Green Room

“It really is a sin to waste a good meat”

posted at 9:31 am on March 21, 2013 by

Whenever I’m in the car with my parents or siblings, it’s been a longtime little family joke to playfully shout out something like, “Oh, look — dinner!” when passing by some roadkill.

These guys just took that to the next level.

Elk, deer, antelope and moose: If Montana residents can scrape it up, they can eat it.

State lawmakers are poised to say just that after the Senate gave its initial backing Wednesday to a bill that would allow people to salvage roadkill for food. The measure is now a final vote from heading to Gov. Steve Bullock.

It makes no sense to let the carcasses of big-game go to waste on Montana’s roadways, supporters said.

“It really is a sin to waste a good meat,” said state Sen. Larry Jent, D-Bozeman.

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That’s why God invented buzzards.

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

That’s why God invented buzzards.

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

If folks sell the cooked carcasses, would that make them vulture capitalists?

itsnotaboutme on March 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

State lawmakers are poised to say just that after the Senate gave its initial backing Wednesday to a bill that would allow people to salvage roadkill for food.

While I’m not sure I’d want to eat roadkill myself, I find it amazing that there was apparently a law against it, thus necessitating legislation to allow it. Who would care if somebody else wanted to scrape up a deer that had an unfortunate meeting with a Mack truck.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

While I’m not sure I’d want to eat roadkill myself, I find it amazing that there was apparently a law against it, thus necessitating legislation to allow it. Who would care if somebody else wanted to scrape up a deer that had an unfortunate meeting with a Mack truck.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I would. While I’m not against a law like this in principle, it’s all kinds of stupid. An animal, wild or domesticated, that meets its end violently will be stressed and have a lower quality of meat than one that dies relatively quick and painlessly. You don’t want to flood your quarry with stress hormones and tense muscles.

gryphon202 on March 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Yeah. So?

It is already sometimes done, for local food banks and so on. And the “if they can scrape it up…” tag line is exaggerated for comic effect, I’m sure. If it has to be scraped up, it’s not going to be useable.

As noted in the article, the state FWP department will implement administrative rules to cover how and when this can be done. That rule-making process is done with public comment and participation. There will be adequate guidelines for food safety purposes.

/proud Montanan

(We make fun of our own legislature, and that’s just fine, but it bugs us when others do it. Kind of like how it’s okay to pick on your own little brother, but nobody else better try it!)

acasilaco on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Coming soon in Montana: Roadkill Roadhouse Restaurants. They’ll give you credit for meat you bring in and apply it to your meal.
.
Just think of the variety of “Daily Specials.”

ExpressoBold on March 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I’m not absolutely certain, but I think WV has a similar law. Prompted a little ditty by a bluegrass group a few years back…

Don’t cry, Darlin’
Daddy’s gonna be home soon.
He’s out on the road
Lookin’ for a toad,
A dog, or a fresh raccoon.
He’ll make you a possum sandwich
Or maybe a rabbit snack.
Don’t cry, Darlin’,
Daddy’s gonna be right back.

Longhorn Six on March 21, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Hey – don’t knock it…

affenhauer on March 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

And the “if they can scrape it up…” tag line is exaggerated for comic effect, I’m sure. If it has to be scraped up, it’s not going to be useable.

acasilaco on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Scraping it up just means it’s been pre-tenderized. Think schnitzel.

gryphon202 on March 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Isn’t that really up to the people eating it to determine? I can see a law that says you can’t serve it to unsuspecting guests in your dining establishment, but why can’t I take it home? I could see a safety regulation that you have to be wearing hunter orange while gathering it or something….

GA law (at least 20 years ago) was that if you hit it you could take it home. I only know this because of the 10-point (one side) buck I hit going down the interstate. I got off at the next exit and called the sheriff. His second question to me was “Do you want the meat?” (His first was whether anyone was injured other than the deer.) He said I could take it home if I wanted. If I hadn’t been on my way to TX, and it was late at night, and I would have had to drive back an exit to find the critter, I would have.

GWB on March 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Just make sure it’s dead first….

