Friday, 27 June 2008

Road Kill Rules

A little while ago the three ring circus that is the clan de la bushwacker were driving through the leafy lanes of Kent. As we entered a village I implored Mrs SBW to pull over. Bushwacker Jnr. and yours truly ran back down the road and recovered this delicious hen pheasant that had recently meet its demise at a passing vehicle's wheel and had not been there long.

How do I know it was safe to eat?

Well I'm no Tom Brown Jnr. but there were a couple of tracks that even I could follow:
1. It was about 11am and reasonably sunny - her blood was fresh and no flies had gathered.
2.It was about 11am and she was still there, if she'd died during the previous evening a fox would have had her during the first available cover of darkness.
3.Hung game has a strong smell and is still completely safe to eat. This one had hardly any smell.

At the butchers shop/game dealer you can buy a nice plucked pheasant (looking a lot like the one pictured bellow) that was shot on a shoot near by, it then sat around in a field for a few hours before being taken to the chilled game larder where it resided until at least the next day, when it continued its journey to the butcher/game dealer, where it sat in the chiller until it was plucked. Only then did it make it onto the shelf of the shop. We're talking £5.50 or eleven bucks from the butcher nearest my house, cheaper if you live out of town and up to a tenner if you live somewhere really swanky.

Mine had probably been clipped by a passing car that morning, took ten minuets to pluck (it would be less with practice) cost me nothing, and I got a really cool bag of feathers to use later.Bushwacker jnr. and I tucked in after Mrs SBW came over all squeamish and pushed hers to the side of her plate.Sucker!

Thanks for reading


Anonymous said...

As the economy gets tougher, expect road kill like this to become more common fair for those going hungry. As you mentioned, whats the difference between your meat having been dispatched by lead or vehicle? None, except arbitrary food prejudices that hunger or starvation will likely correct.

Tom Sorenson said...

You're a brave man! :) But it sounds like you know what you're doing - I'm not even sure about the legality of it in some states over here...I believe that in many states, game killed on the highway becomes property of the state. I could be wrong. Anyways - sounds like a cheap, tasty meal if a guy knows what he's doing! I tell ya, the pic of the meat sure did make the stomach rumble a bit!

Holly Heyser said...

I salute you! I always try to look closely at road kill to see if it's anything I'd want (if it's fresh enough). It rarely is. But I'm glad you got a good meal out of this!

Rabid Outdoorsman said...

Nice . . . we always have partridge and eastern turkeys running out in front of cars around here. Of which I have eaten several of each. Ummm smoked "road killed" turkey . . . my mouth is watering.

Here check this out:

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

survival topics
You've hit the nail on the head! food prejudices are a strange and powerful thing though, I expect a lot of city dwellers will starve with food literally lying around in front of them.

Tom S
The road kill laws crack me up!! I too have heard that in several states road kill is the property of the state. But i ask you, what is the state going to do with it all? Are they trying to feed up the coyote population? Here if you hit it you can't pick it up but if the guy in front of you hits it you can. If anyone is stupid enough to try ramming as a means of hunting, they'll only do it once after they see the damage it does to their car.

Thanks, I 'picked up' the habit from my dad, and this isn't the first time I've deliberately used it to terrify the squeamish! There was a hilarious incident with a group of mental health professionals and a rabbit, but that's another story.

Rabid Outdoorsman
There are plenty of tree rats in my neighbourhood but I'm yet to get to one while its still in an edible condition. I'm looking forward to trying one.

Thanks for commenting everyone

Ken and Joanne said...

I used to live near a tiny mountain town called North San Juan. There a friend of mine used to load any freshly killed deer he found on the road into his pickup truck and take it home for skinning. processing and cooking. It was totally illegal. In California road kill belongs to the state and I think they feed someone with it, the poor, I guess. My neighbor thought he was poor enough, and felt that he shouldn't really bother the state. One night he didn't have his pickup and I helped him pick up his road kill. I got a front quarter out of it. Delicious.

Ken Harris

Blessed said...

Lets see... we've eaten a couple of roadkill deer, (oh, and I have one in my freezer right now - the police officer wouldn't let us finish her off and took three shots to do it herself 2 of them buckshot into the deers hindquarters - what a waste of meat!) and a roadkill rabbit - good stuff!

I love pheasant by the way - wouldn't want one of those by way of roadkill around here though, the population is just starting to rebound!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm one of the squeamish. I'd have to think long and hard before picking up roadkill. Although, from reading the comments here, it sounds like some good meals can be had.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

My general rule is that if I didn't whack it with my truck, I am not going to eat it. Looks like that pheasant was pretty fresh, though...

James Marchington said...

Good on you Sten, shame to see good food go to waste. I think you read the signs well there. Be aware, though, that there have been some scary near misses with deer, euthanased and left lying by the roadside - potentially deadly to anyone who ate them. Lots on foraging and roadkill by Fergus at - including the (rather graphic) How to skin a badger

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful thing! Road kill for dinner. Even the hardiest Texan would envy your courage.

bushman said...

Not only do I pick up roadkill (or to be pollitically correct: alternatively processed food), come fur season I drive around lookin fer it. My neighbours and freinds drop it off at my house as well, I guess my reputation preceeds me!

If its a little too gamey to eat, you can skin it or use it fer bait...

Course, you can tell when fur prices are up, you don't see any roadkill, less you get up pretty early in the mornin!

Anonymous said...

Last night we responded to a car vs. deer. Upon assertaining the driver was unhurt and the scene was secure we turned to the deer. The deer indeed had expired (road kill) so we took it back to the fire station. The California Highway Patrol subsequently showed up and threatened us with a felony if we did not immediately call animal control. By morning the next day the Animal Control Officer had not arrived and by now the venison was spoiled! What a waste venison and what stupid laws in the Left Wing State!!!

Anonymous said...

I see you've found Tom Brown Jr.'s books (I was going to mention them to you). They are all on my shelf beside me!

Anonymous said...

PS. SBW, as far as rats go, when I was living in New Zealand (and vegan at the time), I trapped a rat and killed it. Not wanting to waste it, I skinned it, cooked the meat up for my dog (complete with rosemary and garlic and olive oil), and tanned the hide (a la TB Jr with the brains). I tell you what, that mea† smelled SO good I almost tasted it myself, would have if I wasn't a vego a† the time.

So, go for it.

Perkunas said...

During last summer i was on my way to motorcycle show & party in sweden,and one friend of mine,whos a sami,from lampland,living nowadays in south and well knownd chopper builder,saw a deer,just hit by some car,and stopped his bike,saw that the deer was still warm,and called to the safety-truck that they should pick the carcass into truck,and they did,and the whole bicke group stopped at next gas station....the lady behind counter was bit like"?"?"?"" when that guy was asking to buy a pair of rubber gloves from their kitchen,and after that went inside that truck,actually a van type of car,and after some half an hour walked in with bloody hands/gloves,went to mens room and after that bought off some big plastic bags,never said what he did in that this how motorcycle clubs got their bad bay reputations:) ?.Anyways they ate very good deer meat barbeque there in the rally all the time,from a roadkill.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

'is this how motorcycle clubs got their bad bay reputations:)'


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