The otherwise monotonous act of driving has one large benefit, save for simply arriving at one’s intended location – road kill. No other mode of transport allows long distances to be traversed, whilst still having the ability to stop and the space to deposit a dead creature. I must have picked up literally tonnes of free meat in my life, most of which has been fed to ferrets, or used in my ‘protein hopper’, the sanitized name I use for a hanging barrel with small holes in the bottom and a large one at the top. Unwanted meat goes in, nature takes its course, high protein chicken food comes out in the form of maggots, egg production goes up and we are all happy – except Em when the wind blows towards the house! Quality finds however, are too good for the livestock and are are gathered for the cooking pot. Pheasants, ducks (domestic and wild), hedgehogs, thrushes and finches have all found there way to my plate via the tarmac, but the prince of all pre-tenderized meats has to be venison.
Anything up to the size of a fox can be snatched up virtually on the move by opening the drivers door and leaning out, but a deer is a quite different matter. Picking up Bambi takes fortitude of character, a strong arm and sometimes a taste for danger (as well as good meat). Your average Jo doesn’t care much for the sight of a bloody carcass being hauled up the road and I recall a few months back the array of looks, bewilderment and disgust amongst them, as I struggled the knee buckling weight of a fallow buck across a busy A road during rush hour. I had been looking for a gap in the traffic,but one car stopped and before I knew it I had a twenty strong audience gawping at me from both directions. The riskiest retrieval was from the central reservation of a motorway section of the A21 near Tonbridge when Em and I dragged another large buck across three lanes of motorway traffic to reach our old Kia Pride, (a car which provokes anything but) on the hard shoulder.
I have been thrown in to road kill yarn telling because a couple of days back we found a roe buck freshly killed whilst on our way back from visiting family. It was a fine beast and now resides in the freezer.