CityFish on March 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM

This is already legal, I think, in Minnesota–at least it worked for a cousin of mine. He witnessed a deer-car accident and knew the rules: I think it was that, if you report the deer death to the DNR, you can keep it. He called it in, and they had a freezer full of venison.

HakerA on March 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Harry: Hey Bob, nice looking Elk. I shot one last year with my Remington 30.30. What did you use?

Bob: I Got my elk with an ’89 Plymouth Voyager with a bug deflector and roof rack.

portlandon on March 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

That’s why God invented buzzards.

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

The advice was superfluous for August because he would not shoot such an animal again for anything in the world, must less roast and eat one. It was always terrible for him when a buzzard came into sight because he always got a stomach ache.

http://www.eclecticatbest.com/2011/06/pioneer-tales-of-arkansas-german.html

unclesmrgol on March 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM

My sister in law has struck 4 deer with her truck and taken each to a rendering house. Lots of deer sausages. She does better than most hunters.

theCork on March 21, 2013 at 11:09 AM

When I was growing up we ate road kill as a regular thing at the school cafeteria. When the road dept. would come upon a fresh road kill of a deer or elk they would bleed it out and take it to the school where it was butchered and ground up. We ate venison burgers for a good week after an elk was hit. Of course this was back in the 60s but I don’t recall anyone getting sick or even getting upset about it, it was a good use of a valuable resource.

When we lived in Iowa around 2001 I know it was legal to take road kill even in the off hunting season. My husband hit a deer and when the road crew cleaning the icy roads stopped and asked him if he was taking the carcass and he said no they had someone there very quickly to get it.

msh on March 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Montana’s state motto is “Gold and Silver.” They should change it to “Gold, Silver, and Roadkill.”

Hermeticus on March 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM

gryphon202 on March 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Isn’t that really up to the people eating it to determine?

GWB on March 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Absolutely. I’m not against laws like this on principle, but a major consideration in abbatoirs is the comfort of the animal before it dies. Not because of moral considerations, but it just makes for better meat. That’s also a big reason that bow hunters don’t like to have to chase their quarry. You’re out hunting, the longer you have to chase your kill while it’s in pain, the less usable meat there actually is by the time it gives up the ghost.

I guess what I’m saying is, while I don’t have any problem with the law itself or people that choose to exercise their freedoms under it, I wouldn’t knowingly eat roadkill. That’s all.

gryphon202 on March 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

We hit a deer a few years ago in the evening on a rural road. It didn’t die on impact. A sheriff came along, followed by a local farmer who saw the squad car lights. The officer shot the crippled deer. The farmer, after asking us if we wanted it ourselves, through the deer into the back of his truck and took it back to his farm to dress and clean and later take to a local butcher. Pretty nice end to a stupid deer. (Sorry, that deer’s death wish totaled our car right after we had just spent about 1,000 bucks on it [no pun intended] for engine repair.)

Fallon on March 21, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I distinctly remember when I was a kid, riding with my uncle once and he accidentally ran over a rabbit. He immediately stopped, walked back to the rabbit and threw it in the back of the truck. Dinner.

Conversely, on two seperate trips through Kansas or Nebraska, both my father and an uncle, driving my grandfather’s trucks hit pheasant which were impressed onto the grill. We didn’t keep the carcasses.

If you know that the road kill is absolutely fresh – or frozen fresh – I don’t see a problem with it. Meat is meat. I’ve eaten tough game before. Ever ate turtle? You just cook it longer, like you would a rooster. Boil that sucker.

If you’re willing to eat rancid and perhaps rotten meat, hey, that’s on you.

Logus on March 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM

While I’m not sure I’d want to eat roadkill myself, I find it amazing that there was apparently a law against it, thus necessitating legislation to allow it. Who would care if somebody else wanted to scrape up a deer that had an unfortunate meeting with a Mack truck.

Bitter Clinger on March 21, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The main reason this is illegal to begin with isn’t because of food safety, but because of hunting regulation. If people are allowed to keep and eat roadkill, that’s effectively a loophole through which animals can be killed intentionally outside hunting season — just stick a cow bar on the front of your truck and run ‘em down.

