What’s allowed for safely collecting and eating roadkill.
Two elderly gentlemen are sipping coffee at an unnamed local fast food joint. One is wearing a baseball cap embroidered with a set of deer antlers. The other is wearing all camouflage except for a bright orange hat.
“Did you see this article in the paper? Got 28 states now where you can harvest roadkill,” the first man says.
“Well, that’s a fine thing. Waste not, want not is what I always say!” the other man says.
“Says here, hundreds of thousands of deer get run over every year. All that meat going to waste. Plus, it says here, harvesting all that deer would be healthier and save some of that methane from cows that’s adding to global warming.”
“Kinda brings new meaning to ‘carbon footprint.’ Maybe they should call it carbon tire print? We need more carbon tire print! Get it?”
“That’s a good one.”
“Love me some venison.”
“Yep. Rabbit’s fine eatin’ as well. Not so keen on squirrel.”
“Barb was just saying we need a new car. Gonna have to factor that in come deer season.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you need the right hunting vehicle now, I guess. Been looking at a Prius.”
“Can’t hunt in one of those. Front is too round. Hit a deer and they just walk it off.”
“Well, they are quiet. And you could just keep it in reverse and use that rear camera.”
“I’d never hunt with anything other than a pickup. Wait, hold on, it says it’s not OK to run animals over on purpose.”
“Well, there you go then.”
“And every state is different in terms of what and when you can pick things up. Most of ’em, you need a permit. Some of them, you have to call in when you hit something.”
“So I have to call someone if I hit a skunk?”
“Only if you were going to eat it. And you can’t eat skunk … Look here — they even printed a Roadkill Café menu. Guess what vegetable they serve?”
“I give up.”
“That’s a good one.”
Current Nevada law doesn’t allow for harvesting roadkill. Per NRS 502.150, it’s unlawful to be in possession of any species of wildlife without a hunting tag, and no tags are issued for vehicular hunting.
Aficionados of highway cuisine, despair not: Starting in 2022, California will begin an app-driven pilot program that will allow for real-time harvest permitting along secondary roads in the state for a variety of animals.
For preparation ideas, used copies of Buck Peterson’s The Original Roadkill Cookbook (published by Ten Speed Press) can be found on Amazon and eBay.
Development of Food Network’s Rundown with Bobby Flay appears to be just a rumor.
Kurt Bickel has pursued big game on a variety of continents in a variety of vehicles, starting on an American Flyer tricycle in the 1960s. Like Wile E. Coyote, he is sure one day he will catch something. Meep! Meep!