Roadkill is not what I consider a treasure, but this was not the case with a guy I use to work with!
The Frugal Practice of Eating Roadkill
Over decade ago, when I was working as an unskilled construction laborer, I was riding in the truck with my more skilled counterpart going to a remote job when all of a sudden, he slammed on the brakes. This sudden stop broke me from my half sleep-like state (It was round 6:30am), and I asked what up. But my more skill counterpart didn’t say anything and was already out of his driver door. I watched in the mirrors to see what he was going.
I was shocked when he started checking out a deer, and hoisted it into the cab of his truck. I had no idea why he was doing this. He then got into the truck and told me that we are going to make a side trip on our way to the job site that we were suppose to work at. He then proceeded to drive me another 10 minutes until we got to his house (I could hear the violin and banjo playing from the movie Deliverance the entire time), then he took the somewhat freshly killed deer out of his truck and up to his house. He went into the house for a few minutes, then returned back and we were back on the road heading to the construction job that we supposed to go to.
It turns out that the area that we were in was very close to his house, and seeing the freshly killed deer alongside the road was an opportunity that my co-worker didn’t want to pass up. While I didn’t want to criticize him, I posed the question of how safe it would be to eat the animal. He that’s when he told me his logic:
The hunting season was almost over and he didn’t fulfill his quota that he was allowed to get, so he saw this as an opportunity to get one more “kill” that he could claim. Apparently his family loves deer meat.
He then told me that he drove up this road earlier to pick me up, and the deer wasn’t on the road at that point. This means that the deer was freshly killed, and not necessarily by a car. Sometimes a hunter will shoot a deer, but it will continue to live running away for sometimes miles before falling. He then told me that this was the case in this example (although, I don’t know if I believe though, nor the quota explanation either for that matter).
The Reasons this was Frugal:
While I wouldn’t have done the same as my older construction co-worker, throughout the day I found myself thinking back to his actions, and I started to see the logic and benefit of what he did. Here are the key points to consider:
- Had the older construction hunter not stopped and picked up the deer, it would have been wasted and possible rotting along side the road for weeks.
- Since his family would both prepare and eat the meat, it was probably equivalent to finding a couple of hundred dollars or more laying along side of the road. If I saw $300 laying along the side of the road, I would definitely have stopped to pick it up.
- Since the kill was fresh, he was able to get it back to his family where they could clean and dress the meat. He told me that they also had grinders at his home and they would ground up the meat effectively fully utilizing the deer meat (or venison if you will).
- He explained to me how they have a freezer and would freeze the meat for later consumption over the next month or so.
Honestly, at first I was quite repulsed by his actions, especially considering he had a crazy look in his eyes as he was going so, but now I realize how unconventionally frugal his actions were. I didn’t know of the word frugal or frugality back then but his actions were definitely in that money saving camp.
So now, today I look back and applaud him instead of look down on his activities. And I think both frugal and green folks would do the same.
What do you think of the older worker’s frugal and unconventional method to save money?