Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2021 | Week 49/52 | FallNov 28, 2021
Field notes from Jess ~
Rewilding in 2021 | Week 49 of 52
It is legal to salvage deer and elk carcasses killed by motor vehicles in Washington State and this weekend I experienced first-hand this process thanks to my friend Ean Anderson.
We had made plans to spend the weekend together, banking on the odds that we would find roadkill by rising at 4:30 am each morning to drive the highways and back roads looking for signs of an animals unfortunate fate.
Ironically, the night before arriving to meet up with Ean, his jeep hit a deer that had jumped out onto the road. There was minimal damage to his vehicle as this was a smaller male, but the result was an experience in which I was able to process the meat from start to finish and bring it home for the freezer.
By law Anyone who takes possession of a deer or elk carcass from roadkill must call in a free Roadkill Salvage permit Within 24 hours and keep a hardcopy until all edible parts are consumed.
It took me two evenings and the help of a few friends to completely process the deer, which included cutting steaks and stew meat and grinding the rest into hamburger. Next we wrapped, packaged and labeled for the freezer. Ean gave me expert instruction on how to do this and his dad Dana Anderson along with wife Faaea stepped in to offer a helping hand.
Salvaging roadkill is a rewilding win. The deer is not left to deteriorate on the side of the road but honored for its life by loving people who will consume every portion of its life giving energy. Ean had found a second deer before I arrived and now my boys and I have at least 60 pounds of meat, which will last us through the winter. Nothing is wasted! We even harvested portions of tendon to make sinew that is currently drying on my kitchen table.
I am deeply grateful for friends like Ean who have offered good times and thoughtful mentorship. My year of rewilding has been rich with experiences because of radical humans who are living in connection to the rhythms of the natural world and take the time to share their knowledge with me. I’m grateful for you with all of my heart!