Feather Pillow in the Woods? Guess Again.

Deer HairJim and I were out in the woods on Christmas Day doing our favorite thing — taking a hike.  We circled around and were following a creek that went through a more wild section of our property that is overgrown with wild roses and bamboo.  The turkeys and deer love it there as it makes excellent cover.

I spotted what looked to be an explosion of feathers.  My first thought was that it was from a feather pillow. Odd.  Very odd but possible because nearby there is an old couch that had fallen off someone’s moving truck on a curve of the road, before we bought the property, that we are gradually removing, piece-by-piece and taking to the trash drop-off center.  But no…

Deer Hair - Close-upI reach down and touched it.  It was hair.  Like you would see in the bristles of a paint brush — coarse, stiff.  But oddly, there was no hide that it was attached to.  Just hair.  I knew it was from a deer but it was also odd that there was no skeleton.

I also noticed a smell.  A smell that you would expect from a dead animal.  That told me it was a fresh.

I started looking around and to my right, about 5 feet away was the skeleton I was looking for, but it was incomplete.  No head.  No legs.  Picked-to-the-bone.  Deer Skeleton Picked Clean to the BoneI touched it and it was moist and flexible – again, another sign that it was fresh.

Deer SkeletonI was thrilled with my discovery.  But couldn’t help but wonder why it was there.  Had a hunter shot it and it came here to die?  Had a coyote killed it?  Or found it already dead or dying?  I do believe that a coyote ate it.  I’ve seen a coyote cross the road in the past on what appeared to be an active animal path right about where this carcass was.

Deer Foot Separate from CarcassAs I was leaving the area, about 25 feet away, I saw one last identifying feature – one of the missing legs from the deer carcass.  It, too, was still flexible.

Life is an Adventure.