Mys-deer-ious Mystery

Back in September, 2007, I wrote a post entitled A Head Shed? , wherein I mused about finding a complete deer skull (including the racks) in one of our pastures.  I opined that the buck may have been taken down by a pack of coyotes, whereas several commentators posited that the deer may have been struck by a vehicle, or wounded by a hunter far from our property, eventually to wander over here to die.


Well, that post was back in September, 2007.  This past March (2008), while hiking along in the “back forty”, Gracie happened upon this buck skeleton (pictured above).  The bones were picked clean, and mostly scattered in the immediate area.

Since that second skeletal find in March, I have located two additional complete skulls on the property, bringing the grand total to four – all discovered within the past six months.

Considering that the closest paved road is about 2 miles distant from where these remains were found, I think it is highly improbable that all the deer were struck by a distant automobile and wandered, dazed and disoriented, onto our property to die.  One incident, perhaps – but four?  I doubt that vehicular mishaps explain my finds.

It seems strange to me that each of the skeletons I have found is a full grown buck.  I wonder if there is any significance to this, or is it just an improbable coincidence? 

A bad toupee?

Anyhow, no matter what the cause of the demise of these unfortunate Odocoileus virginianus, don’t you think this is an astonishingly bad toupee?

3 thoughts on “Mys-deer-ious Mystery

  1. I’d place money on it that the cause is a bullet more than an automobile. I’ve found plenty a buck laying miles from the road with a hole through their gut. I’ve had to drag more than one of them out of the middle of a field while doing dirt work which is smell and messy work. The fact that they are all bucks is just proof in the pudding.

    My parents have started a bone tree with all the sheds they find, including those attached to skulls. They started by sticking them in the crotch of a chinese elm in their yard and just adding too it. After a decade of doing this, it is looking very impressive and they need a step ladder to add to the pile.

  2. My farm which is a gentlemens farm. All play and as little as work as possible has a history of large deer herds since for the last twenty years I have had the Missouri Dept. of Conservation restore it to it’s native habitath around 500 acres. Along with 14 small I call lakes. During this time hunting was restricted and kills were basically to so called thin out herds. I myself don’t hunt and enjoy shooting animals with a camera. I have deer on my property that are decendants of more than one I have reared on a bottle. I have one bear that migrates from Arkansas yearly for the last ten years looking or a female that I guess he never finds. (typical die hard redneck), more than my share of coyote (thanks to a leaky fox pen about a mile away), cougar, bobcats, armadillos, grouse, quail, wild turkey (bunches), wild horses, possum, raccoon, snakes up the wazoo. I’m very proud of the wildlife habitath that I have established and it is famous county wide. Very much protected by the Missouri Conservation. It is a complete balance of nature and never once have I had a problem with any of the wildlife. Of course once in a while I have to deal with other wildlife of our planet called man. Nothing I can’t handle.

  3. Mature bucks are much more suceptible to winter kill than other deer. The rut leaves them with less fat reserve than does and immature bucks. In areas where deer winter it is common to find the antlered skulls of mature bucks that died naturally in winters past.

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