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Roadkill??

 
Posts: 74
Location: Iron River MI
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So, I’ve eaten roadkill partridge and deer before. Obviously, how long they’ve been dead, temperature and the extent of damage from the vehicle are all important considerations. Something new to me though is the fact that lactic acid and stress hormones build up in meat of an animal that suffers while dying. So here’s my dilemma:

7 am, a deer gets hit outside my house. It’s going to be a 50 degree, rainy day. I get home from work at 3 pm... I’m willing to skin and examine the deer to see what is usable on it. But it suffered for a half hour or so after being hit. I love the idea of free venison and making the most out of an opportunity like this. But I do not like the idea of skinning a roadkill deer in a rainy ditch so that I can have tough, stressed out meat for the freezer. What are some opinions about this? Id love to snag some backstraps or a hind quarter, but is it worth it for undoubtably a little less quality meat than ideal?
 
steward
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Slow cookers and spices can go a long way towards making less than ideal cuts of meat taste great. BBQ sauce exists to solve a real historical problem...
 
Brody Ekberg
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Slow cookers and spices can go a long way towards making less than ideal cuts of meat taste great. BBQ sauce exists to solve a real historical problem...



Honestly, I’m not worried about taste or toughness. I’m more concerned with consuming excess lactic acid, adrenaline and cortisol. I’m not sure if cooking has an effect on those things or not. “Civilized” life is stressful enough (says the man considering eating roadkill... again), and I’ve got enough sources of tension in my life without getting extra from stressed meat. I just have no idea if it would really have a noticeable effect.
 
gardener
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That scenario sounds like a lot of hunting story's.  Shoot it in the morning & find it in the afternoon.
If you have eaten enough good venison, then you will know with your first steak if this meat is tainted.


 
pollinator
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no experience with it personally, but maybe a longish brining of some sort could draw out the questionable molecules?
 
Posts: 170
Location: Appalachian Foothills-Zone 7
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Yep, do a taste test before you put much into it.  I got a cheap 305 lb boar last year.  Sliced a piece off and tried it before we went through the trouble of the full butchery.  Tasted fiine, by the way!
 
gardener
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When I was in college I spent a summer teaching horsemanship at a Fresh Air Fund camp up near the NY/Canada border. It wasn't hunting season but we were constantly hitting deer with our cars (and responsible for our own food on the weekends, when the cook had her days off). The first week, my smarter colleagues set up a rapid response kit in a pickup truck and would get out to the scene, butcher any deer that couldn't scamper off, and we ate jerked venison every weekend for the whole summer. It seemed like every week there was a new one in the brine (and not once did we ever even try eating a a steak from these deer).
 
Brody Ekberg
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Tereza Okava wrote:When I was in college I spent a summer teaching horsemanship at a Fresh Air Fund camp up near the NY/Canada border. It wasn't hunting season but we were constantly hitting deer with our cars (and responsible for our own food on the weekends, when the cook had her days off). The first week, my smarter colleagues set up a rapid response kit in a pickup truck and would get out to the scene, butcher any deer that couldn't scamper off, and we ate jerked venison every weekend for the whole summer. It seemed like every week there was a new one in the brine (and not once did we ever even try eating a a steak from these deer).



Never tried eating a steak because of taste/quality, or for other reasons?
 
Tereza Okava
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personally, i didn't know enough about butchering or venison to consider experimentation. These folks were farmers and hunters and I imagine they "knew from venison", as they say (they got the steaks from home, when their parents brought them their raw milk for the week!). From the get-go it was clear this meat would be jerked, I think they realized it might not be the best quality.
 
gardener
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I don't know about lactic acid, but the adrenaline naturally decomposes after 24 to 48 hours, which is why we've been told to let the meat "rest".

I suspect age and type of injury should be considered -  a friend killed a deer perfectly a few years ago, but it was an older deer in rut and it tasted horrible. So a really old animal (our deer get extra antler points as they age, but apparently we count them differently than other countries) isn't going to taste good - there's a reason we eat lamb and turn old milkers into hamburger. I'd trust your sense of smell also.

 
pollinator
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Depending on where you live, collecting and using hit by car animals MAY be illegal. In some places those in charge of hunting (conservation,game warden etc.) may well give you a "tag" or other means of legally keeping and using roadkill.

It's worth looking into, and in some places those in power may even call you to collect a hit by car animal, so does not go to waste.

In some areas, failure to take these steps COULD result in fines, confiscation and/or loss of hunting license.
 
pollinator
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I'd just discard any bruised bits as I do when I shoot one.
I tend to hang or chill my meat for a minimum of three days, the meat from the deer I shot two weeks ago sat in the fridge for 10 days.
If you can hang the cuts so they can get airflow right around them they'll keep for weeks or longer just aging away.
Trust your nose.
 
gardener
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If it were my deer, i would want to deal with it immediately, not let it rest and blood cool ... at this many hours  i would hope you have already bled and gutted it, otherwise i would be much less inclined to eat it!

I would also probably taste test before butchering - my biggest concern would be if some sort of internal injury damges the gut and ruined the meat in that area.

Venison jerky, venison burger, venison metloaf etc are good food. Do you have dogs? I would be inclined to feed any meat you won't to a dog.

