Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thanks to a Yearling Doe

We live in an area with a very high deer population. As the deer come out of the heavy woods and cross roads, it's inevitable that sometimes vehicles are unable to avoid hitting them. There are certain times of the year when you literally cannot drive more than a few miles without seeing several deer carcasses along the side of the road.

Our Law Enforcement Center keeps a list of people who call in and ask to be put on the road kill deer list. Why would a person want a road killed deer? Some people use the venison for human consumption so not to have it go to waste and others use the meat to feed their dogs.

When law enforcement gets a call saying a deer and vehicle have collided, they call the first person on the list who is waiting for a deer. Sometimes the call comes at a less than convenient time. It could be in the middle of the night. But if you're on the list, you're expected to be willing to go pick up the deer when you're called. I've gone out during the day myself to retrieve a deer when my husband was working full time.

We've always fed our dogs a combination of raw meat and dry dog food. When we used the last of the meat in the freezer for our dog a couple of weeks ago, hubby called law enforcement and asked to be put on their list.

The call came at noon today that there was a road killed deer on a county gravel road about ten miles from us.

You could hardly have asked for a nicer day for a drive on the back roads. Our fall colors are still gorgeous, although I think we've passed the peak of the season.

Deer are so well camouflaged and blend into their natural surroundings that it took us three passes to find the deer off the road where we were told it would be.

It was a yearling doe so the smaller size made it not too difficult to get into the truck.

Then back home to gut and hang it before cutting it up. Even though it was sad to see an animal such as this meet an untimely end, we both had to admire how beautiful and extremely healthy it obviously was. The deer's coat was glossy, smooth, beautifully colored and so clean. I mean this animal lived outside in the woods all of its life, had never had a bath or shower and yet it was almost pristinely clean.

The doe was most likely last year's fawn from the size of her and looked to be in excellent condition to be going into her second winter season. Hubby said he's never seen a deer with such an all-over coating of fat.

I wish this yearling doe hadn't gotten hit this morning. I wish she was still out doing her thing in the woods. I don't mean to sound hokey, but when we brought this deer home, we gave thanks to her and are grateful to be the recipient of the meat she provided.


Erin said...

Yay for venison! We love it, and the best tasting, most tender filet mignon we ever prepared was a White Tail West Virginia doe. It is VERY healthy as well, being so much lower in fat and cholesterol than beef. Thanks to the deer, indeed - and it's great that your local gov't has this program so none will die in vain. What will you do with the hide? I can't wait for hubby to get one so I can recover a funky chair I have that is screaming for a deer hide/fur cover, although I'm sure the dogs will raise an eyebrow and wonder who's next LOL

Oh my... do you have the freezer room for it? :)

Kaytee said...

That's fantastic that your law enforcement does that. Better to give it to people who could use it than let it rot somewhere.

Susan said...

Very thoughtful post, Mama Pea. It's always a good thing to take advantage of what's offered. And it's also a good thing to know how to hang, gut and cut it up. It's good to know the deer was that healthy.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I have a friend who swears he doesn't need to hunt, he just looks for fresh road kill!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Yup, we planned on getting a deer for dog food so saved freezer space.

Sad to say, we burned the hide. As hubby was skinning it, he expressed an interest in saving it, but because of all the fat on this little doe we knew it would be an extra hard one to cure. Next time.

Kaytee - Unfortunately, there are usually more road kills than people who want them. That's where the coyotes, wolves, and scavenger birds come in I guess. Then the deer do provide food for other species at least.

Susan - We saved the liver for our consumption and I've got to say it was as good as any baby beef liver (which you really can't get anymore) we've ever had.

Apple Pie Gal - Your friend is right! Granted, some deer are smooshed all over the road but others are in very good shape for harvesting the meat.