Caiwyn on March 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You have bow seasons and gun seasons in hunting. Now in Montana, they’ll need SUV season; Reinforce the grill and bumper and go hunting the easy way!

michaelo on March 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Oh sheesh…

through s/b threw. It’s kinda weird how some people’s minds (mine) go on autopilot when typing and out comes a homophone.

Fallon on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The main reason this is illegal to begin with isn’t because of food safety, but because of hunting regulation. If people are allowed to keep and eat roadkill, that’s effectively a loophole through which animals can be killed intentionally outside hunting season — just stick a cow bar on the front of your truck and run ‘em down.

Caiwyn on March 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You have no clue of what your talking about.

MontanaMmmm on March 21, 2013 at 11:37 AM

If you’re willing to eat rancid and perhaps rotten meat, hey, that’s on you.

Logus on March 21, 2013 at 11:25 AM

It will make you tougher and is pro-biotic!

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I never hit deer on the road because my reflexes are too fast. However, I have hit 30-40lb raccoons before and they live by going underneath the center of my automobile.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Yeah. So?

It is already sometimes done, for local food banks and so on. And the “if they can scrape it up…” tag line is exaggerated for comic effect, I’m sure. If it has to be scraped up, it’s not going to be useable.

As noted in the article, the state FWP department will implement administrative rules to cover how and when this can be done. That rule-making process is done with public comment and participation. There will be adequate guidelines for food safety purposes.

/proud Montanan

(We make fun of our own legislature, and that’s just fine, but it bugs us when others do it. Kind of like how it’s okay to pick on your own little brother, but nobody else better try it!)

acasilaco on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Thanks acasilaco, I was going to say this myself but you said it perfectly. I don’t hunt and don’t like deer meat, but in some areas they are so overpopulated they are in danger of being hit, starvation and such…talk to many in Montana who will never be able to have flowers in their yard.

MontanaMmmm on March 21, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I say a prayer for every dead animal I see on the road. I had those things you stick onto your car so the wind passing through tem acts as a warning signal to animals, but they fell off. I need new ones.

bmmg39 on March 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Kid: “Aint we gonna bury them, Josey?”

Josey Wales: “Worms and buzzards gotta eat too, boy”

tommyboy on March 21, 2013 at 12:03 PM

It shouldn’t be allowed to be sold…but if someone wants to eat it, why not?

krome on March 21, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Oh sheesh…

through s/b threw. It’s kinda weird how some people’s minds (mine) go on autopilot when typing and out comes a homophone.

Fallon on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Hey, this is a family web site.

Nick_Angel on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

However, I have hit 30-40lb raccoons …

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

30-40lb? Good grief, they must come from the same place as Jimmy Carter’s rabbit.

petefrt on March 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I never hit deer on the road because my reflexes are too fast. However, I have hit 30-40lb raccoons before and they live by going underneath the center of my automobile.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM

uhuh.

Sounds like when I used to mow the lawn as a teen with my parent’s riding lawn mower. Toads all over the place. Stupid things wouldn’t move. Bzzt. Filet of toad.

I’d look behind me and the toad would be upside down flayed open.

I’ve nearly wrecked for squirrels before.

I’d love to get a .22 and pick them off leaning out of a house window. I’ve heard of people doing that.

I haven’t had a good squirrel stew since I was a kid.

Logus on March 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Road Kill Cafe

Menu

petefrt on March 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Bob: I Got my elk with an ’89 Plymouth Voyager with a bug deflector and roof rack.

portlandon on March 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM

’89 Plymouth Voyager vs. Elk? I’m going with the elk every day of the week and twice on Sunday. That isn’t even a fair contest. The elk will walk away, the Voyager will not.

gravityman on March 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

You have bow seasons and gun seasons in hunting. Now in Montana, they’ll need SUV season; Reinforce the grill and bumper and go hunting the easy way!

michaelo on March 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Now that was actually my first thought about this. How many people might just beef up the front of their truck to go bumper huntin’ out on the road. A guy I knew in the Air Force said they used to go “bumper huntin” for antelope all the time in Wyoming when he was in high school.

It’s like one of Ron White’s standup bits – “elusive little critter that deer is. Put a pair of headlights and a horn on the bullet and slow down to 55 mph, and that deer will jump in front of it…”

dentarthurdent on March 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM

gravityman on March 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I dunno, I hit a horse in a ’72 Camaro. The horse didn’t make it but the car lived to fight another day.

