R U a Road-Kill Griller?

Exploring Kansas Outdoors


I sometimes plan in my mind what I’ll do if the day ever arrives when the only way for me to continue feeding my family will be to harvest road-kill. I would become a “Road-Kill Griller” in the purest sense of the phrase, and with the cost of summer BBQs now through the roof, maybe I’m on to something.

Most things would be different in the life of a road-kill griller; for starters, the grilling utensils. Your spatula would become a flat ended shovel, preferably the short-handled kind with the “D” shaped handle, allowing you to put maximum power behind your spatula when scraping meals from the asphalt. The fork normally used to turn steaks on the grill would become a pitchfork or potato fork, anything capable of holding your find while removing gravel with the shovel/spatula. Timing for harvesting road- killed meals would be an important issue. The five second rule would become the five-day rule. You would want to either get to a kill while it’s fresh, or wait until it became jerky. Cooking road-kill would be a whole new learning experience in itself and should definitely be done outside; the hotter the fire the better to quickly burn off hair and sterilize your meal.

Concerning recipes, you might as well plan to toss all your favorites and start anew. I’ll list a few examples: The rare find of a chicken that could once have become chicken tetrazzini, would now be chicken flattened by machinery. The closest you’d ever get to potatoes au’ gratin would be opossum smells rotten. The internet fairly teems with road-kill recipes free for the reading. A few of my favorite main dishes were skunk skillet stew, shake’-n -bake snake, rack of raccoon, pavement possum and too-slow doe. Side dishes included square of hare, fork of stork and bowl of mole.

If you were to suddenly become unemployed, I’m quite sure a good living could be had by fixing up your old camping trailer and following the state fair or carnival circuit peddling road-kill on a stick. It wouldn’t matter what species it was; just cut it into chunks, skewer it with a stick, slather it in some sort of batter and fry it up in old french-fry grease. It you didn’t tell customers what it was, I’m sure they’d think it tasted just like chicken.

The driving habits of a true road-kill griller would be changed forever. While we’d once have avoided hitting critters on the roadway at all costs, especially deer, we now would strive to hit every critter possible, especially deer. No Hunting signs would become No Gleaning signs, and turf wars might break out as we all tried to protect our favorite back roads, swamps and river bridges where road-kill often abounds.

So, as comedian and avid outdoorsman Jeff Foxworthy would probably say, “If, after failing to fill your deer tag for the season, you drive your pickup off the road, across the ditch, and through a field of standing corn attempting to run down a deer, you probably have the makin’s of a road-kill griller.”

*Note* no animals were actually road-killed for the writing of this story. Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.

Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]


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