Roadkill for dinner: Residents save a few bucks by harvesting meat

Roadkill for dinner: Residents save a few bucks by harvesting meat

Residents save a few bucks by harvesting meat along the highway
Lance Gideon salvages meat from a buck mule deer killed on the side of U.S. Highway 550 near Trimble Lane (County Road 252) about four miles north of Durango. “It’s a good thing to do. At least the meat doesn’t go to waste,” he said.
Lance Gideon salvages meat from a buck mule deer killed on the side of U.S. Highway 550 near Trimble Lane (County Road 252) about four miles north of Durango. Someone else had stopped earlier and cut off the antlers. “Some people look at it like, ‘Oh it’s gross, but it tastes better than store-bought meat,” Gideon said.
Tips for harvesting roadkill

Helpful tips for harvesting roadkill from local hunter and tanner Daniel Hinds:
Pull off the road safely. If you have to pass the carcass and turn around to safely pull off the road, do so.Make sure if the carcass is in the middle of the road to safely bring it to the shoulder without impeding traffic.A successful harvest “is all about timing.” You want to get to the carcass as soon as possible after it has been hit to prevent further damage and before the meat goes bad.The first thing to do is assess if the meat is fresh. If an animal is in the middle of the road or near the shoulder line, that’s a good sign the kill is fresh. “If it’s a fresh kill, there will be good meat there, but it will be hard to tell until you remove the hide,” Hinds said.Try to get the carcass in a truck, or a deer will usually fit in the back of a car.Anyone looking to harvest roadkill should also have a good knife and saw.If you can’t get the carcass to a truck or car, you must field-dress the animal. During this process, people can usually get the backstraps, the strips of meat along the spine of an animal from the shoulder to the hips, and the heart.Parts of the animal will be bruised and unfit for harvest. If the animal’s “gut sack” is broken, the animal will be unharvestable. “Parts will be bashed up. But if you’re careful about what you keep and careful about what you don’t keep, usually you will always get a lot of meat,” Hinds said. But he added, “There’s a lot of subtle decisions you have to make as you go along to separate the questionable from the excellent.”Make an effort to get a roadkill permit from Parks and Wildlife as soon as possible, probably the next day after harvesting an animal.

Roadkill for dinner: Residents save a few bucks by harvesting meat

Lance Gideon salvages meat from a buck mule deer killed on the side of U.S. Highway 550 near Trimble Lane (County Road 252) about four miles north of Durango. “It’s a good thing to do. At least the meat doesn’t go to waste,” he said.
Lance Gideon salvages meat from a buck mule deer killed on the side of U.S. Highway 550 near Trimble Lane (County Road 252) about four miles north of Durango. Someone else had stopped earlier and cut off the antlers. “Some people look at it like, ‘Oh it’s gross, but it tastes better than store-bought meat,” Gideon said.
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