Hooniverse Asks – Have You Ever, or Would Your Ever, Eat Road Kill?

It’s pretty inevitable that you’re going to one day hit an animal with your car. I was lucky, it was a pigeon that I hit – of course it wasn’t too lucky for the pigeon. I didn’t mean too, but they usually fly away with plenty of time when your barreling down on them. This one didn’t. I distinctly remember the dull thud as it connected with the front valance of my Mustang, and looking in the rearview mirror to see it rolling in my wake – head lolling as though no longer connected to anything substantial. At the time, I was pretty horrified, not having intended to end the bird’s existence with no warning, but looking back on the experience, I guess I passed up a free squab meal.
There’s lots of protein  going to waste on America’s highways and byways- why, just yesterday I saw a nice fat & juicy skunk that had met its maker – that or an F150 from the look of it – that could have fed a family of six. You may have a more modern edition of Joy of Cooking, but my old tome still have instructions in it on how to de-glad wild game, so it’s totally doable.
Imagine a 12-point buck suddenly leaps in font of your car. You swerve, but it’s not in time and you clip it, snapping its neck and sending it to bambi heaven. Sure yo could just leave it there, but venison is sooooo tasty. And even though you probably need a hunting license to do so, why not just slip it in the trunk for some garage-based cleaning?
Is that something that has ever crossed your mind? More directly, have you ever supped on roadkill, be it deer, pigeon or skunk? And if the opportunity arose, would you?
Image source:[kqedquest via Flickr]

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  1. grantlinderman Avatar

    Yes. Venison only. No, I wouldn't consider eating any other roadkill. And that venison would have to be pretty darn fresh. Otherwise, I'd either A. Go hunt some myself, or if I'm short on time B. Buy some at the Farmer's Market.
    Y'all ought to read The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. That guy eats all sorts of roadkill, and gives a few guidelines as to what's safe to eat and what isn't. Non-fictional biography of an amazing guy here in NC.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      I've been meaning to get a copy of that book. He kills deer… with knives.

      1. austinminiman Avatar

        I kill them with kindness.

    2. dmilligan Avatar

      Yeah, I've had roadkill venison many times when I was younger. My dad owned a small bus line in southern Oregon, and fairly regularly he would shoot a deer with the deer guard on the International Travelalls that he drove. It was fresher meat than you get by shooting them out in the boonies and lugging them out on foot, and one helluva lot less work.

  2. tonyola Avatar

    Q: How many Texans does it take to eat an armadillo?
    A: Three – one to eat and two to stop the traffic.

  3. Alff Avatar

    Yes – I've eaten at Applebee's before.

  4. SSurfer321 Avatar

    No – as I don't enjoy venison.

  5. njhoon Avatar

    I may have eaten road kill without knowing about it but I would not eat it knowingly. I had moose meat that was from Maine. I heard that in Maine there is a waiting list for Road Kill Moose. If you hit one and happen to live through it, you get first dibs if not it goes to the closest person on the list.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      The only person I know who's hit a moose (here in New Hampshire) did so at an extremely low closing speed, broke a windshield but little more, and watched the moose walk away into the woods. At least he's alive (and unhurt), even though he missed out on the chance for a lovely main course.

  6. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Venison; yes please. Unfortunately venison roadkill is in short supply in the UK. The roads are strewn with dead foxes, though, but fox stew doesn't appeal to me as much.

  7. Feds_II Avatar

    My dad hit a deer with his Ranger a couple of months ago. Just hard enough to puncture the trans cooler and render the truck non-op. Oh, and kill the deer. Someone stopped to pick up the corpse within 5 minutes.
    In Ontario, if you run over a deer and kill it, it's yours. However, my dad wasn't interested in it, and let the person who stopped have it. When the cop got there, he told us that he once responded to a deer hit that turned into an assault: Guy hits a deer, totals his car, and calls a fried to come pick up the body. 2 guys stop to take the deer, when the guy says no, they beat him up pretty bad, in front of his wife and kids. In the end, the guy got the deer back, and the hillbillys spent some time in jail.
    My personal view: 20 years from now, we'll be eating squirrel, and thankful when we can snare a raccoon or possum.

