I found a roadkill deer today!
I found her while out on a drive in GW west of here. It was a young doe killed primarily by a head strike. The only other notable damage were some broken ribs, and she was a bit bloodshot on that side.
I'm not sure how long she'd be been there. She'd definitely been frozen in the snow, but the scavangers hadn't gotten to her at all. We just finished butchering her. The meat is good excepting the skirt stakes, which had turned. We decided to bail on the organ meats and buried them with the other offal. We could still eat the skirt steaks but we wanted to give some to the dog anyway, so let her have those cuts.We've got ribs in the oven with a barbeque sauce I mixed up. The legs are still out in the garage hanging in pillow-cases to keep the flies off, they'll be fine like that for a few days. We'll get to those in a day or two. Jess sliced up the backstrap and it's jerking in the dehydrator.
I tried scraping the hide green and the hair was tearing, so it's soaking overnight. I threw in two handfulls of hardwood ash just to avoid getting staff when I work the hide tomorrow. My plan for the hide is to try a method a friend of ours told us about a while ago. He claims he can do an elk in 6 hours of work with this method. If we're recalling right you start with a green hide, scrape the grain off (which I'll do tomorrow), then acidify it with tanic acid, and then soften it after the tanic acid has made the glue all loose and easy to remove. Then smoke as normal. I had hoped to skip the bucking step with the ash, but the hair just wasn't slipping.
So, another hide to work on (a second thin one, so I've probably got enough to make a shirt or something) and enough meat for several months for Jess and I. Death is always sad, but it also brought us joy, thank you deer.
It's been a beautiful day. It hit the 50's, the 10" of snow is mostly melted off. Jess and her guest went on a hike while I was off driving, and now we're exhausted and chilling out with wonderful smells wafting through the house.