking up dead deer from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Transportation. The change took effect in September.

Kimberly Engel saw a fresh deer carcass and a raccoon on the side of the highway on her way back to Beloit.

“We live in Wisconsin. There’s always roadkill somewhere,” Engel said.

Some other drivers said they didn’t remember seeing any roadkill at all while driving during Thanksgiving weekend.

Transportation spokeswoman Becky Kikkert told the Capital Times that contracted vendors are supposed to remove deer carcasses within two business days of a report. She said the system is working.

The Capital Times reports some carcasses on Interstate 94 appear to have been there longer than two days. Some officials said they weren’t informed of the switch of responsibility for carcass removal from the DNR to the DOT.

Colleen and Justin Thelen saw at least two dead animals while traveling back home during Thanksgiving weekend.

“We see them all the time when we travel the road,” Colleen Thelen said. “We’ll probably see a few more on the way up there.”

She said the deer looked fresh, like the carcass had only been on the road for a day.