February 26, 2013
Montana Legalizes Eating Roadkill. Would You Cook Highway Backstraps?
By David Draper
What Wild Chef reader out there hasn’t driven past a road-killed deer and thought, if only briefly, about stopping to pull out the backstraps? I’ll admit I’ve thought about it, though I have not yet brought myself to actually skinning one on the side of the road. Several states have laws on the books regarding salvaging road-killed animals, and now Montana has joined them:
Montana may now be the ultimate drive-through destination for adventurous foodies thanks to a new law that allows residents to consume any animals they kill. The bill, which passed 19-2, allows deer, elk, moose and antelope that have been killed by a car to be harvested for food.
State Rep. Steve Lavin…who is also a state trooper, introduced the law because he thought people were missing out on a potential food source.
"As people know, people hit a lot of animals on roadways, and I mean a ton of them," Lavin said, according to FoxNews.com. "There’s a lot of good meat being wasted out there."
The Montana Department of Transportation reported more than 1,900 wild animal–vehicle crashes in 2011, and nearly 7,000 carcasses were collected from the side of road, ABC News reported.
Despite HuffPo’s snarky tone, salvaging roadkill is actually a common practice in many other states. For years, Alaska non-profit organizations could sign up to be on the call list to salvage meat from moose hit by vehicles. I’m glad to see Montana is getting onboard. In my mind, a couple of backstraps or the rear quarter of an elk or deer is a small payment for the damage caused by the accident.
Have you ever salvaged roadkill for food? Would you?