Randy Iten launches road-kill record Web site
Two Wisconsin hunting companions recently launched a unique new Web site, www.roadkillrecordbookclub.com.
The men came up with the concept last summer when Randy Iten, formerly of Hudson and now of Prescott, discovered a huge black bear lying in a ditch along I-94 -- it had just been struck by a truck.
Iten, a lifelong hunter, was enroute to a game farm to train his young bird dog and knew exactly what to do: He called the Department of Natural Resources service center in Baldwin to report the road kill. The DNR officer who took the call assured Iten they would pick up the bear immediately.
Following his dog-training session, Iten stopped by the DNR office to make sure the big bear had been collected. While discussing the situation with officers, Iten asked what was going to become of the bear. He was told it would be sold for $50. Iten, who has hunted bear many times, offered to pay the $50 and was issued a seizure permit. The bear was loaded onto a trailer and taken to Iten's taxidermist for mounting.
Following discussions with his hunting companion, Richard Sanders of Prescott, the two formulated the idea of a record book for road-kill animals.
"Some of the best whitetail bucks in the country are killed on the highways every fall during the rut," said Iten. "It's a shame to just leave them lie there. One of the nicest whitetail bucks I have ever seen got hit by a car not five miles from my house. Big deer like that should be recognized."
As the two discussed the Web site concept, they formed specific categories for road-kill animals -- big game, game birds, predators, small game and furbearers, etc.
"This started out as a joke between Richard and me, but the more we thought about it the more it appealed to us," said Iten. "Who is to say that a huge road-kill black bear like the one I came upon should not be entered into the record book? Road-kill animals can't be listed in Pope & Young, Boone and Crockett or the Safari Club record books, so why not give them their own place of registration? Just because they got hit by a truck or a car doesn't make them any less important to nature."
Iten and Sanders point out on their Web site that picking up road kill is illegal in some states or, at least, may require a seizure permit from conservation officers.
"We urge our members to always check the legalities of picking up a road-kill animal with their local Department of Natural Resources or game and fish department," said Iten.
The Road Kill Record Book Club offers memberships, record book listings, an annual awards division plus wearable safety gear -- caps, T-shirts, etc. For more information, visit www.roadkillrecordbookclub.com.