Last Saturday Rick and the kiddos and I decided to go for a hike. It had been a while since we hit the mountains, and it was really nice to head up there and get out of the heat for a while.
On the way home, we saw a motor-home pulled off on the shoulder on the Southbound side of 285. They had just hit an elk. Rick turned around and offered to help them and then we waited for the sheriff and the state patrol to show up. Rick asked the state patrol for a roadkill tag and then we headed over to the center median where the elk was at to salvage any meat. The people driving the motor home were from Boulder and came over to watch Rick cut up the meat, and hold flashlights while they waited for a tow truck. They had just left on their vacation, which, sadly was ruined.
Rick was able to get three complete quarters, plus most of the front quarter where the elk was hit by the RV. He also was able to take both back straps (minus just a little on the side he was hit). The elk was pretty big. A five-by-five that would have probably grown into a six-by-six or larger by fall. He was probably about 500 pounds or so. His antlers were so beautiful – still completely covered in velvet and they were so soft. Unfortunately, they were both broken by the RV, so we did not keep them (we might not have any way, since regulations on roadkill tags require you to leave a 6 x 6 or larger).
We were glad that Rick is always so prepared – he had his good knife, a bone saw and a tarp all in the car. As soon as we got home we were rinsing and cooling meat down like crazy. Luckily it was fairly cool on Saturday night. We put it into coolers with lots of ice until we could cut it into proper cuts of meat in the morning. All in all, I’d say from the time the elk was killed until the meat was cut, cooled and packed up was about the same amount of time (or likely less) as if Rick had shot it and had to drag it off the mountain.
We had friends over for the fourth for dinner (brats and elk steak) and then we watched fireworks with our neighbor who drove us all in his ’78 Volkswagen Bus to a place a short way away from where they were being shot off. He popped the top on the bus and H and I were on the bed on top and watched the fireworks through the top window. It was a lot of fun and H was thrilled to ride in “Fillmore.”
Plant something – nothing planted
Harvest something – eggs, turnips, raspberries, lettuce, and, at the farm, garlic.
Preserve something – ELK!
Waste Not – compost and recycling, of course, scraps to chickens, etc. And well – the giant elk we saw get hit by an RV on Saturday night.
Want Not – noting that I can think of.
Build Community Food Systems – none
Eat the Food – elk, pork, deer, made a delicious spring pea zucchini risotto with farm veggies.