The seemingly endless cycle of life goes on mostly unnoticed by today's modern humans. We are so insulated from reality by our society and technology that most Americans no longer have any connection to the source of their food. While backyard gardens are making a resurgence, the rearing and home butchering of meat animals is practiced by a comparative few. I dare speculate that few people who sat down yesterday for a Thanksgiving dinner gave a second thought to the fact that a real live turkey with thoughts and feelings was killed to make their feast possible.
However in the outdoors the animals must deal with the cycle of life on a first-hand individual basis as shown in the following photographs.
While driving a back country road Thursday morning I first noticed a raven feeding on something in the fresh fallen snow. As I began approaching, the story of the nights event was spelled out in tracks and blood stains.
I have heard a lot of people complain about coyotes killing deer and some will view the photos shown here and condemn the coyotes. While coyotes do kill some deer I have rarely had the opportunity to view their kill sites. Unlike human hunters which harvest the biggest and the best, coyotes kill the frail, the weak, the ill, and the very young. I cannot help but think that the selection practiced by the coyotes and other predators is beneficial to the deer herd as a whole, unlike the selection practiced by humans.