  8. OA5599 Avatar

    Years ago I worked with a guy who told me he used to poach deer on the roadside. Does that count as roadkill?

  9. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Metro Detroit (again). Moose Preserve / Camp Ticonderoga / Beaver Creek etc. have a menu item called the Road Kill, and if you order it, you get a bumpersticker:
    <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/35/64518998_96dfdeb2b2.jpg?v=0&quot; width="300">

  10. P161911 Avatar

    After I hit a deer a few months ago, the first question most people asked was "Did you keep it?" or "Why didn't you call me to come get it?"
    One side of Bambi was probably pretty mushy from hitting the grill, the other got ground from where I tried and failed to drive over him to make sure he was dead.
    Georgia recently passed a law that you can keep deer you hit and kill.
    Now if I ever see a fresh (as in I saw it die) cow on the side of the road I might think about it. Beef is expensive.

    1. Alff Avatar

      One of my buddies hit a cow on his dirt bike at about 50 mph. Bike and rider were pretty messed up. Cow said, "moo" and walked away.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      Might consider a fresh pig, not boar, too. The hams would be pretty easy to chop off and leave the rest for the scavengers.

    3. CptSevere Avatar

      The last thing in the world you ever want to hit is a cow. I've got a few, they make deer look like Labradors. Hey, ever had venison ribs? They're like pencils. Compare them to beef ribs, and imagine a few hundred pounds of cow guts inside of those big bones. Lotsa mass. You don't want to hit a cow with anything short of a Deuce and a Half. Even then, you'd feel it (a deer has barely any effect on a Deuce, I know that from personal experience).
      Oh, and I remember seeing a roadkilled cow by the side of the road in Skull Valley Utah, once. It was summer, and poor Elsie was all swollen up, with legs in the air. Classic. I wanted to stop, and unload the barbecue (we were on a camping trip) and pose next to her with a spatula and a big knife, with the BBQ set up. We agreed that it would be our bad luck if the cow chose that moment to explode, and kept driving.

      1. FЯeeMan Avatar

        My brother-in-law hit a cow in his minivan. He walked away, but the van and the cow were both totalled.
        A guy down the street hit two horses. At once. Not sure how he did it, but none of the modes of transport left the scene under their own power.

  11. scroggzilla Avatar

    I prefer my venison tenderized in a kitchen with a mallet, not at roadside by a Ford.

  12. Double 97 Avatar
    Double 97

    I roadkilled a deer. I knew my (now ex) father in law would say, "why didn't you pick it up?" and would want me to go back and get it with him. After I threw the dead deer in the trunk of my Monte Carlo and got back in the driver's seat, I said to myself, "wait, what if it wasn't dead?" Fortunately it was.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      An oldie but goodie. No, it isn't real, but still funny. NSFW language. [youtube bBa0blUoE8U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBa0blUoE8U youtube]

  13. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Here in So. Cal the stuff you tend to hit with your car or truck usually isn't worth taking home. Sure we have deer (Yes really, I've seen them) but they tend not to hang out on the road.

  14. K5ING Avatar

    The Three Stooges at Top Gear UK have already experienced American road kill.
    <img src="http://i690.photobucket.com/albums/vv266/xerosignal/TopGear_Cow-on-Roof.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="2522top gear2522 cow on roof Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

  15. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Why not, so long as the roadkill was fresh, not contaminated by internal organ ruptures, or disease? On the other hand, it's very expensive and time consuming way to get dinner.

  16. Black Steelies Avatar

    So long as it's properly grilled…

  17. mdharrell Avatar

    I'm from Oregon. No, not Portland– I said Oregon.
    (Yes, that response answers the question, as it does so many others.)

  18. fisheater Avatar

    I have only hit one animal in my driving experience. It was a bull snake, accidental around a blind corner and the skin now proudly adorns my straw cowboy hat. But I have nothing against eating fresh roadkill. I know people that practice it and have heard raccoon is delicious. You just have to be careful in the butchery and be sure to remove as many glands as possible. The neck/jaw region has lots of them.

