By Elliott Almond
Cascadia Daily News 

What's for dinner takes on new meaning for roadkill harvesters


Last updated 2/12/2024 at 1:49pm

Most of us have seen poor little critters on the road smashed, bashed or otherwise mutilated. Roadkill, it seems, is a gruesome byproduct of the automobile age.

So, it was heartening to meet Bellingham newbie Kai Wians, aka "Kai.ote Jack." We recently spent a morning at Lettered Streets Coffeehouse talking about roadkill harvesting and honoring animals who have perished on the highways through no fault of their own.

Wians, 26, is mastering the art of roadkill harvesting for food and providing community service. Wians is one of thousands of Washingtonians who obtain permits to collect freshly killed deer and elk.

"Harvesting roadkill is a fantastic way to create sustenance for ourselves, and to honor the animal and honor the place where we are living," said Wians, who grew up south of Chicago.

State officials reported an increase in animal-vehicle collisions in recent weeks because of less daylight, distracted ungulates during rutting season and wildlife migrating to lower elevations for the winter.

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