1,600 deer, elk gathered in roadkill law’s first year

The steaks, almost beet red when placed over the coals, sizzled and began to take on an earthy brown color, which was familiar and comforting.

Meat had never looked so raw and so organ-like to me. Then again, most of my meat had come slapped to Styrofoam and wrapped in plastic.

I’d never eaten roadkill.

“Oh, baby! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” said Tim Bento, 52, as he pulled the venison steak off the grill and placed it on a log slice he was using as a cutting board.

He carved into a piece of backstrap, choice meat from along the deer’s spine, and with a steel survival knife held it up for inspection, revealing a narrow band of rosy pink.

“You’re gonna like that, brother.”

Indeed. It looked, and tasted, like a tender sirloin seasoned lightly with salt and olive oil. The tender meat carried just a hint of musky flavor and a smidgen of sweet smoke from the cherrywood puffing among the grill’s red-hot coals.

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