  19. Andrew Avatar

    Only if I hit a veal calf or something equally delicious. Otherwise I'd just kick the corpse repeatedly and maybe set fire to it for messing up my car.

  20. facelvega Avatar

    try this one on for size, required listening for rural hoons
    [youtube r7PDW9JoYQc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7PDW9JoYQc youtube]

  21. Manic_King Avatar

    I also once hit pigeon. Thud. Continued my early morning trip to catch a ferry but after 10 km or so stopped to get some snacks from roadside cafe only to notice that damn bird was still attached to my car. Had tried to enter engine compartment through grille and got stuck, most of the body and ruffled tail was out, head was tightly between now bent plastic grille and hood around it. Sad sight. And of course when I tried to extract it by pulling hard, bus load of German tourists slowly drove by. Whole gallery of horror- filled OAP faces.

  22. Mr_Biggles Avatar

    I've eaten moose that lost the battle with an 18 wheeler on the 69 North of Parry Sound. A couple of the guys I worked with at the time where on their way to work in the morning and were right behind the truck when it happened. The truck kept going so they stopped to gut it and bring it home. Three guys from the Shawanaga reserve showed up 10 minutes later claiming that natives had rights to road kill even though it was outside the reserve. Apparently there was some knife waving going on but the cops showed up shortly after and the Shawanaga guys took of.
    Anyway, one hind quarter was completely mush, and I think some organ or other must have burst and contaminated the rest. I've eaten a lot of moose, and this stuff didn't taste really bad, just a bit funny. Blake kept it all in his freezer though, and ate every last bit. Blake wasn't bothered by these things.

  23. lilwillie Avatar

    Fresh roadkill, yes. Venison only. A friend smoked a Buck and brought it to the farm, took the Antlers off and we cut some scraps up and cooked them on the spot. Good reason to start drinking.
    Speaking of road kill. You guys need to hit a trophy buck, they are worth big money to some places like Gander or Cabela's
    Yes, she hit it with a '64 Biscayne. yes, the car survived and she is still driving it. The car was in rough, but drivable shape. 4 door. In the end she got about 5,000 dollars for the Antlers. This damn Buck roamed the area I hunt. I would have loved to dump him hunting.

  24. Lex Avatar

    Meat is meat, so hell yeah. And in Michigan if you hit it it's yours…no license needed and seasons don't apply. One of my buddies showed up to a bachelor party covered in blood because he hit a deer, so he dressed it and put it on top of his Explorer like a good Yooper.
    I once hit a fawn in a girlfriend's Chevy Celebrity; it rolled low so i actually drove over it…and yet managed to not kill the poor thing. It had to be dispatched with a tire iron. I didn't take it, because it was small and pretty badly mangled.

  25. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    The only pigeon I've ever hit was a slow roll, maybe 5 MPH if that, idling into a parking lot with my foot over the brake. I figured the stupid bastards would move. The first thing I noticed when I got out of the 244 was folks pointing and laughing at the pancake in the entranceway… yes, aside from a single feather, there was nothing worth saving; it got a 195/75R14 square to its everything.
    My father, though, recently hit a Great Dane in his Civic at about 45… bits of bumper cover flew everywhere, the fender and hood were bent up, and the washer-fluid hose was disconnected, but the dog ran home and was in the kitchen, just fine, when he went to check.

  26. jjd241 Avatar

    I flattened a skunk, stunk up the van for a few weeks. Also a few birds: a robin on the shoulder line and I squished a quail once…heard a crunch as the feathers flew. On a motorcycle trip, a friend went through a flock of tweeties and dropped 3 or 4.

  27. Urban RedNeck? Avatar
    Urban RedNeck?

    Commuting home tonight just a mile or two south of downtown Minneapolis I saw a pigeon that was hit roll by the side of the road, still alive. I went around the block to see if I could rescue it, but it had died by the time I got to it. I took it home with me and cleaned it. It's not a lot of meat but I'm cooking it in a cast iron skillet stovetop right now with sausage fat. The heart and internal organs are already finished, so I've eaten them and they were good. I'm just cooking it a little longer.

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