Hotel Vermont serves up road-killed venison and moose with other wild game for a special banquet.
Every year millions of wildlife are killed by vehicles. The animal is often left to wander to the side of the road to perish and slowly decay to bones; seems like such a waste, right?
The state of Vermont sees these roadkill animals as an opportunity and teamed up with Hotel Vermont for a special banquet featuring, you guessed it, road-killed game. While this may sound disgusting to most, Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife has been collecting and donating roadkill to the needy for years.
After a motorist strikes a deer, moose, or other animal they are asked to call local highway patrols or Fish and Wildlife. A game warden will come out and dispatch the animal if it has wandered off, or collect the newly expired game from the road. They will then determine if the meat is still safe to eat and sent for processing. If the meat is tainted in any way, they will promptly discard it.
While the meat is generally taken to local churches or given to the needy within the community, a lot of the meat also went towards the “Wild About Vermont” dinner. Venison, moose, beaver, goose, lake trout, bear, pheasant, and more were served at the event. The sold-out roadkill event was such a success that Executive Chef Doug Paine hopes to turn it into an annual event for the Hotel Vermont.
“We want to raise awareness around people being involved with the environment. We’re part of the environment, we don’t travel around in little bubbles,” Chef Paine told Outside. Hotel Vermont and the Fish and Wildlife department hope this will bring people to want to add more wild meats to their diets.
“There’s no greater connection to the land and the landscape than having it sustain you,” said Louis Porter the Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It’s a pretty direct and understandable connection.”
Proceeds from the banquet were donated to conservation efforts for Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife and Lake Champlain International.