Ummm, Road Kill

ChickenPotPie

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Alright, this might be an odd subject to be in this section but here goes anyway. :rolleyes: Don't laugh (too hard).

Yes, I'm asking about road kill - how, what, when to eat and what not to.

I've been a city/suburban girl for most of my life but while serving a mission in rural Washington state I learned that some of the very poor families I served ate road kill when they could get it. It was much needed nutrition for them.

During this same time in my life, I saw my first "joke" box of "Roadkill Helper". I found it both silly and slightly disturbing.

A little later, I learned that in some places, there is "roadkill protocol" - when people see freshly killed animals on the road they call the sheriff and ask to be put on a waiting list for the animal (like a deer or elk, perhaps). The sheriff will go out and inspect the site and animal. If he determines it is an accidental death and not hit on purpose or shot off season, then he calls the people on the list to come get it.

We moved out to the country just over a year ago. Wild animals are everywhere. One sunny day, while heading into town, I drove under large trees shading the road. My eyes barely had time to adjust to the drastic change of light before I saw the large flock of turkeys in the road. There was nothing I could do but steady the steering wheel. I hit a turkey.

Thinking I'd let my boys get a closer look at it on our way back from town we kept our eyes open coming round the bend where we expected to see the turkey. It had only been but 25 minutes but there was not a single sign there had been any accident. Not even a feather. I joked around, as I told my husband about it, that one of our neighbors must have been very quick to pick it up and was probably having turkey dinner that night. :)

So, by this time in my life, I've been a little desensitized to the idea of eating road kill. Which brings me back to today. As I've said, there is wildlife everywhere where we live - deer, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, loads of turkies, wild pig, and there are always flocks of quail hanging out next to the road. Well, on the way home from town, a flock of quail scattered in front of our car. We hit one. Thinking quickly, I asked my husband to turn the car around. He humored me and we drove back. He was still alive and I thought to try to help him but the little guy died in my hands.

I brought him home, bled him out, scalded, and plucked him. He looks nice besides the bruising on one thigh and pelvic area. So, yes, I'm thinking of eating road kill for the first time. :hide It might sound nuts but the conditions seemed just right to try it.

So, now I'm wondering....Have any of you done this? Do you think it's disgusting? Is it just part of life/culture where you live? Is it even legal in your area? If so, I'd love to hear some, um, road kill stories - good or bad.
 

rebecca100

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Heck yes I have eaten hit deer many times. In our county there is a call list at the sheriffs dept for when a deer is reported hit. Dh and I have gotten them many times and sometimes you lose part of the deer to damage done by the vehicle, but usually you are left with at least half a deer. We don't really call it road kill, though, we just call it a hit deer or hit whatever. It sounds so much better and doesn't give the mental image of a maggoty carcass that "road kill" does. Never had the chance to get a turkey, but I would. Deer is the only thing we have picked up and as a rule it cannot be more than a couple (2 or 3)of hours old. If it is still warm it is okay, if it is stiff then it is a no-go.
 

Blackbird

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It's completely normal to me. Not sure about the laws, no one cares out in the country where I grew up. It's free meat, you take what you can get. We usually manage to find it all still warm and fresh. It's important to inspect it all over, and even then you can pick and choose what looks best.
 

Denim Deb

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I missed a class in college once several years ago. Hubby hit a deer on his way to work. Around here, if you hit a deer, you can take it, but first have to get a tag from the state police. So, instead of going to class, I went and picked up a deer in the back of my station wagon. :/
 

urban dreamer

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I have never eaten it, but I have a bunch of family that do. Our rule is, if you hit it, or saw them get hit, it's good. That way you know how long it's been dead, manner of death, ect. If it's still warm to the touch, go for it! Just remember to freeze it for a couple of weeks and cook it really good before you eat it (helps safe gaurd against parasites and diseases).

We found a doe that had been hit one winter. She had been there a while and was stiff and frozen. Other than that, there were no wounds or anything. So, we pulled over one morning, proped her up against a tree and kept track of how many people stopped to look at her or how many bullet holes she had! :lol: Twisted redneck humor.
 

~gd

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It used to be routein here for fresh road kill to be taken by police officers to food pantries to feed the poor. The liberals raised such a fuss about how it showed disrespect that the practice was discontinued and it was up for grabs. Cops would take it to the landfill unless there was someone there at the site that wanted it. Who ever hit it had first choice since their vehicle would have the damage.
BTW we used to have a unlimited permit to shoot deer because they can ruin an orchard of fruit trees in the winter when other food was scarce, they would eat the bark and the tree would die. We lived next to a state park abd the deer would hide in the park during the season and eat all the available food and then come out and feed the surrounding area after the season was over. My father carried a shotgun in the winter while he was trimming the trees. He would bag 10-15 deer a winter. Field dress them in the orchard (helped attract foxes that would help with the mouse problem, they like bark too) Hang it in the barn and call the Sheriff to pick up when they were in the area. Those went to food pantry too until they changed the rules. For a while it went to the Co. Jail to feed inmates till someone protested that too. Finally it got to the point that Deputies that wanted it, got it and my father had a list of people who were interested if the cops didn't. Deer appeared on our menu about once per week.
 

patandchickens

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If it is KNOWN very-fresh, and either legal or not going to be noticed ;), then why not? Never done it myself but had friends eat their own roadkill when I was in grad school, seemed like a sensible thing to do.

In states with a lot of rabies it may be smart to stay away from raccoons though. In principle cooking meat well-done kills the virus, but in reality do you really want to test that yourself, and even if you did, you'd want to be super super careful handling/butchering the animal since obviously that involves a bunch of bodily fluids. (This isn't an issue with most other critters, since the only other ones in which rabies is non-rare are things you're not likely to TRY to eat anyhow, like fox or skunk)

Good luck, have fun,

Pat,
 

miss_thenorth

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Also, jsut to restate what UD said, if you deep freeze for a minimum of two weeks, that will kill the parasites, from what I've read.
 

ohiofarmgirl

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we saw some folks doing this just the other day. i dont think its too weird other than non-country folks will probably laugh at you. (so what?)

i think someone here (??) said that if you are concerned that you can always use the front quarters as there might be damage to the guts which may taint the meat. but honestly i cant remember when i saw that.

as for us...

one summer day we had a deer hit right in front of our house. and it was hot that day like... steaming hot. and we have these huge buzzards in these parts...and a totally hidden drive. we were afraid that someone would come over the hill and get clobbered by those flying Buicks (those buzzards are huge!) as they were picking at the kill. so we went and get a wheelbarrow and risked life and limb to get her off the road.

and you know us - we were fixin to have a burn pile anyway and the "deerly departed" was getting stanky... so we fired up the funeral pyre and sent her to valhalla.

you shoulda seen the dogs - they were totally going nuts all hopping around and saying "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!? YOU ARE RUINING IT!!" so there was much dog wailing.

anyways. thats our experience.
 

Blackbird

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ohiofarmgirl said:
.
and you know us - we were fixin to have a burn pile anyway and the "deerly departed" was getting stanky... so we fired up the funeral pyre and sent her to valhalla.

you shoulda seen the dogs - they were totally going nuts all hopping around and saying "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!? YOU ARE RUINING IT!!" so there was much dog wailing.

anyways. thats our experience.
:lol: :gig
 

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