After nearly 80 days, the last of the deer hunting seasons comes to an end this week – at least in our region. Even though hunting is not allowed at the nature preserve, every year we have the misfortune of getting a number of wounded deer onto the property. Astoundingly, most of these are not tracked by the hunters that shot them. Instead they are left to die of their wounds. Sometimes it takes hours - sometimes days or even weeks. One buck that was shot with an arrow took about 6 days to die. The day after it was shot (it was shot just after dark!) I was able to track it for about a mile, but I couldn't find it. Finally I did come upon it lying dead in one of our creeks.
|A doe lays down for the night - often they get covered with sonw|
|A Red tailed Hawk often claims the carcass for most of the day|
|The female Coyote|
Just lately there’s been a new deer carcass right beyond our border at the top of a wooded hill. There scores of crows have been assembling every morning and late last week a group of 8 Ravens joined them. While a large flock of crows doesn't normally tolerate a single raven in their midst – especially when there’s food around, apparently when there are as many as 8 to contend with the crows reluctantly take the path of peaceful coexistence.
|The Fisher's large feet , no doubt help them to run on top of the snow|
|The Fisher visits the site in the early morning hours|
Yesterday at that same carcass site there was an adult Bald Eagle. When I came through she took off from her perch in a large tree and started to fly toward the south. Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles are known to visit deer carcasses – particularly when they are in open areas. When most of the region’s bodies of water are frozen over and fishing becomes less of an option, the Bald Eagle sees no shame in acting like a vulture.
|An adult Bald Eagle was seen perching in the trees above another deer carcass|