Dad reveals how he saves money over the holidays by serving roadkill for Christmas dinner
One very resourceful dad out in Washington State, USA, has found an... interesting way of sourcing his meat. Some might head to a supermarket or butchers for Christmas dinner, others will locally source their meat from a turkey farm, but 47-year-old Rafe Carroll just hits the road, serving up a big plate of roadkill.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this dad populates his Christmas dinner with cuts of elk, sections of deer, even a bear (if you're lucky) - plus, any other kind of roadkill he can find. He's been doing so for about 30 years now, and I don't think he's got any plans to stop any time soon.
"Most people’s reaction to my scavenging is shock and surprise, because they tend to think of roadkill as being squirrels and raccoons," explains Rafe, who says he captures around five big game animals a year for his Christmas feast. "But when we have people over – say at Christmas or big family gatherings – and we eat something that I took from the road, they can’t believe it when I tell them it’s roadkill because it tastes so good!"
With one haul of roadkill, Rafe can feed himself and his family not only for Christmas, but for a lot of the months after that as well. Especially if he finds something as big as a black bear; finding one a mile out from his home, he said that he got as many as 55kg of meat from just one animal.
"There are lots of uses for its fat too, and I gave some of it away to friends for making soap and frying doughnuts with. The way I see it is, if I don’t take something then it’s just going to go to waste – so I pretty much will take anything that is fresh and doesn’t look too mangled."
Rafe said that he was inspired from a young age to roadside forage. It was a pastime introduced to him by his dad, who brought home a deer when he was 10. But it wasn't until after his marriage to his wife Kirstin that he properly decided to return to the road for his meals.
"We were very short on money," explained Rafe, who at the time was working as a labourer. "This meant I wasn’t going to turn my nose up at free food."
Now, roadside foraging is a regular occurrence, and having taught his daughters - Dawn, 27, Katie, 25, and 18-year-old Emily - how to properly scavenge, Rafe is pretty confident in his ability to pick meat that's not only good to be eaten, but delicious as well.
"I have been doing this for so long now that I know very quickly whether or not something is ok to take. In the same way that you’d smell prepackaged chicken in your fridge before you eat it, the first thing I always do is give the carcass a sniff and then see if it isn’t too damaged by the impact of the car."
Well folks, there you have it? Unhappy with how much you're paying for your Christmas turkey this year? Then why don't you have a look a little closer to home for your holiday meat? You might be surprised at what you find.