Roadkill: in a growing number of states, it means what food means

Roadkill: in a growing number of states, it means what food means

A wounded deer is in the way of being hit by a car on the northbound lane of the Interstate 295 near Freeport, Maine. (Pat Wellenbach / AP) Oregon state The rural district of Senator Bill Hansell is as large as Maryland, and it is crisscrossed with hundreds of kilometers of road barred with all sorts of dislikes. While riding on one of those routes a few years ago, Hansell saw a dead deer and he had what he called an "aha moment": Could the carcass feed someone? "It just struck me, you know: this is so – wasteful," he said. Chowing down about roadkill was not legal in Oregon at that time. But from Tuesday it is like that. With the introduction of a bill sponsored by Hansell and unanimously passed by the legislature, Oregon became the last of about 20 states that allow people to scare away dead animals and serve them for dinner. Among them are Washington, who have issued 1,600 roadkill disposal licenses within a year of legalization of the practice in 2016; Pennsylvania, where more than 5,600 vehicle deer accidents were reported in 2017; and Georgia, where motorists can take home bears. The rules vary by state, but most require timely reporting of the collection to the authorities and most dismiss responsibility if the meat turns out to be in the stomach. Oregon allows the storage of deer and elk and only for human consumption (sorry, Fido). People who pick up a carcass must request a free permit within 24 hours and they must turn the head of the animal and the antlers to the state-owned animal for wild animals within five working days. That is for two reasons, Hansell said: Antlers can be sold to collectors, and no one wanted to create a financial incentive to cope with wild animals; nature authorities also want to test main tissue for chronic disease. It is important that the roadkill must have been produced by accident. That is, drivers are not allowed to "hunt their cars", Hansell said. Drivers who accidentally hit a deer or moose but only injure the animal in a humane manner & # 39; send with a firearm and then save the meat, according to the regulations published by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Oregonians are already using this new right. Hansell, referring to figures from the fish and wildlife division, said that a dozen disposal licenses had been issued on Friday morning. "These are 12 carcasses that have not been scattered along the road, that are harvested and consumed", he said. "It's exciting." It might sound a bit too, good, gross. But that should not be, said Thomas Elpel, a Montana author and survival survival instructor, whose instructional video on practice is posted on YouTube. "It's meat, whether you buy it at a store or pick it up at the side of the road – it's the same – it's wrapped in styrofoam and plastic, which might look good, but is harmful to the environment," said Elpel. "It is a more authentic way to connect with your food supply."
Oregonians are now only allowed to collect deer or elk-affected elk. Montanans can collect dead elk. Georgians can take riding bear with them. (Jim Cole / AP) Elpel said he grew up eating roadkill harvested by his grandmother, although it was not explicitly legal when he was a child. The state began licensing in 2013, and Elpel said he saves cadavers several times a year – often enough that his freezer is full. Students of the wilderness survival school that he runs, Green University, are served roadkill in their included meals. "There is a huge amount of meat there," Elpel said. "It's a bit crazy, if there are so many families who have trouble getting by and children who do not get enough food, and there it is, free on the side of the road." Free, yes, but not without labor. In one of his books Elpel walks the readers through his method for recovering mountain kilometers. Below his ends: If it is green and "the smell makes you want barf", then, he writes. The most exquisite carcasses are hit in the head, leaving the body intact, but broken bones and bloody meat can be cut away. Cutting and slaughtering is also comparable to the process that hunters use. Roadkill jerky, he notes, is easy to make. According to Elpel, young deer were the center of some of his favorite roadkill dinners. "We have enjoyed fawn a number of times," he said. "That is exceptionally soft game, and it can not be wrong with that." Support for the Oregon roadkill account was strong and came from an unlikely range of groups, Hansell said. Hunters liked it, but also animal welfare types. Road crews in charge of scraping rotting animals were happy with the prospect of less work, and nutritionists stepped behind the idea of ​​free organic protein, Hansell said. As for Hansell, he has no plan to save deer. A gruff stomach prevented him from ever learning to hunt or dress deer, he said, and he is not a big fan of venison. But he said he would not reject an invitation to a roadkill meal. "For me it's no different than game with regard to how it ends up on your plate," Hansell said. "I would not have any problem eating it." Read more: The TSA gets more slack beagle dogs. You still can not pet them. A poacher who killed hundreds of deer was ordered to repeatedly look at Bambi & # 39; These secret robotic animals help in the hunt for poachers