The Barry County Roadkill Pickup Patrol
Every single one of us has had to see or deal with it at some point in time. Some a lot closer and more personal at times than others. Dead things along the road. Roadkill. Sometimes we’ve been directly involved. Crashing our vehicle into a deer, or the other way around, can be deadly, and most often costly. Acclaimed ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has even fit roadkill into his routine with his sidekick "Bubba J".
Then there’s the aftermath. Who gets to pick up what’s left? There was a time in Michigan when almost every County Road Commission would take the more troublesome roadkill and dispose of it in some way. Sometimes it was just a matter of pulling a carcass farther out of sight. But now things are different. Most counties don’t have the budget to send crews out to take care of the mess.
Barry County residents are on the lucky side of things. The county has been lucky to pick up some grant funding that is not disclosed but otherwise very handy. It means that Barry County residents are able to call a line at the county Sheriff’s Department to report dead deer and get the location set up on a pickup list which is generally handled on Fridays. There are a couple of requirements that need to be met. There have to be at least four pickup locations in order to send a crew out for pickup or disposal. And the carcasses need to be within 25 feet of a roadway. And otherwise, relatively easy to see and get to.
The County Sheriff’s Department is posting a reminder about the service on its Facebook account this week. It notes,
“You may call 269 948-4801 24-hours a day to report the carcass locations. Please be ready to give the following information: Township, road location and distance from the nearest cross street, side of roadway it’s on.”
There are some other ways deer, in particular, can be handled if they’ve been killed due to a collision with a vehicle. We’ll cover that in an upcoming report.