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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Deersicle Revisited, Revisited, Revisited


This is not an entry for the squeamish. But this is about the realities of nature.

I have jokingly referred to the deersicle on several previous occasions. I think it is time to explain it better. On the second day of gun deer season, Nov 16, a six point buck died on the back side of our property. Without struggling to turn it over it wasn't at all obvious if someone had shot it and had been unable to track it, or if it was clipped by the train (the tracks are the back edge of our property) and managed to run only a short distance after that before dying. Somehow it seemed a terrible loss when any hunter in the neighborhood had been watching that nice six-pointer for days if not weeks.

And yet, the deer has been providing a service to the non-human neighborhood ever since. Of course I keep trying to get Maggie to stay out of it, but she is a dog after all, and just has to grab a snack whenever we go by. My only real hope is to keep her from eating so much at one time that she gets sick (I hate surprises like having to wash all the bedding on the spur of the moment).

But my real point is that the deer is providing winter food for a number of animals. Every day, no matter how much snow has fallen an access to the carcass has been beaten down. The haunches and everything inside the rib cage is now gone. But the scavengers will continue to feed until, by spring, all that will remain will be some bones and parts of the hide.

The crows are regular diners. The day their tracks were really good I didn't have the camera with me. The picture here isn't as obvious that the tracks belong to a crow, so you'll mostly have to take my word for it.

The fox has stopped by several times. Probably a porcupine will come along and even drag the antlers away to gnaw on.

Nature wastes nothing.


Ratty said...

At first I felt sorry for the deer, but you showed how this can be a positive thing. Around here, deer are more like pets than food, so it's hard for me to see their death. I've eaten deer meat before, and I'm not at all squeamish, but the deer I see are like neighborhood friends.

Sharkbytes said...

Thank you for posting your feelings. I think this entry has been a little hard for some people. But many people are too far removed from the reality of "life" in nature, which includes death. I would rather have had the buck come to a noble end, or better yet to have lived through the winter and sired another generation.

Yet another part of the reality here is that we have TOO MANY DEER, and many of them starve over the winter- especially when it is harsh and there is as much snow cover as we've seen this year.

I have a much happier topic to post later tonight.

Body Natural Soap said...

I am glad to see a post that shows the cycle of life and death and how when one animal dies it sustains many more.

betchai said...

thanks a lot for showing us another side of what would otherwise be a sad story, thanks for that reminder that everything is interconnected and support one another somehow.

Sharkbytes said...

Betchai- we've gotten so disconnected from nature that we don't like to even think about these parts, but it's the way the world works! Glad you can appreciate that.

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