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

WV did in fact pass a anti-roadkill law a few years ago but we don’t pay any attention to it. And Logus, try nailing a large spring loaded rat trap to the side of a tree baited with peanut butter. It’s quick and quiet. I’ve got some tricks for racoons, groundhogs, and possums if you need them. Recipes too.

Xavier on March 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Plenty of people would eat fresh road kills if they could. But in many states it is illegal because of hunting regulations. For example, in many states if accidentally you hit a deer out of season and try and salvage the meat, you can be charged with poaching for taking a deer out of season and not having a hunting license or a deer tag, etc.

woodNfish on March 21, 2013 at 2:29 PM

I dunno, I hit a horse in a ’72 Camaro. The horse didn’t make it but the car lived to fight another day.

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

That’s a fun car. But a Camaro seems like a tight fit for a horse. Any passengers in the horse’s car?

Capitalist Hog on March 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Capitalist Hog on March 21, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Sentence structure could use some work there, eh?

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Many years ago, stationed in Texas, one of the guys I flew with, who was an avid hunter, hit a deer on the road, ironically on his way to a deer lease (a space you rent from the owner, to hunt deer, typically on a ranch in West Texas).

He stopped. Inspected his truck, found the damage to be mostly superficial. Inspected the deer, found the damage to be mostly lethal. Proceeded to field dress the deer. Put the carcass in the back of his truck, continued to the deer lease, hunted for a day, then returned home with his “kill.” Took the carcass to the butcher and had it, well, butchered. Put the meat in his freezer.

It was a funny story, told often when we were eating the meat of various animals our squadron’s avid hunters had killed. Never even considered that it was illegal to do or that there might need to be a law passed to allow for it.

Grinch on March 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Inspected the deer, found the damage to be mostly lethal.

Grinch on March 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

LOL

antipc on March 21, 2013 at 5:03 PM

It shouldn’t be allowed to be sold…but if someone wants to eat it, why not?

krome on March 21, 2013 at 12:05 PM

It is already illegal to sell wild game you have killed by conventional hunting procedures.

a capella on March 21, 2013 at 5:06 PM

We ran over a fresh deer on a road trip to Mexico back when it was safe to do so (go to Mexico). At first it smelled like burnt hair but after a while when I stopped for gas it smelled like pretty good meat cooking. But what a mess!

DanMan on March 21, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Grinch on March 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

always thought that was the norm for areas like new york … when you hit and killed a dear with your vehicle, if you couldn’t dress it the police would get some to do and donate the carcass to a shelter or home or something.

RonK on March 21, 2013 at 6:27 PM

just stick a cow bar on the front of your truck and run ‘em down.

Caiwyn on March 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

And next thing you know Democrats will be clamoring for a 7-gallon limit on vehicle gas tanks. Nobody needs a high-capacity gas tank to go hunting.

We must have an assault vehicle ban… do it for the children!

malclave on March 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I was great friends with a Maine Man.
He told me on the monthly trip into town they stopped and marked the road kill. If it was warm, they spray painted it, if it was cold, a sprinkle of salt marked the carcass.
On the way home, anything unmarked was dinner.

Open The Door on March 21, 2013 at 8:11 PM

From watching “Alaska State Troopers”, I know that moose freshly killed on the road can be salvaged for charity food pantries. As for any old roadkill … do you really want to eat something that might be carrying parasites?

RebeccaH on March 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Parasites??? Cill em’, Cook em’ Eat em’.
Parasites eat for free down at the Piggly Wiggly.

Open The Door on March 21, 2013 at 8:56 PM

just stick a cow bar on the front of your truck and run ‘em down.

Caiwyn on March 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

And next thing you know Democrats will be clamoring for a 7-gallon limit on vehicle gas tanks. Nobody needs a high-capacity gas tank to go hunting.

We must have an assault vehicle ban… do it for the children!

malclave on March 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM

So …

If you stuck a cow bar on a largish Chevy SUV, would that turn it into a …

… wait for it …

… a Suburban Assault Vehicle?

Grinch on March 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

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