Friday, November 28, 2014

Death in the Outdoors

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.

A fawn, one which was either sickly or born late judging from its small size, had been pulled down by coyotes.  The snow told the story of where it was first pulled down, regained its feet and moved a few yards before being taken down the second and final time.  The remainder of the blood stains were where it was dragged as the coyotes fed on its small body.

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.    


photowannabe said...

I totally agree with you Coy.
Granted I didn't think about my turkey's life yesterday.
It was delicious and I'm grateful to have a wonderful meal with family and friends.
I hope you had a tasty Thanksgiving yesterday too.

Montanagirl said...

And nature takes its course . . .

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

a coyote family moved in last year... i have never seen the remains like that of the kills but do know the fawns they killed as i name my fawns and usually see them daily. i am very surprised the entire body wasn't consumed. i understand they go for the throat unlike dogs who go for the legs. also they eat the liver first since it contains the most nutrition. the deer i have known usually heal very well from injuries. i have seen broken legs, arrows stuck in the shoulder, pierced area between should blades, etc. i pity deer. it seems everyone is out to kill them.

Woody Meristem said...

Good post. Most folks who complain about coyotes killing deer are hunters who don't like the competition -- if coyotes only killed opossums there wouldn't be any complaints. Natural predators like coyotes tend to feed on the young, injured, sick or disabled and are what made today's white-tails what they are.