(As a note about timing - my dad is a butcher. He once had a turkey which broke its neck while he was at work. He refused to butcher it as it had been dead to long when he got home. Most of my rural friends will only eat a roadkill deer they caused or saw die).
 
Posts: 93
Location: Chipley, FL
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I've picked up some smaller roadkill in the last year here, though not as much as I could/should have.  I haven't eaten any myself, but I dump them into my maggot bucket (keep hoping for BSF, but so far no luck.) The bucket hangs in my chook run and the chooks practically live under it when there's something in there for the flies to work on.

I saw a fresh doe kill a week or so ago and was really tempted, but haven't looked into the regs and a deer is gonna be touchier than raccoons, possums, etc.  And I have no freezer yet. And it's way too big for the maggot bucket!
 
Drew Moffatt
pollinator
Posts: 274
Location: New Zealand
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Oh yes I forgot that.
Getting an animal bled asap is key.
You can bleed a dead and still warm animal by cutting the throat and hanging by the back legs to let gravity work.
 
Brody Ekberg
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Well, I got into the deer and it was worthwhile. I got a backstrap and the outside half of a hind quarter from the it after work today. The rest of it was smashed and bloodshot from a police officer shooting it 3 times (none of them were headshots either)...

Ive got the meat cleaned up and in the fridge. We’re planning on letting it rest for at least 2-3 days before eating/freezing any. I’ll try to remember to update on how it tastes once we get into it.
 
Dan Scheltema
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Cool.  Look forward to hearing how it tastes. I ate wild meat fairly often growing up, but not often since (fish, aside.) Have my hunting license and looking forward to freezing a doe this year (I hope...)
 
pollinator
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I have purchased a couple of 'Road kill ' cookbooks.
Very handy.
One bloke has created a cooking system on the exhaust system of his vehicle under the bonnet!
 
Brody Ekberg
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Location: Iron River MI
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Dan Scheltema wrote:Cool.  Look forward to hearing how it tastes. I ate wild meat fairly often growing up, but not often since (fish, aside.) Have my hunting license and looking forward to freezing a doe this year (I hope...)



Just finished eating some of that venison for dinner and it was good! The last buck I shot had much stronger taste to it than this, although he was heavy in the rut at the time.
 
Dan Scheltema
Posts: 93
Location: Chipley, FL
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Brody Ekberg wrote:

Dan Scheltema wrote:Cool.  Look forward to hearing how it tastes. I ate wild meat fairly often growing up, but not often since (fish, aside.) Have my hunting license and looking forward to freezing a doe this year (I hope...)



Just finished eating some of that venison for dinner and it was good! The last buck I shot had much stronger taste to it than this, although he was heavy in the rut at the time.



Good to hear!  I really need to bump checking on FL law on roadkill up the list.
 
Posts: 633
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When I was a kid we ate a lot of roadkill rabbit.  When a cottontail ran across the road my dad would try to go over it without hitting it with the tires (no wild swerving, but little turns).  Then we would stop and check it out.  If it was beat up too bad, we left it.  Often though the damage wasn't bad (rabbit got hit in the head) and we'ld take it home and eat it.  My mom usually would use it as flavoring, mixed with potatos, onions (make gravy, make a stew, pie, etc.).  

When I lived in Alaska, roadkill moose was seen as a huge windfall.  You called the troopers and got you name on the rotating list and they would call whoever was on the top of the list if a moose got hit.  If you answered and could come, it was your moose.  You were responsible for making sure the offal (guts, etc) didn't get left on the side of the road (it attracts bears).  There was a spot at the dump to take the waste.  In Anchorage area it was so popular that they restricted it to charities.  My church was on the list and I helped harvest a lot of moose.  Anyone who we knew was in need got meat.  Anyone who went out got meat.  The troopers kept a list of charities and a few times I had strangers call and come by for meat.  

When a moose was hit by a car, usually one quarter was bloodshot and ruined.  That still left 3/4 of a moose.  A couple of times we got called when a semi hit a moose and once when a train hit a moose.  In those cases, the moose died so quickly that there was no bruising, although some of the guts ended up in strange places, pretty much all the meat was salvageable.  Even the bloodshot quarter might be good for dogfood, although it won't keep that long.

I won't touch road kill that I don't know how long it's been lying there, but a fresh animal is nothing to turn your nose up at.
 
Mick Fisch
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I've heard an acopcryphal story about a guy who made long trips pretty often he rigged up an extension to his tail pipe that sat on his rear bumper (i envision a pick-em-up-truck).  The hot pipe would would slow cook his food, so after a few hours you had a hot meal.  I assume he insulated the cooking box.
 
Posts: 42
Location: Michigan, USA
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In michigan, USA it's easy to get a roadkill tag from the DNR.
https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350--448733--,00.html
I picked up 2 or 3 last season. They were used as pet food (we had no need for the meat, so did not even test it).  But, I have harvested fresh roadkill for my family to eat as well.  It was a family tradition.  
 
So it takes a day for light to pass through this glass? So this was yesterday's tiny ad?
BWB second printing, pre-order dealio (poor man's poll)
https://permies.com/t/147624/BWB-printing-pre-order-dealio
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