PITTSBURG, N.H. — Up here, folks have another word for roadkill. It’s “dinner.”

When a whitetail gets clipped by a passing vehicle on Route 3, conservation officer Chris Egan or Police Chief Richard Lapoint come out to survey the damage. If the animal can be salvaged, it’s offered to the driver who hit it.

If the driver doesn’t want it, Egan or Lapoint start making calls. They keep a list of people who will take the animal for venison.

“Anytime the deer’s not hurt too bad, if you bone it right out, it’s almost as good as it would be if you killed it in the hunting season,” said Gordon Covill, 83, who got the call – and the meat – after a doe was hit last week near his house.

“When they give me one, I’ll bone it out and save it,” Covill said.

In this rural northern New Hampshire town, there’s no shortage of fresh meat on the grill.

Deer have been getting hit at a rapid rate recently and many have either died on the spot or been euthanized because of their injuries.

As of Feb. 18, more than 50 collisions between deer and vehicles have been reported in Pittsburg and neighboring Clarksville, mostly on a 10-mile stretch of Route 3.

In New Hampshire, about 1,300 deer die in collisions annually, most in the more populated southern part of the state – and the vast majority in breeding season, which goes from October to December.

“In Pittsburg, it’s a different pattern,” said Kent Gustafson, deer project leader for the Fish and Game Department. “Some are killed in breeding season, but 60 percent are killed from December to March, the winter months when they’re concentrated along that Route 3 corridor for feeding and deer yarding” – or congregating in groups.